A savory, garlicky white bean puree with a creamy, whipped texture. Works as a delicious alternative to mashed potatoes.
If you were to come over for dinner, the chances of this white bean puree being on the menu are quite high. Just like my caramelized onion crostini and kale caesar salad, this fluffy cannellini mash has been one of my go-to’s for guests for years. (In fact, this is exactly what we’ll make in December’s in-person cooking class!)
This savory, garlicky puree has a creamy, whipped texture and comes together in minutes with just a handful of ingredients. If you’ve never had pureed beans before, think of them as akin to mashed potatoes. I like to top this with za’atar and fried leeks but there are so many ways to serve this luxurious side dish. Read on for tips and ideas!
White Bean Puree Ingredients + Substitutions
The essential elements of this vegan puree are: white beans, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. After that, it’s a choose-your-own-adventure kinda thing…
- White Beans: You’ll need two standard cans of cannellini beans. You can also use canned great northern or butter beans, or ones you cooked from scratch.
- Garlic-Infused Olive Oil: Thinly sliced garlic warmed on the stove in a glug of olive oil infuses the puree with sweet-savory garlicky goodness.
- Lemon Juice: Cuts through the richness.
- Miso: This Japanese fermented soybean paste rounds everything out with a savory note. You can use Yondu as a sub if you have it. But if you don’t have either, just skip it.
- Fried Leeks: Crispy, savory, near-burned leeks are my favorite way to top the puree. If you only have onions, you can thinly slice a small one and cook it in the same manner. Alternatively, go with sautéed mushrooms instead.
- Za’atar: This Middle Eastern spice blend of sesame seeds, sumac, sea salt, and dried herbs complements the puree beautifully. Za’atar is now widely available in supermarkets and even at Trader Joe’s. If you don’t have any, sprinkle the puree with a little sumac or ground cumin – or skip it altogether.
White Bean Puree Step-by-Step
Cook the Leeks: If you’re gonna go the fried leek/onion route, start there. Thinly slice the light green parts of a leek (reserve the white and dark green parts for leek-pea pasta or veg broth), and thoroughly clean them in a bowl of water or salad spinner. Then place in a non-stick skillet with a generous amount of oil and cook over medium heat until they’re dark brown.
Infuse the Oil: To make the garlic oil, thinly slice some garlic cloves and combine them with olive oil in a small skillet/pot. Gently heat just until the garlic starts to sizzle, then turn the heat off. (If the garlic gets too hot, it’ll get bitter.) Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes to infuse.
Make the Puree: In a food processor, combine the beans, the garlic with its oil, lemon juice, miso, and a bit of water. Puree until completely smooth. Then season to taste with salt and pepper. (I like to wait til the end to add salt since many canned beans are quite salty already.)
Serve the Puree: Transfer the puree to a shallow bowl, drizzle with a bit of extra oil, and sprinkle with za’atar and the fried leeks (if using).
Frequently Asked Questions
I recommend cannellini, but great northern and butter beans also work. If you have time, cook dried beans from scratch for the tastiest puree.
This puree is so good with nearly anything! My go-to’s are vegan mushroom bourguignon and tempeh marsala. Other favorites are braised collard greens and basic sauteed mushrooms. For my omnivore friends, think short ribs, fish, or scallops.
I typically serve this warm or at room temp. If you wanna go the warm route, warm up the beans (stove or microwave) before pureeing. Or just microwave the puree before serving.
No. This recipe does not have enough liquid to work in a blender. It may work in a Vitamix, though I personally haven’t tried it.
Yes! It’ll keep in the fridge for up to 4 days and reheat well in the microwave.
More festive recipes this way…
- Vegan Cassoulet with Roasted Vegetables
- Creamy Miso Polenta with Mushroom Ragù
- Mushroom Bourguignon
- Cauliflower Pot Pie
If you try this recipe, let me know how it turns out! Give it a rating below and leave a comment, and don’t forget to tag your creation with @thenewbaguette on Instagram.Print
A savory, garlicky white bean puree with a creamy, whipped texture. Works as a delicious alternative to mashed potatoes. (P.S. This article has been updated from its original December 2020 version. Click here for the old recipe.)
For the Leeks* (see note below)
- 1 medium leek, light green parts thinly sliced
- Neutral oil, for frying
For the Puree
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Two 15-ounce cans cannellini or butter beans, drained and rinsed*
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons white miso*
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Za’atar, for garnishing
- If using leeks, be sure to clean them thoroughly: Fill a large bowl with water, add the sliced leeks, and swirl around with your hands while separating the layers. Lift them back out onto the cutting board; if the water looks very dirty, repeat the process with new water. Alternatively, use a salad spinner.
- Heat a generous layer of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the leeks. Cook, resisting the urge to stir too often, until they’re nicely browned, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small skillet or pot, combine 3 tablespoons olive oil with 3 thinly sliced garlic cloves. Place over medium heat. When the garlic starts to sizzle, wait 5 to 10 seconds, then promptly turn the heat off and set aside to infuse for at least 5 minutes.
- In a food processor, combine the rinsed beans, the garlic with its oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons miso, and 3 tablespoons of water* (see note below). Puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to a shallow bowl, drizzle lightly with extra olive oil, sprinkle with za’atar, and top with the fried leeks.
- If you don’t have a leek, thinly slice a small onion instead and cook it in the same manner.
- If using home-cooked beans, you’ll need 3 cups.
- If you don’t have miso, sub with Yondu. Don’t have either? Just skip it.
- Za’atar is now widely available in supermarkets and even at Trader Joe’s. If you don’t have any, sprinkle the puree with a little sumac or ground cumin – or skip it altogether.
- If using home-cooked beans, use the bean broth to thin out the puree instead of plain water.
- Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
- Calories: 210
- Fat: 9.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 24.6 g
- Fiber: 5.9 g
- Protein: 8.9 g
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: white beans, puree, vegan, leek