Summer, Autumn, Light Meals

Creamy Garlic Butter Beans with Thyme-Roasted Vegetables

These creamy butter beans are so simple and delicious, and require just a few storecupboard essentials to make. This recipe is also super-adaptable, which is my favourite kind!

Although tinned beans would work, I prefer to use the best-quality jarred beans instead. I just don't find the tinned version as creamy as the jarred, and as it's an inexpensive meal I tend to push the boat out on the beans – a move I heartily recommend.

In this version, I've roasted some vine tomatoes and peppers in the oven with some fresh thyme and garlic. Then, once they're soft and sweet, I've stirred through some salty capers, black olives and a little more fresh thyme. But really, you could use any roasted veggies you like: red onions, squash, aubergine, or roasted courgettes – which, when I tried them, were out-of-this-world delicious.

I wanted to add a little crunch to this dish, so I whizzed up some sourdough and lighted toasted the crumbs in a pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, some salt, pepper, fresh thyme and nutritional yeast, and a sprinkling of lemon zest. I hope you agree it works extremely well!

This recipe makes four good portions, but you may be able to stretch it between six to eight people as a modest starter. Any leftovers make for a welcome lunch the next day, served on toasted sourdough. Delicious...



For the roasted veg

2 large peppers, deseeded and chopped into chunks

400-500g cherry tomatoes on the vine

A few sprigs of fresh thyme, plus extra for sprinkling

3 fat cloves garlic

A drizzle of light oil, such as groundnut

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp capers

¼ cup pitted black olives, roughly chopped

For the beans

2 x 660g jars butter beans

2 x organic vegetable stock pots or cubes

100ml good quality extra virgin olive oil

1 fat clove garlic

A few sprigs of fresh thyme

Good grinding of black pepper

For the sourdough crumb

1 large slice sourdough bread, toasted

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Zest of 1 lemon

To serve

Handful of rocket

Crusty bread (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4.
  2. Add the peppers to a baking tray, along with the tomatoes and thyme. Leaving the skin on the garlic, bash the cloves with the back of a knife and add them to the tray. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Stir to combine, and roast for about 15 mins. Reduce the oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/Gas 3, and cook for a further 15 mins.
  4. Meanwhile, add the beans to a large pan over a high heat, and cover with about 1 inch of water. Stir in the stock pots, oil, garlic, thyme, and a really good grinding of fresh black pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  5. When the vegetables are ready, they should be soft and slightly charred in places. Remove the garlic cloves, and squeeze them out of their skins into a small bowl. Using the back of a fork, squash them to form a paste, add this to the beans, and stir to combine.
  6. Add the capers, olives and some fresh thyme leaves to the roasted vegetables. Stir gently, and set aside.
  7. Take your toasted sourdough and blitz it to form a crumb. Add it to a frying pan with the oil, salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Cook on a medium heat until crispy, then stir in the nutritional yeast and lemon zest and set aside.
  8. At this point, the butter beans should be warmed through, and a creamy sauce should have developed around them. If not, increase the heat and cook for a little longer. Check the seasoning, adjusting if needed.
  9. When you're ready to serve, remove the clove of garlic from the beans before spooning them into bowls. Top with the roasted vegetables, a sprinkling of the sourdough crumb, and some rocket. Serve with some crusty bread on the side, if you like.

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