This cheesy white bean tomato bake recipe is filled with flavorful garlic, healthy tomatoes, baked white beans, and just a dash of crushed red pepper, the flavors blend perfectly together. And every bite oozes with melt-in-your-mouth fresh mozzarella.
Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:
- How to make the most out of the ingredients you need to make this cheesy white bean tomato bake recipe.
- Step-by-step instructions on how to make this dish in just 20 minutes.
- Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the ingredients in this recipe as well as how to store it.
When you’ve finished making this recipe, you’ll have the perfect option for those moments when you’re pressed for time but still want a memorable meal!
How to make a Cheesy White Bean Tomato Bake
A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.
STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
STEP TWO: In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, heat the olive oil on medium-high on your stovetop. While the oil heats, slice the garlic cloves.
STEP THREE: Place the garlic cloves in the heated oil to fry until golden brown. Turn the heat down to medium-low so they don’t burn!
STEP FOUR: Add the San Marzano tomatoes to the skillet, and crush with a potato masher. Add the marinara, tomato paste, and seasonings to the crushing tomatoes. Stir and allow to simmer for a few minutes.
STEP FIVE: Add the white beans and stir them into the tomato sauce. Cook for several minutes more.
STEP SIX: Evenly sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top of the tomato and bean mixture and bake for 8-10 minutes until golden in several places. If you’d like the bake even more golden, place under a broiler for 1-2 minutes.
STEP SEVEN: Serve immediately with crostinis and enjoy!
- Buy a block of mozzarella cheese instead of the bagged stuff. Shred it by hand, and you’ll find that the cheese melts a lot better.
- Use about ¾ of the 28 oz can of San Marzanos tomatoes to start. Then, pour in the rest when you pour in the marinara sauce.
Do I Need to Use San Marzano Tomatoes?
You can use any whole peeled canned tomato or crushed tomato, but I find San Marzano tomatoes to be lower in acidity, sweeter, and they contain fewer seeds.
Using San Marzano tomatoes will result in the best-tasting cheesy tomato bake you can make! And boy, this is one tasting appetizer!
If using already crushed tomatoes, you may need to drain out some of the liquid.
Can You Make This Recipe Dairy-Free?
There are so many great dairy-free options out there. You can by all means make this cheesy bean bake without dairy.
If you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, or simply don’t like cheese, feel free to substitute the mozzarella mentioned with a dairy-free cheese product. Several vegan kinds of cheese are plant-based and include soy, seeds, and root vegetables.
You may need to try a few different options to make sure that you’re still getting the same melty consistency as real mozzarella.
How Should You Store Your Cheesy White Bean Tomato Bake?
This baked beans recipe serves 6, but if you decide to double the recipe (or you’re enjoying it in a smaller group) you can store the leftovers.
Place the leftovers in an airtight container, and put them in the refrigerator. The dish will keep for 2-3 days.
Tip: when you’re ready to enjoy, place the bake back in the oven with a bit more cheese on top to freshen up the dish!
Can You Freeze This Cheesy White Bean Tomato Bake?
Yes! If you make a double batch of this recipe, or if you simply want to get ahead for a later day, follow the recipe until Step Five. You can freeze the white beans and tomato mixture in an airtight container for up to six months.
When you’re ready to enjoy, remove the white bean skillet mixture from the freezer.
Reheat the beans and tomatoes at 350 degrees until they are hot. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and bake for 8-10 minutes. Broil for 1-2 minutes for an extra-browned top.
Other Air Fryer Recipes You’ll Love:
- Mango Habanero Salsa
- Garlic Bread in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Scallops
- Air Fryer Meatballs
- Loaded Pub Fries
- Sausage Balls Appetizer
- Air Fryer Bacon Jalapenos
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 5-6 peeled San Marzano tomatoes (from a 28-ounce jar)
- ½ cup jarred marinara sauce
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste with Italian herbs
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 2 (15 ounce) cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups of fresh mozzarella, shredded
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Crostinis for dipping
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
- In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, heat your olive oil on medium-high on the stovetop.
- Place the sliced garlic cloves in the heated oil to fry until golden brown. Turn the heat down to medium-low so as not to burn them.
- Add the tomatoes and crush with a potato masher. Add the marinara, tomato paste, and seasonings to the crushed tomatoes. Stir, and allow to simmer for a few minutes.
- Add the beans and stir them into the tomato sauce. Cook for several minutes more.
- Evenly top the dip with shredded mozzarella cheese and bake for 8-10 minutes until golden in several spots. If you would like it to be more golden, place it under your broiler for 1-2 minutes.
- Serve immediately with your crostinis (if desired) and enjoy.
Crostinis for serving, toasted (450 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes)
Buy the block of cheese and shred by hand to get the cheese strands when you dip. The bagged cheese has a preservative on it that doesn’t allow it to melt as well.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 237Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 354mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 11g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.