Pan-Fried Butter Beans and Greens

Pan-Fried Butter Beans and Greens

We’re happy to conclude our month of farmers’ market finds with a skillet dinner from Dishing Up the Dirt, the beautiful new cookbook from Oregon farmer Andrea Bemis. It requires only a handful of ingredients, but it’s satisfying and delicious. “This recipe has changed my life,” she says. Here’s how to whip it up…

Pan-Fried Butter Beans and Greens
From Andrea Bemis, author of Dishing Up The Dirt

I first made this recipe up after an incredibly long and hard day out in the fields. With only a can of butter beans and a bunch of fresh kale, the dish was born. I turn to it often for a quick dinner when my husband Taylor and I are drained but need nourishment. If we serve this as a complete meal, I’ll top the beans and kale with a few fried eggs. This is a crowd-pleaser, so just double the batch if you’re expecting company.

Pan-Fried Butter Beans and Greens
Serves two main courses or four side-dish portions

You’ll need:

3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 (15-oz) can butter beans, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups kale, tough stems discarded, torn into bite-sized pieces
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring often. Add the beans in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, and cook until they are lightly browned on the undersides, about 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the beans and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, kale, salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook until the kale begins to wilt, about 2 minutes. Mix in the lemon juice and cook for 1 minute longer, stirring until everything is evenly coated.

Divide the beans among the plates. Top with plenty of Parmesan and enjoy.

Thank you so much, Andrea! Your new cookbook is wonderful.

P.S. More recipes, including a three-ingredient tomato sandwich and fettuccine with kale, caramelized onions and goat cheese.

(Reprinted from Dishing Up The Dirt: Simple Recipes for Cooking Through the Seasons. Copyright 2017 by Andrea Bemis. Photo by Andrea Bemis. Published by Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Thanks to Stella Blackmon for editing this series.)

  1. Michelle says...

    I finally made this tonight. It was easy and delicious! — although admittedly, my 4-year-old ate most of it and didn’t leave much for me. I need to triple it next time. :) Thanks for posting the recipe!

  2. This was an easy and big hit at home last night. Thank you for sharing.. a perfect farmers market dinner!

  3. This was a slam dunk dinner last night. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Helen says...

    Ok, so I made a version of this tonight to go with grilled lemon and oregano-marinated lamb. I used cannellini beans and spinach and sprinkled feta at the end. Amazing! And so quick and easy. It’ll definitely be a to-go side in our house. Thank you!

  5. This looks amazing, have to try it out tonight! Thanks for sharing <3

  6. This dish looks very simple and easy to make.I have never tried like this.Wanna try to make one soon.

  7. Anna says...

    Well, my meal plan for the week blew up upon reading this recipe. I already had a fridge stocked for the next few meals, but I haven’t been able to get this out of my head since spotting it earlier this week, which meant that a 9pm grocery run was in order on the way home from too many hours of work. And it was as crave-worthy as I imagined, unfathomably quick, and required only two ingredients that I didn’t happen to have on hand. This will be come a staple in our rotation.

    Also – it feels like a summer-y rendition of one of my all-time winter favorites:

  8. Miriam says...

    Made this last night with garbanzo beans and ate it with some slices of baguette and ricotta cheese smeared on it that was leftover from another meal over the weekend. I didn’t have any lemon in the house but it was still super tasty. I doubled the recipe and have enough food for 3 meals. Thanks for the delicious and super affordable idea!

  9. My dad just made this for me on Sunday!! It was so good.

    I’ve had Andrea’s cookbook for 2 months and am nearly at every recipe in Spring so far :)

  10. Shannon says...

    Just made this last night and it was so good – like, surprisingly good. And I even forgot to add the cheese! I will be making this on the regular from now on, and am excited to try it with fried egg too.

  11. Elise says...

    Andrea’s book has become my go-to cookbook. It’s absolutely delicious, easy and tasteful for all. The rosemary bourbon cocktail is to die for.

  12. August says...

    This looks so delicious, hope it will work without a garlic, as I have an intolerence… :)

  13. Thank you for introducing me to Andrea and Dishing Up the Dirt! She has such a beautiful website…full of beautiful, nutrient-dense delights!

  14. Katie says...

    Ok I made this dinner tonight and holy cow it’s delicious!!!! So easy, quick, healthy, and just so tasty! Thank you for sharing, definitely adding this to my recipe rotation.

  15. Laura says...

    I tried to find butter beans in the supermarket here in CA, no luck. Did a quick google and it seems like they also go by Lima beans in most places in the country (outside the south?)

    The Lima beans in the supermarket were only available dry, not canned but hopefully that works alright.

    • Melissa says...

      FYI in my supermarket they aren’t with all the other beans, they’re in the Spanish/Mexican section with all the Goya canned products. Hope that helps!

    • Katie says...

      I couldn’t find butter/lima beans here in Chicago so I bought “Great Northern Beans” instead. They didn’t hold their shape and went totally mushy but this was still a delicious meal! Love these simple, minimal prep but amazing tasting meals!

  16. Marion says...

    This may simply be a case of great minds thinking alike, but this is remarkably similar to Heidi Swanson’s recipe “Pan-Fried Corona Beans and Kale” which was published on her website back in 2010 and then featured by Food52 in their Genius Recipes column in 2014.

    • Lizzie says...

      This also made me think of Heidi Swanson’s chickpea and dandelion greens from Super Natural Everyday. I’ve been making it for years with kale and it is such a great quick meal. Now I have even more variations to try with a different bean!

  17. I’ve made a version of this before and stuffed it into baked sweet potatoes, but I love the extra step here of browning the beans.

    • Rae says...

      Ooh, that sounds like a great addition to a delicious looking recipe!

  18. Nancy Wallace says...

    I make a avery similar dish and serve it on toast. Everyone in our household loves it!

  19. Katy says...

    so… dinner for tomorrow is solved. Thanks.

  20. Lauren E. says...

    I’m going to file this recipe to “things to eat when my meat-eater husband is out of town.” Or, I’d top it with a chicken breast for him. :) Looks delicious!

    • Katie says...

      brown up some crumbled sausage before you add the beans and kale. that’s what we do, in fact having it tonight! it’s KILLER served over creamy polenta…

  21. Sara says...

    My sister recommended the Dishing up the Dirt blog to me years ago, and I have been following it ever since. I always enjoy Andrea’s recipes and have been cooking my way through her cookbook. Everything is delicious! Her recipes are the perfect way to use all of the amazing fresh spring and summer produce available now.

  22. J says...

    I love the simplicity of Andrea’s recipes! Her cookbook is a gem. Thanks so much for sharing xx

  23. Mer says...

    Looks good! I just got done eating my lunch of kale (from my garden) and eggs.

  24. Looks so yummy and seems to be totally my taste!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  25. This looks amazing!