Skip to main content
Cooking tips and recipes, plus food news and views.
The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

No one but you will know these brothy beans started in a can

(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post/Food styling by Gina Nistico for The Washington Post)

I’m the first one to extol the virtues of a pot of beans slowly cooked from dried — and particularly the rich, starchy, deeply flavored bean stock that results. (I have been known to call it “liquid gold,” and I stand by that.)

But (you knew there’d be a but, right?) you don’t always have time for that, even with such helpers as the Instant Pot to speed things along. And when the holidays loom and your cooking pace — not to mention anxiety — starts ramping up, it’s time to remind yourself that there’s also not a thing wrong with opening a can of beans. They’re one of the world’s great convenience products, right up there with canned tomatoes, and while I have dozens of types of dried beans in my pantry, I always have several cans, too.

Besides, as this recipe from Bri Beaudoin’s “Evergreen Kitchen” proves, there are ways to get more flavor into canned beans. By sauteing garlic and shallot with tomato paste and fresh thyme, you give an aromatic, umami-filled base to vegetable broth. Simmer beans briefly in this liquid, stir in a little miso (for more umami) and Swiss chard, drizzle with olive oil, and you’re done.

The result: brothy beans that taste like they took a lot longer to cook than they did.

Especially when I’m so otherwise busy, that makes these beans the stuff of dreams. I eat them over rice, noodles, roasted potatoes — or, best of all, as a stew with crusty bread.

Get the recipe: Shortcut Brothy Beans