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This easy, savory brown-butter white bean purée makes a warm, cozy bed for everything from pork chops to scallops to chicken and beyond. And it couldn’t be easier.

brown butter white bean puree underneath a pork chop with shredded brussels sprouts
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Why we love this recipe

I’m as big a fan of carbs as the next person. Noodles? Good. Potatoes? Good. Rice? Good. But it’s also fun (and delicious!) to think outside the box sometimes. White beans are incredibly flexible, and they make a fabulous, silky purée that complements a wide variety of main dishes.

This recipe is:

  • Full of classic, adaptable flavors
  • Smooth, silky, and just the right thickness
  • So quick — it’s ready in 20 minutes
  • Vegetarian, and full of protein and complex carbs
  • Make-ahead friendly

I first published this recipe here back in 2018. I’ve since updated the post for clarity and made a couple of gentle tweaks to the recipe to make it easier to cook with canned beans.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe. If you use beans cooked from scratch and homemade stock, the flavor of this dish will be positively divine. If you don’t, it will still be great.

ingredients in bowls
  • This recipe starts with cooked white beans. You can use any kind, from cannellini to great northern to navy. The 3 1/2 cups called for in the recipe equals two cans, or one heaping cup of dry beans after cooking. Here’s how to cook beans from dry.
  • You can use vegetable broth to keep things vegetarian, or chicken broth. Imagine No Chicken lower sodium is my favorite vegetable broth by far — the flavor profile is clean and flexible and remarkably similar to chicken broth.
  • I much prefer to use fresh thyme sprigs when possible, but if you don’t have them on hand, as I didn’t when making the video, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme.
  • Use a really good-quality butter if you can. Here and virtually everywhere, I start with a cultured, salted butter from grass-fed cows. This sounds fancy but doesn’t have to be. Kerrygold, for example, is sold in most supermarkets at a reasonable price.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make brown butter white bean purée. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. You’ll start by sautéing the aromatics until softened.
  2. Add the beans and broth and simmer until warmed through and slightly thickened.
  3. Off the heat, add the lemon juice and pepper, and puree until perfectly smooth.
  4. Brown the butter and stir it into the beans. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

What should I serve it with?

The sky’s the limit here, since the flavors of this dish go well with so many meals. I especially like to place a generous scoop of white bean purée into a shallow individual serving bowl and top it with pork chops (pictured), scallops, fish, or chicken.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

You sure can. The purée reheats beautifully, so feel free to make the whole recipe up to a week in advance and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop right before serving. Treat leftovers the same way.

More favorite white bean recipes

brown butter white bean puree underneath a pork chop with shredded brussels sprouts

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brown butter white bean puree underneath a pork chop with shredded brussels sprouts
5 from 3 votes

Brown Butter White Bean Purée

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
Brown butter white bean purée makes a nice bed for a wide variety of meals. Made with beans cooked scratch and homemade stock, the flavors will be robust and mind-blowing. It's also great with canned beans and good-quality broth from a box.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 ½ cups cooked white beans, see note 1 below
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) good salted, cultured butter (such as Kerrygold)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium pot.
  • Add shallot, garlic, thyme, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about two minutes.
  • Stir in beans and broth. Simmer briskly for 5 minutes.
  • Remove thyme sprigs and puree with an immersion blender (or in a regular blender) until perfectly smooth.
  • Stir in lemon juice.
  • In a small skillet over medium heat, melt butter and then cook until foaming subsides and butter solids turn brown at bottom of pan. Swirling the pan gently can help you see what’s going on under there. 
  • When butter is golden brown and smells spectacularly nutty, remove pan from heat.
  • Stir brown butter into bean purée and serve. It will thicken up a bit as it cools.

Notes

  1. This recipe starts with cooked white beans. You can use any kind, from cannellini to great northern to navy. The 3 1/2 cups called for in the recipe equals two cans, or one heaping cup of dry beans after cooking. Here's how to cook beans from dry.
  2. You can use vegetable broth to keep things vegetarian, or chicken broth. Imagine No Chicken lower sodium is my favorite vegetable broth by far — the flavor profile is clean and flexible and remarkably similar to chicken broth.
  3. I much prefer to use fresh thyme sprigs when possible, but if you don't have them on hand, as I didn't when making the video, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme.
  4. Use a really good-quality butter if you can. Here and virtually everywhere, I start with a cultured, salted butter from grass-fed cows. This sounds fancy but doesn't have to be. Kerrygold, for example, is sold in most supermarkets at a reasonable price.
  5. The flavors of this dish go well with so many meals. I especially like to place a generous scoop of white bean purée into a shallow individual serving bowl and top it with pork chops (pictured), scallops, fish, or chicken.
  6. The purée reheats beautifully, so feel free to make the whole recipe up to a week in advance and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop right before serving. Treat leftovers the same way.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 319kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 9mg, Sodium: 472mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Sides
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

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Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

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Subscribe to Umami Girl's email updates, and follow along on Instagram.
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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

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