savory navy beans

I love beans. And these savory navy beans are near the top of my list. Rosemary. Thyme. Parsley. Onions and garlic. Shallot. What’s not to love? I also love how the house smells when I cook this. It’s a meal in a bowl. A stew really. Nourishing. Satisfying. Just good.

It flips from vegan to not with two ingredients. Make it vegan or add the optional bacon and chicken stock and it will satisfy the most carnivorous palate. It isn’t even that much bacon. Just a hint really. Less than a slice per serving. Even with the bacon it’s pretty healthy. It’s gluten free too. Not by design mind you. It just worked out that way.

Rosemary, thyme, parsley, onion and garlic all come together in this warming and deeply satisfying savory navy bean stew.

It’s easy too. If you use canned beans you can get these savory navy beans on the table in about 40 minutes. Most of that time is simmering time. Walk away from the stove time. Leftovers make great lunches too. It reheats nicely in a microwave. If it sounds good to you, try it. I think you’ll like it. You may even love it. I do.

Rosemary, thyme, parsley, onion and garlic all come together in this warming and deeply satisfying savory navy bean stew.

Rosemary, thyme, parsley, onion and garlic all come together in this warming and deeply satisfying savory navy bean stew.
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4.88 from 8 votes

savory navy beans

Savory navy beans are a delicious, one pot meal that can be on the table in less than an hour. Make them vegan or not - either way they are sure to please.
Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6


  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1-2 large shallots diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon diced (optional)
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 15 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups dry navy beans - cooked or 3 15 oz cans of navy beans
  • 2 big sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6-8 sprigs of fresh Italian parsley about 1 cup, chopped
  • 1/2-1 tsp crushed chili
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper


  • If cooking dry beans, add the bay leaves to the cooking liquid.
  • Add oil to a pot large enough to hold all the ingredients. If using the bacon, fry it in the oil, then proceed with the recipe.
  • Gently saute the onion and shallot until translucent and soft.
  • Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.
  • Add the beans, tomatoes, stock, rosemary, thyme and bay if you didn't cook the beans with the bay.
  • Stir in the stock and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Mix in the parsley, lemon juice and crushed chili.
  • Simmer 5-10 minutes.
  • Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Serve in bowls drizzled with your best olive oil if you like.


16 thoughts on “savory navy beans”

  1. 5 stars
    Just found your site while looking for exactly this, a savoury bean recipe. This is absolutely delicious. I’m trying cut out sugar in our diet and this is SO good, we both decided we prefer it over canned or homemade ‘sweet’ baked beans.
    Thx for the recipe!

    • Delighted you found me. The whole blog is pretty low sugar as I do not have any sweet tooth at all.

  2. How long do I cook the dried beans? Didn’t see it in the recipe, and don’t know how long to expect. I presume soaking them overnight first.

    • It really depends how you cook them. The package should have some indication but navy beans are anywhere between 20-30 minutes in a pressure cooker to a couple hours simmering on the stove. It also depends on how fresh the dried beans are. Fresher takes less time.

      Might be an idea to cook them early in the day so you have lots of time. When they are tender drain them and set them aside in the fridge until it’s time to start cooking the actual recipe.

      I have been following the SeriousEats approach lately and I like it. Soak the beans in well salted water for a couple hours then cook them in salted water. You get fewer burst beans using this technique.

  3. 5 stars
    Made these today — ah-maz-ing! Meant to save them for an easy dinner, but fortunately it’s a nice, big recipe so daughter and I were able to sneak a bowl for lunch. Definitely a keeper. The fresh herbs really make it.

    • So glad you liked them. The fresh herbs just kick it up to something special. I like bringing them to work for lunch. I get a lot of comments about how good the aroma is just coming out of the microwave.

  4. 5 stars
    I rarely have beans because I find them very heavy but I definitely will need to try this one out as you put in lemon juice! I can totally see how that would brighten up the beans and cut that heaviness!These look so comforting too!! 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    These savory navy beans sound wonderful! Just what we need here in this cold weather! I don’t always have fresh herbs on hand, especially in the winter, do you think substituting dried thyme and rosemary would be acceptable occasionally?

    • I don’t actually know what they would be like with dried herbs. This recipe is really about the taste of fresh. I’m sure it would be good – it would just be very different.

  6. Yum, I’m thinking this looks like the perfect side for barbecued meat! I love the option to add some smoky bacon in there, too. All kinds of yummy flavors going on with this one!

  7. I’ve only ever had sweet baked beans or pinto beans, so this would be a new one for me. It looks delicious! I would happily eat this on it’s own for lunch or as a side dish for some roasted meat. Pinning to make soon!!

    • I love it as dinner on its own and make extra for lunches. You are right though. It would go nicely with a roast pork.

  8. 5 stars
    Yay navy beans!! I’m a big fan of navy beans. They’re definitely underutilized in the culinary community, so I was SUPER excited to see this recipe! It looks so delicious and easy! A giant pot of beans ready in less than an hour with minimal clean up?? Yes, please! Can’t wait to make this!

4.88 from 8 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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