Puttanesca Style Beans and Toast

Puttanesca style beans and toast in a bowl

Puttanesca Style Beans and Toast is the most sophisticated meal from the pantry I’ve had in a long time. It marries all the vivacious flavors of one of my favorite Italian pasta recipes with the humble bean, and the result is pure delicious.

Beans Puttanesca with toast, in a white bowl

I’m so excited about this dish, I came up with it to make use of a batch of freshly soaked beans, and it’s pretty ingenious, if I do say so myself. The sophisticated flavors of a classic pasta puttanesca are too good not to reinvent over and over again. I did it recently with chicken thighs, and now with beans. Whichever way you like it, this meal is super healthy ~ the Mediterranean diet continues to be one of the most reliably smart ways to eat we know of.

dried beans in a glass jar

Ingredients for Puttanesca Style Beans and Toast ~

All of these will come from a well stocked pantry…

  • beans ~ you might use dried red, pink, pinto, white, or kidney. Soak them overnight first. I don’t think black beans or chickpeas would work as well. You can use canned beans if you need to, but I prefer dried in this recipe for best flavor and texture.
  • bay leaf
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • red onion
  • canned cherry tomatoes ~ I used Mutti brand. Use whole or chopped tomatoes if you can’t find the cherries. Of course you can use fresh if you’ve got them.
  • olives
  • capers
  • anchovies (optional of course)
  • red pepper flakes
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

Puttanesca style beans in a braising pan

Most of us have dried beans in our kitchen, and most of the time they just take up space. But hopefully you’ll start to see them in a new light after trying this dish.

Why should you eat more beans?

Beans are too good for you to pass up.

  • Beans are an affordable source of protein that is healthier for you (and the planet) than animal protein.
  • Beans are full of fiber, iron, and vitamins.
  • They’re relatively low in calories when compared to other protein sources, and keep you feeling full longer.
  • Beans are a common link in many longevity diet studies.
  • They can help keep your heart and gut healthy, as well as fight cancer.

Beans Puttanesca in a white bowl with toast

It’s all about the garnish…

Thinly sliced and toasted bread makes this meal so satisfying. You can rub a garlic clove over the toasted bread if you like. I like to top my beans with shavings of Parmesan, and some good Italian canned tuna packed in olive oil would not be crazy.

beans puttanesca with wine

Beans, beans…

Puttanesca style beans and toast in a bowl
5 from 6 votes

Puttanesca Style Beans with Toast

Puttanesca Style Beans and Toast is an easy pantry meal that marries the vivacious flavors of pasta puttanesca with the humble bean ~ delicious!!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 1 heaping cup dried beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sea salt
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 8 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • several anchovies, optional
  • splash of dry Sherry or white wine, optional
  • 14 ounce can cherry tomatoes (I use Mutti brand)
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup pimento stuffed green olives, sliced in half
  • 2 Tbsp capers, drained
  • red chili flakes, to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper


  • shavings of Parmesan cheese


  • Soak the beans in plenty of cold water overnight. Drain and add the beans to a large pot. Cover with 2 inches of water, and add the bay leaves, peppercorns, and 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until tender. This might take anywhere from 30-50+ minutes, depending on your beans. Mine took 40 minutes. You want the beans tender, but not mushy. Drain and reserve the liquid, you'll be adding some to the puttanesca sauce. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
  • Put the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes to soften the onions. (If you're using anchovies, add them now as well.) Add the splash of dry sherry to the pan, if using, and stir to allow it to evaporate.
  • Add the canned tomatoes, olives, capers, red pepper flakes, and beans to the pan. Season with black pepper and add a couple of ladles of bean cooking water. Bring up to a simmer and simmer for a few minutes to let the flavor mingle.
  • Toast your bread and serve the beans in shallow bowls with slices of bread on the side. Garnish with shaved Parmesan if you like.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Puttanesca style beans and toast pin

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    November 24, 2020 at 5:59 pm

    5 stars
    Made this tonight with canned beans and fresh tomatoes….with anchovies! WOW, a make again. We really loved it!!!!

    • Reply
      November 24, 2020 at 7:15 pm

      Anchovies make all the difference 😉

  • Reply
    April 11, 2020 at 6:07 am

    5 stars
    This was fantastic! Could only find dry small red beans but so tasty! Will surely make it again.

  • Reply
    Mary Ann Switzer
    April 1, 2020 at 6:33 pm

    5 stars
    This recipe turned out great. I used yellow eye beans from Rancho Gordo. We ate it for dinner and had it again for lunch the next day. I had made challah bread which I toasted in the oven after spreading with garlic butter.I will make this again.

    • Reply
      April 1, 2020 at 7:39 pm

      Sounds so good Mary Ann, this is a dish that keeps on giving 🙂

  • Reply
    Kathleen Frank
    March 28, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    Sue, Just remember that some of your older fans will be quarantined for for 1 1/2 to 2 years until a vaccine is available. We’re stuck ordering on line with curbside pick up from the thoughtful stores that are doing that. Trader Joe’s, which has every item already on line has decided not to be helpful. I miss them so much.
    Looking forward to trying this. I’ve got everything but the anchovies.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    Hi Sue this sounds scrumptious but I had a question. I never heard of canned cherry tomatoes. Is this something that is only sold in an Italian deli? Thanks and thanks for all your yummy recipes.

    • Reply
      March 27, 2020 at 7:21 pm

      The canned tomatoes were right in my grocery aisle. If you can’t find them you can use canned chopped or whole tomatoes, or, of course, fresh. The Mutti brand canned tomatoes are amazing if you can find them.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    This sounds delicious! When you write a recipe for beans could you please include the amount of canned beans also? Thanks in advance

    • Reply
      March 27, 2020 at 4:28 pm

      Hey Sue ~ my one cup of dried beans cooks up to about 2 cups. That’s a little more than a standard 15 ounce can of beans.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2020 at 8:20 am

    Hello Sue!
    Thanks for all your beautiful and delicious recipes! So delicious!
    I love this simple dish, aren’t we all shopping in our pantries more than ever?!
    Could you please state the amount of tomatoes please?
    Yes, we are connecting via group conversations etc… thank goodness we can do that!
    Thanks again, hang in everyone! Hello from Canada!

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