Olivia Piepmeier

Pizza Beans

Categories: main beans pantry
Watercolor illustration of a cast iron pan of pizza beans from above. There is little detail of what's in the pan - it's a mix of red sauce and beige and brown things with a few specks of green.

inspired by New York Times Cooking


  • some EVOO
  • onion, diced (I’ve used 3 small ones or a medium/large one)
  • garlic cloves, thinly sliced (at LEAST 3, but I have done a whole small head)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste (or half a typical tiny-sized can)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans white beans drained and rinsed (or 3 cups fennel beans)
  • ½ cup water to boil (I usually “prep” by making sure that’s how much is in the kettle and boil during step 3)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Oregano
  • ⅓ pound mozzarella (or combo of mozzarella and another mild white cheese), coarsely grated or chopped
  • Your favorite hearty bread, toasted 


  1. Heat the oven to 475 degrees.
  2. In a 10-inch (or so) ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium.
  3. Sauté the onion until softened with a little browning. This could be 5-10 minutes. I usually boil the water in a kettle during this time.
  4. Add the garlic and sauté until lightly golden, about 1 minute.
  5. Stir in the tomato paste and fry for 30 seconds, reducing the heat as needed to prevent the garlic from burning.
  6. Add the beans, recently-boiled water, s&p, pepper flakes, and oregano and mix well.
  7. Turn off the heat.
  8. Spread the mixture evenly across the pan then sprinkle/place the cheese evenly over the top.
  9. Put the skillet in the oven and bake until the cheese has melted and browned in spots, 10 minutes. If the top is not as toasted as you’d like, run the skillet under the broiler for a minute or 2.
  10. Spread on your toasty bread. 


This..this is THE recipe. This is what really got me thinking about having some sort of food blog. First, how is this not called Pizza Beans already? Second, how the hell did they not put onions in the original? This might be my favorite recipe…and I couldn’t even share it with people without having all these caveats that are hard to explain (like fennel beans!). Perhaps it’s ironic that I’m 30-some recipes into this blog and just rolling this baby out. I know how this happened - I started the blog in the summer, the time of produce abundance. While this recipe is good any time of year, it’s a pantry recipe. My dedication to seasonal eating makes this one just not appear too often until winter. Also…it’s hard to illustrate! I try not to make judgement calls on the art I make for this but this is another one of recent that I can’t make “pretty.” It’s too good. May Pizza Beans bless your kitchen in the near future.