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+ servings
Two matching, white bowls are filled with beans, broth, and torn pieces of fresh bread.
5 from 3 votes

Best Brothy White Beans

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Soaking time for beans 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 55 minutes
Yields: 8 servings


  • 1 lb dry white beans (cannellini, Great Northern, or navy)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 white or yellow onions (or 1 very large), chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped or very thinly sliced
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few sprigs each fresh rosemary and fresh thyme, tied together with twine to make a small herb bouquet
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (you can adjust to to one teaspoon if your broth is salty, but this recipe works well with a good amount of salt!)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice, optional


  • Soak your beans overnight, or use the quick soak method (submerge beans in enough water to cover them by 2 inches and a teaspoon salt, bring to a boil, let sit for 1 hour). Drain beans.
  • Heat your oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion. Sauté for four minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and sauté for another two minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add the beans, broth, bay leaves, herbs, and salt to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook, covered, for 1 hour. Remove the lid to the pot and cook for another 30-45 minutes, or until the beans are quite tender. Remove the bay leaves from the pot. Taste and add freshly ground pepper to taste, along with any additional salt you might like. If you like, you can add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the pot, or you can squeeze it over the beans when you serve them.
  • Serve the beans however you'd like to, or store/freeze for later use.