With such a short ingredient list, you may wonder where this recipe's flavor comes from. The secret is in how you cook the onions — for a long time, until they're caramelized. Slowly cooking them in plenty of olive oil until they are a lovely golden brown brings out the sweetness, which adds so much to this casserole. I add a hearty amount of black pepper as well, to bring some spice to the sweetness. I prefer this more as a side to a larger meal than as a main dish because as delicious as it is, it's not the star of a meal, but more of a lovely accent. But, you can't beat how simple and easy it is to create.
This recipe is adapted from the website Stonesoup.

Prep time: 10 minutes 

Cook time: 60 minutes 

Total time: 70 minutes 

Yield: 4-6 servings

Baked White Beans with Caramelized Onions


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 onions, sliced into half moons
  • 4 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
  • 3 cans white beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 5 ounces grated Cheddar cheese
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the onions cook, stirring occasionally, until they are a deep golden color. It will take 25-30 minutes. Add more oil if you need it.
  2. When the onions are golden brown, add the thyme leaves and stir.
  3. In a medium oven-proof dish, layer about a third of the onions, then half of the beans, then a little cheese. Repeat the layers until all the ingredients are used, and ending with a topping of cheese. Pour the vegetable stock over the entire dish.
  4. Place the dish in the oven on the center rack and bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

white bean bake

Related on MNN:

Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.

Baked White Beans with Caramelized Onions
There are only 6 ingredients in this rich, flavorful dish.