Crispy roasted white beans are great for snacking and adding flavor and texture to salads, soups, and more! They're packed with protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, making them a plant-based treat that's delicious and healthy. Roast the beans in the oven or air fryer, and try them with a variety of different seasonings!
Different Types of White Beans
Before we dive into the roasting process, let's take a look at the different types of beans you can use for this recipe.
- Cannellini beans: Creamy and mild in flavor, cannellini beans are a favorite of ours for everything from dips and soups to pasta dishes. Their smooth texture makes them ideal for absorbing seasonings and achieving a crispy exterior.
- Great Northern beans: Similar to cannellini beans, Great Northern beans have a delicate taste and a slightly nutty flavor. They are also an excellent choice for roasting.
- Navy beans: These small, oval-shaped beans have a mild flavor and a smooth texture.
- Lima beans: Also known as butter beans, are larger in size, wonderfully creamy inside, and are perfect for roasting.
Now that we have our beans ready, it's time to get roasting! The process is relatively straightforward and requires minimal effort. Here's what you'll need:
- cooked white beans - see varieties above; either canned or homemade
- olive oil or another neutral cooking oil
- salt and pepper
- seasonings: try lemon and garlic or various spice blends like harissa, curry powder, za'atar, or chili powder. Add cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes for some heat!
How to Roast White Beans
- Preheat the oven: Preheat your oven to 420°F (215°C), and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Prepare the beans: Drain and rinse the canned beans, then use paper towels or a tea towel to gently pat them dry. If you accidentally smash some of the beans that's okay! We actually enjoy the variety of having a mix of intact and smashed beans.
- Season the beans: Spread the beans out on the baking sheet. Add the oil and seasonings and toss gently to ensure they are evenly coated.
- Roast: Transfer the beans to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, depending on your desired level of crispiness. Make sure to shake the pan or gently stir the beans at the halfway mark.
- Check for crispiness: Keep a close eye on the beans as they roast; the cooking time may vary based on your oven and the type of bean used. The beans are ready when they turn golden brown and crispy on the outside, but still tender on the inside.
- Taste and serve: Taste for seasoning and serve warm.
Air Fryer White Beans
To make crispy beans in the air fryer:
- Preheat to 400 degrees F (204°C).
- Add the seasoned beans to the basket and give it a shake to spread them out.
- Air fry for about 12 minutes or until they're as crispy as you like.
Since air fryers vary quite a bit, you may need to adjust the cook time.
I like to remove the grate that rests in the bottom of our air fryer because it has holes large enough for beans to fall through. So to simplify things, including clean up, place the beans directly in the basket.
One of the best things about crispy roasted white beans is their versatility. You can experiment with various seasonings and spices to create unique flavor profiles. Here are a few variations we like:
- Lemon-garlic: add lemon zest and a few smashed garlic cloves. To keep the garlic from burning, make sure it is well coated in oil and add it at the halfway mark....or just use garlic powder!
- Curry-spiced beans: Season the beans with curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and a pinch of cinnamon. This variation delivers a burst of warm and aromatic flavors.
- Spicy-Sriracha beans: If you're a fan of spicy heat, toss the beans with sriracha and a dash of soy sauce before roasting.
- Tex-Mex crispy beans: Combine the beans with chili powder, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, and lime zest.
- Harissa white beans: Harissa is one of our favorite seasonings! Sprinkle on as much as you like.
Tip! Keep in mind that some spice blends contain salt, so you won't need to add as much.
Now that you have your crispy roasted white beans, here are some ideas for serving and incorporating them into your meals:
- Snacking - Roast a batch of white beans before settling in for movie night!
- Salad toppers - Sprinkle the roasted beans on top of your favorite salads to add texture and protein. Try them in this hearty roasted broccolini salad!
- Soup garnish - Add a handful of roasted beans on top of soups and stews for an extra layer of texture and flavor.
- Appetizer platter - Include a variety of roasted beans on a snack board along with olives, nuts, crackers, and cheeses for an impressive spread at your next gathering.
Yes, cannellini beans are a type of white bean and are also sometimes called white kidney beans.
In most recipes, any of the following beans can be considered a good substitute for cannellini beans: Navy, Great Northern, Lima, Pinto, and Butter beans.
Yes, white beans are a nutritious food high in fiber and protein and very low in fat. They're a good source of numerous vitamins and minerals, including folate, magnesium, iron, and vitamin B6.
For the crispiest beans, make sure to dry them thoroughly before tossing with the oil and seasonings.
More Cannellini Bean Recipes
Crispy Roasted White Beans (Air Fryer or Oven)
- 1 (15 oz) can white beans, such as cannellini or navy - or approx. 1 ¾ cups cooked beans
- 1 tablespoon oil
- salt and pepper - to taste
- spice blends like harissa, za'atar, curry, or chili powder - see Notes for flavor variations
- Preheat the oven to 420°F (215°C), and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Or if using an air fryer, preheat to 400°F (204°C).
- Rinse and drain the beans, then spread them out on a large tea towel or paper towels and pat dry. If you accidentally smash some of the beans that's okay! We actually enjoy the variety of having some intact and some smashed beans.
- Spread the beans out on a large plate and gently toss with the oil and your choice of seasoning. Taste a few beans to make sure they're well-seasoned. Transfer to the baking sheet or air fryer basket, spreading them out in a single layer.
- Roast in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or air fryer for about 12 minutes. Shake the pan or gently stir the beans at the halfway mark.
- Keep a close eye on the beans as they roast. The beans are ready when golden brown and crispy on the outside, but still tender on the inside. Serve and enjoy!
- Lemon-garlic: Add lemon zest and a few smashed garlic cloves. To help prevent the garlic from burning, make sure it is well coated in oil and add it halfway through cooking.... or use garlic powder.
- Curry-spiced: Season the beans with curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and a pinch of cinnamon or garam masala. This variation delivers a burst of warm and aromatic flavors.
- Spicy-Sriracha beans: Toss the beans with sriracha and a dash of soy sauce before roasting.
- Tex-Mex: Combine the beans with chili powder, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, and lime zest.
- Harissa white beans: Harissa is one of our favorite seasonings! Sprinkle on as much dried harissa as you like.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.