Simple Heirloom Beans

YIELD 8 servings


3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 serrano chiles, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups dried beans, soaked 3 hours (or overnight) and rinsed (2/3 cup each cannellinis, red beans and borlotti or cranberry beans)
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


1. Heat olive oil in a heavy-duty stockpot over medium heat. Stir in onions, garlic and chiles. Add salt and black pepper, and sauté until onions are translucent. Add beans, stirring well so that they are coated with oil. Pour water over the beans–enough to cover them by two inches. Stir in bay leaves and red pepper flakes. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Skim off any scum that may accumulate as the beans cook.

2. Cook, partially covered about 2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding more liquid if needed. Discard bay leaves. Taste for salt and heat, adjusting as needed.

Recipe courtesy of Nancy Vienneau and Third Thursday Potluck and photography by Teresa Blackburn. This recipe originally appeared as Heirloom Beans on

For more beans recipes on, check out the following:

Red, White and Beans Salad

Red Beans with Kielbasa

Black Beans with Chiles

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Angela K.
Angela K.9 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Kimmy H.
Kimmy H.about a year ago

Looks good! Thank you.

Elena T.
Elena Poensgenabout a year ago

Thank you :)

Elena T.
Elena Poensgenabout a year ago

Thank you :)

Aileen C.
Aileen h.about a year ago

Yummy Yum Yum. This will be excellent in Winter.

Joan McBride
Joan McBrideabout a year ago

This recipe sounds delish!

Alexandra G.
Alexandra G.about a year ago

great recipe, thank you

Daphne H.
Daphne H.about a year ago


Magdalen B.
Magdalen B.about a year ago

This would, I think, be nice cold too.

Margaret Hamilton
Margaret Hamiltonabout a year ago

Just one little note, I've always been under the impresion that you should only add salt to beans near the end of cooking, apparently this stops them from becoming tough.