Cannelini Beans in White Sauce

“My grandmother used to tell me to combat the gas and bloating from beans with lemon juice. Personally, I love this recipe, and while beans can seem heavy, the citrus brightens and lightens the whole thing up-pair them with a crisp Marouli Salad for a light lunch!” -Chef Maria Loi

Serves 4

  • 1 pound dried cannellini beans
  • 2 medium red onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Athena Kolymvari Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (no stems), for garnish


  1. The night before you plan to serve this dish, place the beans in a large bowl with water to cover by 2 or 3 inches. Set aside to soak overnight.

  1. The next day, drain the beans into a colander and discard the soaking liquid. Place the beans in a large pot, add water to cover, bring to a boil and cook until they are fairly soft, about 30 minutes. Remove the beans from the heat and drain them into a large colander, discarding the cooking liquid. Rinse the beans well and drain them again.

  1. Meanwhile, in a separate large pot, sauté the onions until golden and softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the olive oil, garlic, 4 cups water, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil.

  1. Add the beans to the pot with the onions. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the mixture until the beans are tender and the sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, add the lemon juice, and allow the beans to rest for about 10 minutes so they will absorb some of the cooking liquid. Garnish with parsley.

Cook’s note: The cooking time for this dish will vary depending on the quality and origin of the beans, so be sure to check the beans for tenderness and adjust the timing as needed. If necessary, add water so the beans don’t dry out.

Click below to try some amazing Greek recipes featuring Athena olive oil courtesy of
Chef Maria Loi, International Ambassador of Greek Gastronomy


Cannelini Beans

Fish en Papillote

Lemon-Olive Oil Cake

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