Sweet & Smoky White Beans | 7 Ingredients

GFGluten FreeGRGrain FreeNFNut FreeOFOil FreeVVegan

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These sweet & smoky white beans are simmered in a silky and flavorful tomato & red pepper sauce and make the perfect side. Vegan & Gluten-Free!

I’m a firm believer that beans are far from boring. Okay – plain beans? Not the best. But add some spices, a pinch of salt, and maybe a veggie or two? Then you’ve got yourself a delicious, nutritious side or main. Not to mention that beans are a great heart-healthy source of protein and fiber! 

Today we’re doctoring up the classic white bean with a luscious smoky (and subtly sweet) sauce made from simple, plant-based ingredients. It’s definitely my new favorite way to eat white beans, and that’s saying something!

sweet and smoky white beans in red sauce in white bowl topped with parsley


This wholesome and comforting recipe comes together with only 7 plant-based ingredients:

ingredients for sweet and smoky white beans on wood cutting board

  • White Beans: Navy, Cannelini, Great Northern, Broad – any will work here! I used canned Cannelini beans that were packaged with salt. If you opt to cook your own beans from home, know that you may need to add more salt to the recipe.
  • Fire Roasted Tomatoes: because nobody has time to roast their own! Fire-Roasted Tomatoes not only pack a great acidic punch, but also have a nice smoky flavor.
  • Roasted Red Peppers: you can go the homemade or store-bought route for these, but whatever you do don’t skip them! Roasted red peppers add a subtle tang, more depth of flavor, and a silky smooth texture to the sauce.
  • Onion and Garlic: for flavor – I went with a red onion to bring more sweetness to the sauce, but a yellow will work in a pinch.
  • Spices: smoked paprika and cumin, to be exact. I am obsessed with the smoky sweetness of smoked paprika, and cumin helps to round things out

I love this recipe because it uses easy-to-find and budget-friendly ingredients, but doesn’t fall short on flavor! I’m willing to bet you already have most (if not all) of them already in your pantry.


canned beans dumped into pot with sauce before stirringlarge spoon holding cooked beans after simmering

  1. Blend the sauce ingredients together in a bullet or high-speed blender
  2. Add the sauce and beans to a large pot and stir together
  3. Simmer for 15-18 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and beans become infused with flavor.

Before you know it you’ll be left with a pot of umami-rich, smoky, and creamy white beans ready to be devoured. You can eat them straight out of the pot if you’d like, or go a more civilized route and pair them with your favorite foods.

white pot of sweet & smoky white beans in red sauce garnished with chopped parsley


My favorite way to enjoy these beans is in warm grain bowls with greens and roasted veggies, but don’t stop there! Here are a few other ways to serve them:

  • Over a bed of garlicky sautéed spinach or kale,
  • On toasted sourdough (don’t knock it till you try it!),
  • Stuffed into roasted sweet potatoes,
  • Used as an unconventional (though hearty) pasta sauce, and
  • Rolled up in wraps and burritos!

These sweet & smoky white beans are simmered in a silky and flavorful tomato & red pepper sauce and make the perfect side. Great for an easy weeknight recipe or meal prep! Vegan & Gluten-Free.

If you’re looking for more mouth-watering bean recipes, you’ll also love these Instant Pot Chipotle Black Beans and these Instant Pot Refried Beans! Or hey, Hummus is always a great option too 😉 

Finally, if you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I love seeing your delicious recreations 🙂


Sweet & Smoky White Beans

These sweet & smoky white beans are simmered in a silky and flavorful tomato & red pepper sauce and make the perfect side. Vegan & Gluten-Free!

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  •  4 cups (1040 g) cooked white beans; about 3 cans
  • 14.5 oz (410 g) can fire-roasted and diced tomatoes 
  • 1/2 cup (106 g) roasted red peppers (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1/2 small red onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika 
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste 
  • Black pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) filtered water
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)


  1. Thoroughly drain and rinse your beans, if you are using canned.
  2. Add the tomatoes, roasted red pepper, red onion, garlic, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, and water to a bullet or high-speed blender. Blend on high for 30 to 45 seconds, until a smooth sauce forms.
  3. Pour the sauce into a large pot, add the beans, and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low once simmering and cook for an additional 15 to 18 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the beans begin to splatter you can loosely cover the pot with a lid, leaving space for steam to escape. The beans are finished once the sauce has thickened to your liking.
  4. Serve warm, and as desired. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, or can be frozen for up to 2 months.


  • Beans: any white (or non-white) bean will work for this recipe- I used cannellini beans. If you are using salt-free beans, increase the salt to 1/2 teaspoon, adding more to taste.

Keywords: white beans, vegan white beans, white bean recipe, smoky beans, smoky beans recipe vegan, oil free beans, beans in tomato sauce, tomato beans,

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About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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  1. This recipe was perfect to use what I have on hand for shelter in place! I had to make some changes to use what I had on hand, but the spice combination is really what makes this dish. I used plain diced tomatoes, no roasted peppers, and used vegetable broth instead of water. I ended up letting it cook in the oven for a bit to get more of a roasted flavor.

    1. Happy to hear you were able to use what you had on hand! Improvising is definitely a required skill right now!

  2. These were amazing – even my (non-vegan) family loved it!
    Made these with a mix of beans since I only had a can of each and mashed some in the pot just to get a thicker consistency. Besides that, I wouldn’t change a thing. Thanks for sharing this!