This is odd, in the most delectable way.

But I had to make it. Anytime I come across a recipe with the word “gratin” in it, it must be made. I mean… it’s like a law of life. Or something. Sort of how you immediately follow the person on Twitter with like 78 kajillion followers, even though you have no idea who they are, because they *must* be popular. Maybe like how you are constantly tempted to click that big, giant X in the corner of your browser every time I bring up the same 1990s pop culture reference. Or maybe… just maybe… how you cringe the entire time watching Kenny Powers but can’t turn away because you secretly love the trainwreck that he is. So much.

See? Laws of life people. Learn them.

This original recipe called for the soaking and cooking of your dry white beans with lots of delicious spices and flavorings. Is flavorings a word? It is now. But I… didn’t really have time for that. In other words, I couldn’t be bothered. It’s unfortunate, since freshly cooked beans are my favorite, but I had more important things to do like catch that 90210 triple play (click the X now), brown some butter, and run out and buy an ice cream maker for the sole purpose of making strawberry cookie dough ice cream from joy’s book.


Ice cream for everyone!

But first, beans for everyone.

Don’t look at me that way.

Half of this mixture is pureed, making the entire dish incredibly creamy. Topped with the crunchity crunch crunch of panko and three different cheeses, I was tempted to eat the first layer alone. But then I’d miss all the… fun.

This was an awesome change up for a side dish, and something totally new-to-me. Sometimes you need that, you know? Newness: eat it tonight.

White Bean Gratin

[adapted from gourmet]

serves 4-6 as a side dish

3 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 large shallot, finely diced

3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2/3 cup panko bread crumbs

3/4 cup freshly grated gruyere cheese

1/2 cup freshly grated fontina cheese

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a bowl, combine cheeses with panko bread crumbs, then set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-2 heat. Add shallot with a sprinkle of salt and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add in 2 of the minced garlic cloves and cook for 30 seconds, then add in white beans and stir. Let beans heat for 3-4 minutes, then remove 2 cups of beans and place them in a blender. Add in stock, milk, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper, blending until totally smooth. Pour contents back into the skillet and stir to combine.

Spray a baking dish [mine was 6×10, but any dish you want is fine – round, square, etc] with nonstick spray. Scoop bean mixture into the dish and spread with a spatula to even out the top. Lay cheese and bread crumb mixture over top. Drizzle with remaining olive oil. Bake for 23-25 minutes, until top is golden and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Oh and you should probably pair it with a juicy filet. And wine. Lots. Duh.

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88 Responses to “White Bean Gratin.”

  1. #
    Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles — February 29, 2012 @ 8:02 am

    I would have never been creative enough to come up with this but I love white beans so I think this is the perfect dish! SO many good things going on here! …..I’m game for this knocking the socks off of everyone at the next family event!


  2. #
    Kathryn — February 29, 2012 @ 8:02 am

    This sounds…intriguing! I love white beans but I’ve never thought about eating them in a creamy gratin but, now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense!


  3. #
    Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids — February 29, 2012 @ 8:07 am

    I have never heard of anything like this, but since you never make or create anything bad, I am definitely excited to try it. And…I totally love your 90210 references because, well, I get you. :)


  4. #
    heather — February 29, 2012 @ 8:10 am

    Love gruyere and fontina… and with panko?! Need.


  5. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — February 29, 2012 @ 8:12 am

    This looks amazing!! Great creation, I bet it tastes so good!!!


  6. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — February 29, 2012 @ 8:16 am

    um, i’m in love. seriously, this is a law of life…just like kenny powers :)


  7. #
    Chefblogdigest — February 29, 2012 @ 8:16 am

    This recipe is interesting. I would love to try it those photos looks good.


  8. #
    kathleen @ the daily crumb — February 29, 2012 @ 8:19 am

    this is such a unique and creative recipe! and basically anything with a crunch top is fantastic. can’t wait to try!


  9. #
    Kim in MD — February 29, 2012 @ 8:22 am

    You are so creative, Jessica, and this gratin looks delicious!


  10. #
    Clare @ SweetnSimple — February 29, 2012 @ 8:25 am

    Looks awesome!


  11. #
    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) — February 29, 2012 @ 8:25 am

    This is totally up my alley on the bean side, but you know I’m gonna have to play with the cheese part. The boys would go crazy for this one! This dish sounds and looks unbelievably delicious!


  12. #
    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh — February 29, 2012 @ 8:32 am

    Wow, I must echo other to say I never would’ve thought of this combo! But I’m glad you did!


  13. #
    Simply Life — February 29, 2012 @ 8:32 am

    oh my gosh. you are too funny! I love reading your posts- ha, and I now I’ll be waiting for that ice cream… :)


  14. #
    Bev Weidner — February 29, 2012 @ 8:36 am

    I see a white bean gratin snuggle sesh in my fuchah.


  15. #
    Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy — February 29, 2012 @ 8:40 am

    I just made a cauliflower gratin and it was amazing. Anything with breadcrumbs and melty cheese makes me an immediate happy camper. Oh and <3 Kenny Powers. This gratin is f*#$ing in.


    • Jessica — February 29th, 2012 @ 8:42 am



  16. #
    Katrina — February 29, 2012 @ 8:46 am

    My mouth is full out watering. Awesome.


  17. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — February 29, 2012 @ 8:55 am

    Oh don’t you dare stop with those 90’s references – I love them!!!


  18. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — February 29, 2012 @ 9:03 am

    I almost never take the time to soak beans so I’m happy this works well with canned. I don’t even need anything else, this could be my whole meal!


  19. #
    Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten-Free — February 29, 2012 @ 9:17 am

    Wow wow wow, this looks so good! Anything gratin is a win in my book. Plus, you can always top with super crispy pancetta bits. Yum!


  20. #
    Mimi — February 29, 2012 @ 9:22 am

    Hmmmm….I too love anything Gratin but I think I’ll add some bacon crumbles (unless I eat the rest of the bacon before I make this tonight!) to the topping just because!


  21. #
    Cait's Plate — February 29, 2012 @ 9:24 am

    I love this idea! I NEVER would have thought of it myself, but that’s what I have you for :)

    And flavorings is definitely a word (don’t tell me if it’s really not – it will crush the bubble I live in)


  22. #
    Parita @ myinnershakti — February 29, 2012 @ 9:29 am

    Beans have never looked so good! Love this concept!


  23. #
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — February 29, 2012 @ 9:57 am

    I know you love white bean anything…this looks like something I can see you making!


  24. #
    Mary — February 29, 2012 @ 10:01 am

    this looks great! ive been wanting something to make with the billions of cans of white beans i seem to have sitting around all the time. p.s. i keep missing the 90210 triple play but have now realized they have like every single episode on youtube. my productive life has now ceased to exist. although i don’t think it ever really existed in the first place but thats besides the point.


  25. #
    Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables — February 29, 2012 @ 10:04 am

    So glad to hear you finally got that ice cream maker!!! Prepare to be addicted.


  26. #
    Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen — February 29, 2012 @ 10:08 am

    I will absolutely be making this! I’m having a love affair with beans right now and looking for any new way to make them. I’m also cheating on beans with fontina cheese, which is my other lover. I can’t wait!


  27. #
    Caitlin @ Cake with Love — February 29, 2012 @ 10:44 am

    So cheesy, oh so sheesy, this recipe goes right into my to do list!


  28. #
    Caitlin @ Cake with Love — February 29, 2012 @ 10:45 am

    sorry for the typo, I meant cheesy!


  29. #
    Chelsy — February 29, 2012 @ 10:45 am

    white beans are my absolute fave…especially tossed with some arugula and drizzle of olive oil! Wait…did I just say salad? I mean…baked in a delicious dish with 3 cheeses…sorry, haven’t had my coffee yet. I think I will have to make a trek to the store to pick up Joy’s book today now that you have mentioned that ice cream…like I wasn’t dying to purchase it yet! Off to get the book and some wine! Is it 5 o’clock yet?


  30. #
    Rachel — February 29, 2012 @ 10:59 am

    This looks amazing! But what were the spices they recommended cooking the beans with? I just can’t deal with canned beans, they taste tinny to me and have, erm, side effects, so if I’m going to be soaking and cooking them anyway… I can never figure out what spices to put with white beans.

    But yeah. Cheese improves everything.


    • Jessica — February 29th, 2012 @ 11:02 am

      I honestly don’t remember what all was in the recipe but I know it included a few chopped onions, carrots, and celery!


  31. #
    Stefanie — February 29, 2012 @ 11:00 am

    I love this idea! My husband is a veggie hater just like you kind of are, and I know he will love this!!


  32. #
    Larissa — February 29, 2012 @ 11:01 am

    Is this something you could serve as a dip? With, maybe, pita chips? Or even *gasp* veggies? Kinda like hummus-y, only with yumminess melted on top? Sounds delicious!!


    • Jessica — February 29th, 2012 @ 11:02 am

      hmmm I didn’t think of that… possibly? It still has a good amount of full beans in it though, but that may work!


  33. #
    Erica — February 29, 2012 @ 11:05 am

    beans and cheese are ridiculous good together. I think its like the main reason I like mexican food so much…or maybe thats tortilla chips. Regardless, I want in on this


  34. #
    Elizabeth @ chronic venture — February 29, 2012 @ 11:06 am

    this dish fascinates me!


  35. #
    Lauren — February 29, 2012 @ 11:07 am

    This sounds oddly delicious and addicting…..I think you are my favorite person today!


  36. #
    Betsy — February 29, 2012 @ 11:08 am

    Agreed! I too cannot resist a gratin. I must have made a dozen of them on my blog. Double agreed with the 90210. Was watching one the other day where Dylan was wearing overalls with one strap down! Now if that isn’t uber 90’s reference, I don’t know what is!


  37. #
    Maria — February 29, 2012 @ 11:32 am

    Not odd at all-DELICIOUS!


  38. #
    Ashley — February 29, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    Oh man. You’ve done it again! Well, always…every single day, you’ve done it. And Kenny Powers?? bahahaaaa


  39. #
    B — February 29, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

    i am unfortunately going dairy free right now due to my daughter’s allergies so i am only able to drool at the picture on the screen. but you made it up to me with a kenny powers reference-i groan every time my husband and i sit down to watch him but i literally cannot stop watching!


  40. #
    Alissa — February 29, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

    Um, half the reason I read your blog is for the 1990s references. Please don’t stop!


  41. #
    Melanie — February 29, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

    Mmmm looks beyond scrumptious. i can’t even take it. This beaner lives for beans!!


  42. #
    Cassie — February 29, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

    So, sadly I’m not a fan of white beans. But the flavors in this are right up my alley and it looks so amazing. I might have to give white beans another try!


  43. #
    Jen @ keepitsimplefoods — February 29, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

    This dish sounds amazing and I love that it’s veggie friendly!


  44. #
    Tina — February 29, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

    yes. yes. yes.

    I freaking love white beans! i need to make this… like yesterday!!!


  45. #
    Em (Wine and Butter) — February 29, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

    I would never ever click X on your blog …. and most particularly least of all when you are making references to the 90’s. I LOVE them!!

    (It was my BFF’s hen do last weekend and we had a 90’s themed cocktail drinking, jerk chicken eating, sort of a bit assualting the DJ craaazy time. I wore a Saved By The Bell T shirt – you totally should have been there!)

    This dish looks amazing!! I love beans… never crave them but really love them! Plus youve made them pretty!


  46. #
    Ali @ Around the VeggieTable — February 29, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

    Oh sweet Moses that looks heavenly. I’m such a bean freak–I LOVE them. Oh and please please please tell me that you will be having some ice cream recipes on the way now because I’m just dying for something new to do with my beautiful ice cream maker.


  47. #
    joelle (on a pink typewriter) — February 29, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

    Gratin ANYTHING is always a delight.


  48. #
    Margarita — February 29, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

    Gratin’s are great. Love everything that’s in this, beans and three cheese cruchy top.


  49. #
    Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — February 29, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

    Love anything with the word ‘gratin’ in it…it’s like a prerequisite that it MUST be fantastic!


  50. #
    amyt @ Chicken Nugget Momma — February 29, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

    OMG – Kenny Powers Rocks ….. LOL I know some of the things are so wrong, but I cannot stop watching.



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