I recently saw a photo of a cast iron pan full of beans in a cheesy tomato sauce. It looked delicious but the picture has no recipe attached. So I went to my kitchen and created this dish with what I had on hand. This Butter Bean Casserole With Tomato and Cheese is super easy to make, and was a warm and comforting lunch.

My inspiration picture used cannellini beans, but I didn’t have any in the house. I used butter beans instead which I think worked perfectly. I think cannellini beans could work as well. So use whatever you have at the moment.

My other ingredients included turnip tops, tomato paste, ricotta cheese, some spices, and a light shredding of Fontina cheese to melt on top. I served this butter bean casserole with crusty Italian flatbread.


butter bean casserole

Butter Bean Casserole

This simple bean dish makes a warm and comforting lunch or side dish.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian, Mediterranean


  • 2 14.5-ounce cans butter beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped turnip tops
  • 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried Italian herb blend
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup Fontina cheese shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano


  • Preheat oven to 385 degrees F.
  • In a medium stock pot, warm the beans up over a low heat.
  • Add the tomato paste and a splash of water. Stir gently until combined, careful not to break up the beans. You don't need to cook it at this stage. I just warm it up so that the tomato paste can break down.
  • Add the turnip tops, ricotta cheese, Italian herbs, and red pepper flakes, and stir to combine.
  • Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish. I used a square dish about 8"x8"
  • Sprinkle the top with Fontina cheese and oregano.
  • Bake in the oven uncovered for 10-15 minutes until the cheese melts. I put the broiler on for just a few seconds to make the top brown and bubbly.
  • I served this casserole with crusty Italian bread drizzled with extra virgin olive oil


You can substitute cannellini beans for the butter beans.
Keyword beans, casserole

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