Greens and Beans is a classic Italian recipe that's as delicious and healthy as it is comforting. Made with escarole, cannellini beans, chicken broth, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and Romano cheese, you'll want to make this easy regional specialty again and again!

Greens and Beans

Greens and Beans is a classic Italian recipe that's as delicious and healthy as it is comforting. You'll want to make this regional specialty again and again!

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword greens and beans
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Author Patty Scuteri and Rose Scuteri


  • 3 bunches fresh escarole, cleaned, trimmed and cut into chunks
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, half of them whole, the other half minced or pressed
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (depending how spicy you want it- start with less, you can always add more later)
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1-2 14.5 ounce cans chicken broth (if you use two it will be more like a soup)
  • Romano cheese, to taste


  1. Boil the escarole for 5 minutes to par cook. You may need to do it in batches so as not to overload the pot. Drain and set aside. Note: you can also just add the greens raw in later steps but I learned to par cook them first.

  2. While the escarole is boiling, heat the oil over medium high heat. 

  3. Add 3 cloves of whole garlic and crushed red pepper flakes to taste (the more you add the spicier it will be- I encourage you to at least add a little). Stir and turn the garlic often until it is golden brown (keep an eye on it, if it burns you'll have to clean the pan and start over again).

  4. Once the garlic cloves have been removed, add the beans, broth and using a garlic press, add the remaining garlic cloves into the pan. Cook for a couple minutes stirring frequently.

  5. Add the escarole and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for 15-20 minutes uncovered, stirring periodically.

  6. Sprinkle with Romano cheese to taste (this replaces salt) and serve immediately. 

Recipe Notes

This keeps well for a week in the refrigerator and also freezes well.