If you are aware of the super popular "Braised White Beans" over at Zoes Kitchen, then this post may have you all excited. They have many locations in 15 different states and it is a Mediterranean-focused menu. If you've never heard of them, still be excited, because these are the creamiest, dreamiest rosemary white beans ever, but totally oil-free. I first discovered Zoes Kitchen a few years ago, as I had heard about these famous white beans through some friends and since I love rosemary, I was dying to try them. Oh boy, they lived up to every expectation. They are creamy, full of flavor, filling and simple. Just one big problem, FULL of oil. I could taste the oil in them, I could see the oil in them. Yuck. Well, that didn't stop me from eating there sometimes. I don't stress about eating so perfectly 100% of the time when eating out is concerned, because I don't eat out but maybe once a month. Even with the oil, it's still a better choice than most out there, and unfortunately, they can't remove the oil. My family and I have always enjoyed eating those amazing beans. Well, I had always had it on my to-do list to recreate those beans at home. So, when one of my most loyal readers, Estee, asked me to recreate them too, that was the bump I needed to get it done sooner.
Well, I'm here to tell you, not only did I nail the flavor and the texture......dare I say, they are even better?? My hubby and daughter were just flabbergasted at how amazing they are. My 4 year old even exclaimed "Mommy, these taste just the same as Zoes!" I was so happy because that is her favorite item to eat there and just loves them. But I hate consuming all that oil, so now we will never have to. I can hear my arteries rejoicing!
So, whether you know of this item or not, I'm here to tell you that this is not a soup type of bean dish, it's much thicker, which should be evidenced in the photos. It's not a soup, or meant to be a soup, but rather, a side dish. However, I would never hesitate to eat a large bowl of it as my meal, as if it were a soup. They are super thick and creamy and that's just how I created them to be. It took me 3 trials to get it right. Since their recipe contains oil, I knew I needed to create that same creamy result without the oil. I did it by using a combo of plant-based cashew milk and brown rice flour. All versions, including Zoes just use broth I believe, but that was not working here, so milk and rice flour did the trick. It gives that same creamy richness, without the loads of fat or oil.
I still have no idea what the exact ingredient list is for their beans, but I was still able to pull off the flavor. I have always smelled and tasted a slight smokiness to the beans and even though they are vegan, they have that smoky ham flavor to them. I was able to recreate that by adding liquid smoke. It couldn't be easier too, it's only 8 ingredients (+ S&P), 1 pot and ready in about 30 minutes!
Now, the restaurant doesn't add hot sauce to their beans, but hey, I always like to add a touch of hot sauce to the beans for that slight spicy kick. SO good. Hubby and daughter don't like it, but it's just an optional touch if you like it. Sure is pretty too.
I really hope you all love these Dreamy Creamy Rosemary White Beans, my healthy vegan oil-free version from Zoes Kitchen! You will be amazed at how identical they taste and can enjoy them guilt-free! Be sure to leave feedback below after you make them and star rate them, that helps me out tons, so thank you! You can also tag me on Instagram at #thevegan8 so it saves to my page and I don't miss the notification or post it on my Facebook page....love seeing your pics!
These rosemary white beans are so creamy and thick and the perfect side to a main meal or can be eaten as the meal. They are very hearty and filling and the whole dish comes together in just about 30 minutes!
10 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
1/2 packed cup (80 g) white or yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt for cooking the onions, + another 1/2 teaspoon to add later
3 large garlic cloves, finely minced (11 g, I used big ones because I love garlic)
1/2 cup low-sodium veggie broth for cooking onions/garlic and 3/4 cup more to add later
1/2 cup plant milk (126 g, a creamy milk is best here, I used cashew milk, but "lite" canned coconut milk or soy work)
1 scant tablespoon roughly chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke (I used Colgin "Natural Hickory", if you use Wright's brand, start with a tsp and add more to taste if needed, as it is stronger)
2 tablespoons brown rice flour (24 g)
2 15 oz cans low-sodium Great Northern or Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
Optional: drizzle hot sauce for a spicy kick
Note: I make my own homemade cashew milk every single week. I prefer it over storebought as it is much healthier and fresher. Simply add 1 cup whole raw cashews to a vitamix (no need to soak them) and 3 cups filtered water and blend until smooth. That's it! No need to strain it. Store in a sealed container in the fridge. One batch is good for a week. Stir it gently each time before use. This is a perfect milk consistency and sub for anywhere that calls for standard milk.
Note: Tip for chopping the fresh rosemary. If you've never chopped fresh rosemary, it is very simple. Do not just chop the whole thing with the stem, or it's too fibrous. Simply take your fingers and slide off the rosemary leaves pulling them off the stem in the opposite direction that they point. They will slide right off. A tip I learned from Giada.
Note that you will be adding salt and liquids at separate times. This is so the end result is the right texture and flavor. You will be adding the beans at the very last step.
Add your onion and a 1/2 cup only of the veggie broth and only a 1/4 tsp of the salt to a small pot. Turn the heat to medium. Stir and once it comes to a boil, let it cook at medium for about 8 minutes until the onions are very tender/translucent. We really want them soft so they don't stand out in texture at the end. Check and stir them a couple of times to make sure they don't run out of broth. After the 8 minutes, add the garlic and let it cook just a couple of minutes more. All the broth should basically be gone by now. Remove from the heat so you can add your other ingredients.
Add the remaining 3/4 cup broth, plant milk (I used cashew milk), rosemary, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, liquid smoke and rice flour. Whisk really well to make sure all the flour is smooth. Once it is smooth, add the beans. You don't want to add the beans before whisking in the flour because you don't want to break up the beans too much.
Place the pot back over the heat and turn to medium heat. Once it just begins to bubble around the edges, cover with a lid and immediately turn to simmer for about 10 minutes. You will need to keep an eye on it and stir a couple of times so the bottom doesn't stick. It will begin to thicken nicely. The longer it cooks, the thicker it will get. I found 10 minutes to be just enough and the exact texture and thickness as the restaurant version. If you want it more soup-like, cook it less time or add a touch more broth. Taste and add any more salt if necessary, I did not. Depending on your broth, you may or may not need to. Serve immediately. I love to give mine a spicy kick with a drizzle of hot sauce, but this is totally optional. If you have any leftovers, it will thicken up a ton in the fridge overnight, so add more broth to loosen up if necessary and reheat on low. Depending on whether you serve this as a side dish or a main dish, the servings would vary from 2-4 people. They are VERY filling!
The Vegan 8
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Hi! I'm Brandi, a wife and mom behind this blog who healed her husband's gout and my digestion issues through a plant-based diet. I'm not complicated, I keep things simple. All my recipes are 8 ingredients or less, not including salt, pepper and water. They are allergy-friendly, as they are all vegan, oil-free and nearly all are gluten-free. You'll find lots of baked goods here, as I've been a baker all my life, it's my passion!