Budget Friendly Easy Italian Bean Skillet! A dish that is both easy on the wallet and easy to make, well, that’s a no brainer and a must try!
Switch up your dinner routine with this delicious Budget Friendly Easy Italian Bean Skillet that comes together quickly for those busy week night meal. White beans, garlic, and zucchini in an Italian herb tomatoey broth, makes for a great accompaniment to your favorite whole grains or carbs like quinoa, rice, potatoes, pasta, toast, and more.
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
Mom and I received several emails from moms trying to stretch their food budget. They asked us for to create some recipes that are easy on the budget. This recipe comes together quickly, using minimal pantry ingredients, but pack a POW of flavor.
Easy to pair with your favorite complex carbs or whole grains, making it a versatile and fun way to enjoy plant based ingredients.
You gotta give this one a try!
Tips for Success:
- Flavor Profile: This is a humble, budget friendly white bean dish that features Italian seasonings with a tomatoey sauce that uses minimal pantry ingredients.
- Water: There is a total of 1 cup of water in this recipe. ¼ cup is used to help sauté the onion and zucchini mix in the skillet. The ¾ cup is used in the sauce.
- Baking Soda: Baking soda is often used as a neutralizer for dishes that contain a lot of acidity, typically from tomatoes. We use it in this dish to remove some of the tomato acidity (from the tomato sauce) without losing the tomatoey flavor. When you add it, the mixture may bubble up, then settle down as it neutralizes the acidity. However, if you prefer that ‘tinny’ flavor that comes from canned tomatoes, then leave out the baking soda or perhaps use a tiny pinch.
- Low-Fat Dish Expectations: This dish was designed to be low in fat. Because it is low in fat, you are not going to experience that endorphin rush associated with eating high-fat foods when eating this dish. It is very tasty for what it is, and that is a low-fat dish. We just want to make sure that our Readers recognize this when contemplating making this recipe. If you wish to make it more indulgent, add the Vegan Parmesan Cheese on individual servings. The vegan parm totally takes it over the top.
- Oil-Free Recipes: This dish has great flavor. Because it is low in fat, we suggest tasting it 3 times before adding any additional seasonings. Oil-free, low-fat dishes tend to build on the palate. By tasting this dish 3 times, you have a better chance of not over-seasoning or under-seasoning it. Recipes with oil coat the palate making the spices and herbs feel smooth and more pleasing. Removing oil from dishes requires more finesse to ensure that a dish is properly seasoned. Tasting a dish 3 times allows the cook the chance to better understand the flavor profile and if the flavor of the dish builds on the front-end or back-end of the palate.
- White Beans: We used Great Northern Beans in this dish. You can easily use cannellini beans, navy beans, or feel free to use your favorite bean in this recipe.
- Zucchini: If you are looking to really stretch your budget, you can leave the zucchini out and increase the beans from 1 to 2 cans. If you do this, you do not need to water sauté in Step 2. Simple sauté the onions until tender with only a splash of water to prevent burning, then continue to the next step.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container. Reheating can be done on the stovetop or in the microwave.
This dish can be frozen.
Pantry Products Used:
- Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
Kitchen Products Used:
- Large ceramic/enamel lined skillet, Dutch oven, or similar large stock pot with a tight-fitting lid
Switch up your dinner routine with this delicious Budget Friendly Easy Italian Bean Skillet that comes together quickly for those busy week night meal.
- 1 medium yellow onion, fine dice
- 1 medium zucchini, unpeeled, small dice *
- ¼ cup water
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 – [ 8 oz. can ] tomato sauce
- ¾ cup water
- 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 – [ 15 oz. can ] white beans, drained and rinsed *
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda *
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ to 1 teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (+/-)
- Fresh chopped parsley or basil
- Baked potato
- Steamed rice
- Place all the Herb/Spice Ingredients into a small bowl, mix well. Set aside.
- In a large ceramic/enamel lined skillet, Dutch oven, or non-stick skillet, add the diced onions, diced zucchini, and ¼ cup water, cover, sauté over medium-high heat for 7 to 9 minutes to soften.
- Uncover and add the minced garlic, sauté for one minute uncovered.
- Next add all the Base Ingredients (except for the beans and baking soda) and the Herb/Spice Mix. Bring to a boil, then immediately lower the heat, add the baking soda, stir well, then add the white beans. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the stove, allow to sit for 5 minutes to marry the flavors. Serve over baked potatoes, steamed rice, toast, quinoa, or pasta with freshly chopped parsley or basil.
*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
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