Easy Garlicky White Beans with Couscous — a well-balanced, vegan family-friendly recipe that comes together in about 20 mins.
Hi friends! Emily here, sharing my first recipe for you fiiiine readers of TME. Before we get into the details of these Easy Garlicky White Beans with Couscous, a little about me and my food philosophy.
Our family is pretty special-diet agnostic when it comes to what we eat. We generally try to make food choices that are as humane and sustainable as is reasonably possible, striving for progress over perfection (a cliché I used to loathe, but totally applies here) and understanding that sometimes feeding three people with three very different preferences means settling for the lowest common denominator (pizza). So when S and I were brainstorming ideas for my first contribution, I pitched a family-friendly recipe that is a hands-down win in our house: a super-tasty Smoked Gouda Instant Pot Mac and Cheese. “I got it, I got it! You came to me for ‘real life’ recipes, and it doesn’t get any more real life than homemade mac and cheese that comes together in 15 minutes!!” (I sold it pretty hard.)
Welp, turns out it does get more real life than mac and cheese, because Shana promptly informed me that what readers (hey, that’s you!) have really been after are inspired recipes that are more sustainable in nature. Featuring more plants and less, uh, cheese. So if you’re sitting there thinking, but dannnng, girl, I was getting real excited for summa dat mac and cheese… well, this, my friends, is on you. And good on ya, because as much as I LOVE ME some mac n’ cheese, these Garlicky White Beans deliver the same level of homestyle comfort in a dish that’s light, bright and perfect for summer.
Easy Garlicky White Beans & Couscous Recipe
Let’s break it down. A bed of quick-cooking couscous (or quinoa, if you’re avoiding gluten). Tender white beans (I threw some pinto beans into the mix, too, just for color) and LOADS of mild, garlic-studded olive oil. A simple trio of savory seasonings that you’re likely to have sitting in your pantry at this very moment. Vivacious herbs (oh, but the herbs..!). And just enough lemon to make the whole shebang sing. *cue angelic harmonies*
This, my friends, is responsible weeknight dining at its best. Flavorful, kid-friendly, totally plant-based and, perhaps best yet, ready in 20 minutes.
- 2 cans white (cannellini) beans
- 2 cups uncooked Israeli pearl couscous (about one 8.8 oz box)
- 1 can pinto beans
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 10 large cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 3/4 tsp pink himalayan salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- pea shoots or arugula, for serving
- fresh dill, chopped (for serving)
- fresh chives, chopped (for serving)
- lemon wedges, for serving
- Drain beans and rinse well. Set aside.
- Cook couscous according to package instructions.
- While couscous cooks, Add olive oil, garlic and onion to a large cold cast iron skillet or Dutch oven and set over medium-low to medium heat. (If you know your stove tends to run hot, act conservatively to start. Burning the garlic means starting from scratch, and there's a lot of good oil in the pan we don't want to waste!)
- Bring oil, garlic and onion to temperature together, stirring frequently, about 8-10 mins, until oil is frothy and garlic and onion are tender and silky but not browned. (If you sense they are beginning to brown at all, reduce heat, removing the pan from heat briefly, if needed, to slow cooking.)
- Add beans, salt, paprika and cumin to garlic mixture and toss gently to heat through, about 2 mins. Taste and adjust with more salt, if needed.
- Serve beans atop couscous topped with plenty of the fresh dill and chives, a handful of pea shoots or arugula, and lots of fresh lemon squeezed over the top. Enjoy!
For a gluten-free variation: serve the beans over quinoa or cauliflower rice, instead.
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P.S. All joking aside, if you have a preference for the types of recipes I share here in the future, please please comment below! And don’t forget to follow me on The Pig & Quill and Instagram (@thepigandquill) for more inspired family recipes and salty scribblings from my kitchen and home life. Byeeeeee!
And this one’s for the Pinners…