Not Your Grandma’s Escarole and Beans

Got a craving for a healthy comfort food? Try this escarole and beans recipe. One bite and you’ll be sent to comfort food heaven!

What is Escarole?

If you don’t know, don’t feel bad. I was pretty clueless until about a month ago! I was looking through a grocery flyer (like it’s my weekly magazine) and saw escarole on sale. Being a good foodie, I went out and bought some. And then researched how to prepare it! I figured I’d make it work somehow…

Turns out, escarole (ES-kah-roll) is this crazy leafy green that is okay with being cooked! Here I was, thinking that this would only be a fun addition to a salad. Not really for the taste, but more for boasting! I can hear myself now, with my nose held high…

“Yes, this salad is made with romaine, watercress, and escarole. No iceberg here, dear. We’re so above iceberg…”  

Escarole and Beans Saute

No, this green can be eaten raw, but often finds its way into soups and sautés.

One quick note about escarole: you must wash it really well. There are no two ways about it. I let mine soak in an ice bath for about 30 minutes. Excessive? Research says yes! From what I found on the internet, a swish in some cold water will do the trick. I have had one too many run-ins with live bugs in and on my produce and I want to make sure they are drowned out!

One of the most popular ways I saw escarole prepared was with beans in a soup.

A post on Pinterest post boasted that it was “Italian comfort food”. Italian comfort food?? I’m supposed to be Italian and I’ve never tried this comfort food?!

My Italian grandmother must be shaking her head in disappointment right about now.

So with very little direction, I set out to make my own escarole and beans.

Escarole and Beans Saute

I knew what I wanted, and I knew what I didn’t want.

I didn’t want to be like everyone else on the mighty Pinterest. (And speaking of Pinterest, don’t forget to follow me if you haven’t already!) Don’t get me wrong; they’re probably delicious! There will be no soups today, however. The weather just doesn’t permit it!

I also didn’t want it to just be a dry sauté. No, I wanted something in between. And I wanted it over pasta.

Now that’s what I call Italian comfort food!

Even though it is still mostly good-for-you food, it was extremely satisfying. Usually, when I think of comfort food, I think of foods like mac n’ cheese, pizza, a bowl of noodles with all of the fix-ins, chocolate, and ice cream with all my favorite toppings. (There are a lot of them.)

Escarole and Beans
Would you like a bite?

Add escarole and beans to that list. Even if you don’t, I’m adding it to mine!

What is your favorite comfort food? Let me know in the comments down below!

Cheers dears!


Escarole and Beans

Escarole and Beans Sauté

Escarole and Beans Saute

It’s not traditional Italian, but this recipe for escarole and beans will hit the spot!

  • 1 lb. escarole, washed and cut to 1" chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3/4 cup onion, sliced
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • Medium-sized pasta (such as cavatappi or penne regate), cooked according to box instructions

Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat.

Place onions and garlic into skillet until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.

Place escarole, salt and pepper into the pan. If the pan looks like it's going to overflow, don't worry; allow the escarole to wilt slightly and then add more.

When escarole has wilted, add beans and stock. cook until everything is heated through.

Serve immediately over pasta. Top with parmesan or preferred cheese.

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  1. I know you say that’s not traditional Italian, but that’s pretty much how I’ve made escarole and beans all my life! It’s one of my favorite dishes. 🙂

    1. Really? Every time that I saw escarole and beans, it was always in a soup! But who wants soup in 90 degree weather??

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