One-Pot Brothy Beans with Herbs & Lemon

Created by Laura Wright
4.97 from 60 votes

These one-pot vegan brothy beans are super flavourful with herbs, lemon, garlic, chili, well-browned onions and shallots, and umami-rich miso paste added at the end. A deeply savory pot of beans awaits after 1 ½ hours of mostly inactive simmering time.

An overhead shot of an individual serving of brothy beans in a bowl. The beans are topped with chopped herbs and there is a piece of bread being dipped into the broth.
An up close, overhead shot of a Dutch oven filled with a batch of brothy beans. The beans are garnished with chopped herbs and a ladle is sticking out of the pot.
An overhead shot of raw ingredients used in a brothy beans recipe. There is: celery, thyme, oregano, miso, shallots, onions, lemon, garlic, olive oil, spices, bay leaves, dill, parsley, soaking white beans, and vegetable stock. All photographed on a wooden board.
An overhead shot of ingredients that are prepped: shallots and onions are quartered through the root, celery is cut into sticks, garlic cloves are sliced, spices are measured, and herbs are minced. All photographed on an old baking sheet.
An overhead shot of well-browned quarters of onion, celery sticks, and shallots. Bits of garlic, chopped herbs, and flecks of spices are also visible.

A slowly simmering pot of beans is the definition of vegan comfort food for me. This brothy beans recipe is deep and rich with fairly simple ingredients. The beans get so silky! As with any time that we cook beans from scratch, it does take about 1.5 hours total to simmer. But this time is mostly inactive, requiring you to only pop over to the stovetop a couple times to stir and check on the vegetable stock level.

To make beans flavorful, I sauté quartered onions, shallots, celery, sliced garlic, herbs, and spices as the base of the broth. Smoked paprika and ground chillies add nice depth along with thyme and oregano. Getting some light browning on the onions, shallots, and celery boosts the deliciousness as well. I also soak the beans ahead of time with some salt in the water, a tip that I learned from Serious Eats. This helps to ensure that the beans are well-seasoned from the start. I finish these brothy white beans with miso to emphasize the umami, lemon juice to perk up the acidity, and fresh chopped herbs like dill and parsley.

What beans to use for brothy beans?

  • For this recipe, I recommend any type of white bean. I used the Ayacote Blanco beans from Primary Beans here, and they were so silky and satisfying.
  • Navy beans, cannellini beans (which are sometimes called white kidney beans), corona, or lima beans would all work.
  • Cooking dried beans can vary quite a bit! There are so many factors that contribute to cooking time and how much vegetable stock you’ll need! It really is a situation where it’s best to cook by feel and intuition with the recipe as a guide. I do give lots of cues and clues in the recipe if it’s your first time.

To store leftover brothy beans, cool them thoroughly and transfer to a sealable container. These will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the beans in containers for up to 6 months. Thaw the containers overnight in the fridge before reheating on the stove top.

Fans of this recipe may also enjoy my Creamy White Bean Soup with Kale. You could also make these into a brothy beans with greens type of situation! Simply chop up a small bunch of either kale, dandelion or mustard greens and add them at the end, simmering until the greens are wilted and soft.

A head on shot of a Dutch oven on a gas stove with the lid slightly askew. Oil bottles, salt, and pepper are seen in the background.
An overhead shot shows a miso-enriched portion of vegetable stock being poured into a pot of beans.
An overhead shot of a Dutch oven filled with a batch of brothy beans. The beans are garnished with chopped herbs and a ladle is sticking out of the pot. A plate with sliced bread is seen nearby.
An overhead shot of an individual serving of brothy beans in a bowl. The beans are topped with chopped herbs and there is a piece of bread being dipped into the broth.

One-Pot Brothy Beans with Herbs & Lemon

These one-pot vegan brothy beans are super flavourful with herbs, lemon, garlic, and umami-rich miso paste added at the end. A deeply savory pot of beans awaits after 1 ½ hours of mostly inactive simmering time.
4.97 from 60 votes
An overhead shot of an individual serving of brothy beans in a bowl. The beans are topped with chopped herbs and there is a piece of bread being dipped into the broth.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Soaking Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings 6 -8

Ingredients

  • 1 lb white beans, soaked overnight with water to cover and 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered (keep the root intact)
  • 2 shallots, peeled and quartered (keep the root intact)
  • 1 stick celery, chopped into 3-4 big pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon oregano leaves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground chillies or chili flakes
  • 6-12 cups vegetable stock (see notes)
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons light miso
  • lemon juice, to taste (I like 1-2 tablespoons)
  • handful of fresh dill or parsley, chopped

Notes

  • I wound up using 12 cups of broth total for my pot of beans. This will vary depending on which beans you’re using, how long you soaked them, how old they are etc. I know that’s not super precise, but that’s just how beans are sometimes haha.
  • I used the Ayocote Blanco beans from Primary Beans here. Any type of white bean (navy, butter beans, cannellini, corona) is great.
  • I fish out the celery, bay leaf, and some of the bigger bits of onion at the end. But aside from that, I leave most of the onions in the pot because I like them. Of course, if you have the patience and strictly want to enjoy beans and broth, you can retrieve all of the bits.
  • You can keep these stored in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • You can use dried herbs instead of fresh–just substitute 1 ½ teaspoons for both thyme and oregano.
  • You could also make these into a brothy beans with greens kind of situation! Simply chop up a small bunch of either kale, dandelion or mustard greens and add them at the end, simmering until the greens are wilted and soft.

Instructions

  • I soak my beans overnight in lots of warm water with 1 tablespoon of salt dissolved in there! I learned this trick from Serious Eats. When you’re ready to cook the beans, drain and rinse them. Set aside.
  • Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once it’s hot, pour in the oil and swirl it around. Place the quartered onions, shallots, and celery pieces into the pot. Let them brown lightly on one side and then stir/flip the pieces over. Keep cooking until all sides have a bit of a golden edge. This process should take about 10 minutes.
  • Add the bay leaf, garlic, thyme, oregano, smoked paprika, and chillies. Stir and sauté until very aromatic, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the drained beans and stir. Then, add 6 cups of vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper (being mindful of the salty miso we'll add at the end) and stir. Place the lid on top, slightly askew to vent a bit. Bring the beans to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer.
  • Simmer the beans for about 1 ½ hours, checking in on them every 30 minutes or so. If the level of vegetable stock is getting low, just add more by the cup. Once your beans are super tender and silky, they’re good to go. I like to taste 3-5 beans just to make sure that the whole batch is good. The batch I cooked here simmered for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  • Fish out the big pieces of celery, bay leaf, and as much of the onion/shallots as you like (I leave most of them).
  • In a liquid measuring cup, combine the miso and a couple ladlefuls of the hot stock from the pot. Give the mixture a whisk to dissolve the miso and then pour that mixture into the pot. Stir. Check the beans for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Add lemon juice to taste and stir. Garnish the beans with the chopped dill/parsley.
  • Serve the brothy beans hot with crusty bread and extra black pepper on top.
A slight 3/4 angle shot of an individual serving of brothy beans in a bowl. The beans are topped with chopped herbs and there is a piece of bread being dipped into the broth. A pink linen napkin is nearby.
04/01/2023 (Last Updated 09/08/2023)
Posted in: autumn, creamy, earthy, gluten free, main course, refined sugar-free, salty, side dish, smoky, soup, spring, summer, umami, vegan, white beans, winter

33 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Karen Cebula

    5 stars
    These beans were so delicious. Absolutely a great recipe, thank you. Imagine I had all of these ingredients just sitting in my pantry and absolutely no idea how scrumptious they would be all together, who knew?

  • Lori

    5 stars
    Wow wow wow! This was so delicious! I doubled it. Used great northern beans. Added cooked, chopped chaya leaves for some more green. My kids loved it too!

  • BettafromdaVille

    5 stars
    This was delicious! I had to amend, though, because of what I had/didn’t have:
    1. I did not use a shallot, just onion
    2. I only had chopped celery in the freezer, so I used that and left them in along with the onion to eat.
    3. I did not have veg broth so I used homemade chicken broth
    4. I added some porcini mushroom powder
    I used dried navy beans and served over roasted spaghetti squash.

  • Joyce

    5 stars
    I have been searching for years for the best bean recipe, and have tried them all! Hello Rancho Gordo. I have to say, thank you to you, as I have now found bean nirvana!!!
    THIS WAS AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS!!! The miso nailed it!!! Not to mention the herbs.
    We are a big bean family so truly appreciate this recipe and you! We just finished RG’s lima beans over polenta (Epicurious) recipe in the oven, and honestly can’t think I can find a more satisfyingly delicious meal.

  • Alila

    3 stars
    Simple and warming, yes, but rather bland. It’s a disservice to remove the venerable rather than blend them in if it’s a texture issue. I ended up adding a picada for additional flavor

  • Katherine

    5 stars
    Just finished making these. The small sample I ate was delicious!! I don’t have miso on hand so I added a splash of soy sauce (as you mentioned in one of the comments).
    I can’t wait to have these for dinner….served over mashed potatoes :)

  • Joanne

    5 stars
    This is such a delicious recipe. Browning the vegetables first is genius. I found the exact miso you used and when all was done I had a very satisfied family! Used fresh chopped dill on top and served with French dinner rolls… YUM!
    Thank you so much!

  • kaitlynn

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. This recipe was a joy to make and it turned out to be some of the best beans I’ve ever had. I used mayocoba beans and I subbed the vegetable stock for homemade chicken bone broth (since I’m not vegan). Served with homemade sourdough bread for dipping. Thanks for a simply fantastic recipe!

  • Nancy

    5 stars
    Excellent! Unbelievable taste and so easy. These will be included in our Thanksgiving meal. Thanks Laura!

  • Amy

    5 stars
    These are incredible!!! And I didn’t even make them the proper way, I used already-cooked beans from the jar. So much flavour. Good in summer too, but I can’t wait to make them in winter.

  • Dana

    This looks wonderful! Do you think dried chickpeas would work? I have trouble digesting a variety of legumes.

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Dana!

      Dried chickpeas should work well in this recipe! Just as long as you soak them overnight.

      -L

  • Renee

    5 stars
    Adding to the list of go-to recipes for a cold winter night

  • Ashleigh

    5 stars
    Made this just now and loved it! Very filling as well.

  • Jennifer

    5 stars
    Followed recipe as-is without modifications. Was absolutely delicious! The lemon and miso take the flavors over the tip.

  • Ari K

    This looks so good! Any idea how it would taste without the miso? I have all the other ingredients and am wondering if I can get away without it

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Ari,
      The miso provides a lot of umami-rich and deep flavour for these beans. If you have soy sauce of any kind on hand, I would recommend finishing the beans with a splash of that to make up for the miso. Of course you can make the beans without either, but the taste will be a bit lighter and more subtle.
      -L

  • Emily

    5 stars
    Mmmmmmm, so good on a cold winter’s night . I followed the recipe and ended up using 9 cups of broth. I soaked my beans for a long time so they cooked faster.

  • Yumi

    5 stars
    Made these and they were extremely tasty, flavorful and rich. Perfect way to get more veggies, protein and fiber. Followed the recipe exactly, using more broth to help thin out the base.
    I could only find Lima beans which are larger than ayocotes which I think resulted in a much thicker sauce – not sure if it’s because the limas soaked up more liquid or because I didn’t add enough broth.

  • Esther

    This sounds delicious! Couple questions:

    I have a sensitive belly in the house that’s having a hard time with any spice in recipes (which is hard for us as we used to eat spicy things *all* the time). Is there a substitute you recommend in place of chili flakes that doesn’t involve heat?

    Any changes in cooking directions for a slow cooker and/or canned beans?

    Excited to try this regardless!

    • Melisa

      I’m also interested in a modification using canned beans. Thank you! This sounds wonderful!

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Esther,
      You can simply leave the chili flakes out. The recipe as written would be quite flavourful without them!

      I would not recommend making these in a slow cooker because most of the flavour comes from browning the onions/celery/spices in the pot and then stirring up the brown bits in the pot with a bit of stock. It’s just fussier doing it this way in my opinion. To accomplish this in a slow cooker, you’d have to do the sauté step on the stove, add a splash of stock to deglaze the pan, and then transfer that to your slow cooker with the drained beans. Cover the beans with stock by about 2-4 inches and then set the cooker to low for about 5-6 hours. I would start checking in on them at the 3 hour mark though. Once they’re done, you can add more stock if you want them more brothy, and then follow through with the miso, lemon and herbs. Please keep in mind that I haven’t done this myself so I can’t guarantee results.

      To use canned beans, you will need about 7-8 cups of cooked beans total. I would start with 6 cups of broth still and add more if you need to. Canned beans would only need to simmer for 20-30 minutes. They’ll be tasty, but not as flavourful or with the same texture as the dried ones.
      -L

  • Cait

    5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious, and so simple to put together. My beans took forever to cook, but the end result was worth it. This is going into the regular rotation for sure!

  • brigette

    5 stars
    I never have commented on anything online, but I just tasted these and they are the best beans I have ever had in my life! Thanks for an amazing recipe!

  • Claudia

    5 stars
    Wow!!! I used royal corona beans from Rancho Gordo which turned this dish into a meal in a bowl. Thank you Laura. Don’t know where I’d be without you and The First Mess blog xoxo

  • Claudia

    5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely amazing. I used large white beans (unfortunately no access to Rancho Gordo beans here in Germany), which needed a total of 9 cups of water and a total of 3 hours of cook time despite having been soaked overnight. I don’t think they were the freshest. Regardless, the flavours are a dream, and this recipe will be my standard go to for now.

  • Natalie

    5 stars
    Divine, my new fav bean recipe.

  • Maren

    5 stars
    I found these to be delicious! I used Rancho Gordo royal corona beans, rich homemade vegetable stock, dried herbs (since I find them to be more flavorful), and I chopped the vegetables and left them all in the soup.

  • Kristin

    5 stars
    This is a delicious recipe and I’m so glad for it!! It has ample seasoning and an easy put together through the use of big veg pieces vs. small dice so the pot was on its way quickly. The result is so beautifully tasty – the beans are luxuriously soft and brimming with flavor. Not to mention the glorious image of the simple bean surrounded by broth & herbs – I left the veg in place since that suited me better. We served over rice and it was simply wonderful; will make this on repeat! Thanks so much for this WINNER of a recipe.

  • Sam

    5 stars
    Looks delicious! I wonder if there is a way to adapt this to the instant pot?

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Sam!
      I think you definitely could. I would use the Sauté function to cook the base (up to step 3). Once the beans and 6 cups of stock are added. I’d seal it up and pressure cook for anywhere between 30-60 minutes (depending on what beans you use–you might have to do some Googling). Then I’d let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before manually releasing. From there, you can proceed with adding the miso, lemon and herbs!
      -L

  • Sandra

    Perfect timing. I am expecting a delivery of Rancho Gordo beans today.

    • Laura Wright

      Lucky you! Hope you enjoy.
      -L