How many times have you settled on an entrée only to scratch your head and wonder, “what the heck do we serve with it?”
Often times we’re looking for something that is both nutritious and filling, which can be a tough combo. But that’s the beauty of garlic spinach and white beans. You get all the healthy nutrients from a leafy green vegetable, and the ‘keep you full longer’ power from the legumes. Which means, yes, this is also delicious made with kale or Swiss chard!
Time and time again, we find ourselves pairing everything from rotisserie chicken to pan seared scallops, even chicken Milanese with a simple vegetable side dish like this. Bonus? It’s super inexpensive and has a total prep + cook time of 10 minutes. Yes, please!
- Garlic cloves, thinly sliced: I like using thinly sliced garlic for the texture — it gets a bit crispy, almost like garlic chips, and I just love that!
- White beans, such as navy beans, great northern beans, or cannellini beans (any beans that are white and creamy!): Drain and rinse before cooking.
- Baby spinach: It’s gotta be fresh spinach for this recipe, but we also love to use lacinato kale and Swiss Chard.
- Fresh lemon juice: The acidity brightens up the flavors and adds a fresh citrus flavor to the garlic spinach!
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper: To season everything!
- Chives and fresh parsley: Whenever possible, we recommend adding fresh herbs, as they add SO much flavor!
- Capers, drained: For a salty, briny bite at the end!
As with most vegetable side dishes, we recommend finishing them with a drizzle of high quality extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. You’ll be amazed how this can liven the flavors in a dish!
How To Make Garlic Spinach And White Beans
- Heat a saucepan with olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add garlic and sauté until fragrant and light golden brown, about 30 seconds.
- Add drained beans and sauté about 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add spinach.
- Pour in lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper. Cook until spinach is just wilted, about 1-2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in chives, parsley, and capers. Serve immediately or set aside and eat later at room temperature. Just before serving, sprinkle with a generous pinch of flaky sea salt and a drizzle of high quality extra virgin olive oil.
Make Ahead, Leftovers, and Storage
Sautéed spinach and garlic is best enjoyed hot and fresh — it’s superior to room temperature every single time! — however, it’s totally safe and more than fine to leave this out and eat at room temp.
Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in a fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat: Place in a microwave safe bowl, then reheat just before serving.
Freezing: The texture of white beans and cooked spinach isn’t great when frozen. Or rather, it isn’t great when you go to thaw or reheat it. There’s too much excess moisture. Eat fresh or enjoy the leftovers within 5 days.
How To Serve
Some of our favorite entrées to serve alongside garlic spinach and white beans:
It’s a simple but flavorful weeknight vegetable side dish. Doesn’t take much to round out the meal, just a quick protein. We listed our favorites above, but there is no shame in a store-bought rotisserie chicken, which saves us on at least 2 or 3 occasions each month.
Yes! Garlic spinach and white beans is totally our idea of health food. Spinach is rich in vitamins A, C, K and is loaded with iron and magnesium.
White beans, on the other hand, are packed with fiber and protein, helping to keep you fuller longer. Together they make one amazingly healthy side dish that is nutritious and overwhelmingly good for your body. Plus, they taste great together!
Absolutely! Spinach is about 90% water, which causes it to wilt and shrink significantly as it cooks down. Bulk it up if you want a larger ratio of cooked spinach to white beans.
Any variety of small white beans is great! We do not recommend substituting with garbanzo beans, kidney beans, black beans, or other dark beans.
We truly make this all the time. The flavor and texture can’t be beat, and it just goes well with so many other dishes!
If you make this Garlic Spinach and White Beans recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
And make sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow along on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest, and Facebook for more Well Seasoned recipes! DON’T FORGET to tag us on social channels when you make a recipe at #wellseasonedstudio !! We LOVE seeing what you’re up to in the kitchen!
More healthy side dishes to try!Roasted Broccolini 30-Minute Stove Top Spicy White Beans Sicilian Cauliflower Roasted Golden Beets with Horseradish Tandoori Oven Roasted Carrots Roasted Butternut Squash with Za’atar and Lemon Tahini Sauce
10-Minute Garlic Spinach and White Beans
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 (15 oz) can small white beans rinsed and drained, such as navy beans or great northern beans
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice about ½ large lemon
- ¼ tsp Kosher salt
- pinch of black pepper
- 1 Tbsp chives thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp parsley chopped
- 1 Tbsp capers drained
- Flaky sea salt for serving
- High quality extra virgin olive oil for serving
- Cook the garlic. Heat a saucepan with 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add 3 cloves sliced garlic and sauté until fragrant and light golden brown, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in beans and spinach. Add 1 can drained beans and sauté about 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add 3 cups fresh spinach.
- Finish, then serve. Pour in 1 Tbsp lemon juice, then season with ¼ tsp Kosher salt and a pinch of black pepper. Cook until spinach is just wilted, about 1-2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in1 Tbsp chives, 1 Tbsp parsley, and 1 Tbsp drained capers. Serve immediately or set aside and eat later at room temperature. Just before serving, sprinkle with a generous pinch of flaky sea salt and a drizzle of high quality extra virgin olive oil.
- White beans we’d recommend for this recipe: navy beans, great northern beans, cannelini beans. Note that some brands of canned beans have more starch than others, and might break apart during cooking — this won’t affect the taste, just the appearance.
- We do not recommend substituting with garbanzo beans, kidney beans, black beans, or other dark beans.
- Swiss chard is a great replacement for spinach! Remove rib stems, chop finely, and sauté these first for 3-4 minutes until tender. Then begin sautéing garlic, white beans, and chopped swiss chard leaves.
- Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in a fridge for up to 3 days.
- To reheat: Place in a microwave safe bowl, then reheat just before serving.