Braised Beans and Greens

I love the simplicity of Italian cuisine, and this is a dish one could imagine an Italian Nonna making in the Italian countryside. This meatless dish is one that you can pull together in mere minutes. You could serve it as a side dish for grilled, braised, or roasted meat or top it with a few fried or poached eggs to make a complete meal. 

I chose to use Tuscan kale in my version, but regular kale, escarole, or Swiss Chard also works. Choose canned beans that hold their shape, or cook your own from scratch. This dish can be served as is with just a drizzle of quality extra virgin olive oil or topped with a sprinkling of grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele

Braised Beans and Greens

Braised Beans and Greens

Yield: Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

An easy, delicious Italian dish born from cucina povera.


  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Sweet Onion, Diced
  • 2 Teaspoons Finely Chopped Thyme
  • 5 Large Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Calabrian Chili Flakes
  • 1 Large or Two Small Bunches Tuscan Kale (See Notes Above) Stems Removed & Chopped
  • 2 (15 Ounce) Cans Cannellini Beans, Rinsed
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

To Serve:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Or Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese


  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat, then add the onion, and thyme and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook another minute.
  3. Begin to add the greens by the handful, cooking until they begin to wilt.
  4. Add the beans, broth, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil, then turn down heat to a simmer.
  5. Cook until the liquid has reduced by half, about 8 minutes.
  6. Take the pan off the heat, then add the lemon juice.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  8. Place beans and greens in a large shallow bowl and top with olive oil and/or grated cheese.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 280Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 649mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 8g

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