Creamy White Beans with Roasted Cauliflower

And a lot of garlic! I just couldn’t find a place for it in the title.

Creamy White Beans with Roasted Cauliflower / Bev Cooks

You know how you wake up one day and you’re like, “I WANT TO EAT A POT OF BEANS.”

A pot of beans! I never just make “a pot of beans.” I think I thought about “a pot of beans” two years ago, and then forgot about “a pot of beans.”

And then I realized – it’s “potta beans.”

Well clearly now I have to have some.

Creamy White Beans with Roasted Cauliflower / Bev Cooks

And you know, it’s totally not a podunk meal. No matter what imagery just invaded your cerebrum .2 seconds ago.

Because when you make it with dried white navy beans that soak all night, and then you simmer them in salty water for almost two hours, and all the whilst you’re roasting cauliflower with a head of garlic until charred and submissive, and then you make a roasted garlic cream sauce with a smidge of butter and crushed red pepper finished with thick, nutty shavings of parmesan cheese on top? Well now you’re partying.

Creamy White Beans with Roasted Cauliflower / Bev Cooks

So that’s just what I did.

It’s actually pretty relaxing to make a pot of bea- sorry, potta beans. There’s something about watching them shrivel and wrinkle like raisins who’ve seen a ghost in the bowl of soaking water, and then slowing simmering them the next day, plump and eager to tenderize.

Beans don’t get eager. I made that part up.

(You could also cook these in an instant pot, if you’d rather not simmer. You fly, little bird.)

Creamy White Beans with Roasted Cauliflower / Bev Cooks

Cauliflower and garlic in a hot oven for an hour means promising things for your life. Promzee.

Creamy White Beans with Roasted Cauliflower / Bev Cooks

Now melt a little butter, and squish the roasted garlic out of their skins and into the pan. It’s rustic, yes – but if you press the garlic into the butter, it will break up a bit and sizzle in the butter, and you will weep from within.

Then really, all that’s left is stirring in a couple cups of milk, the cooked beans, a pinch of salt, and another pinch of crushed red pepper because rustic eating is life.

Creamy White Beans with Roasted Cauliflower / Bev Cooks

Freaking look at that.

Okay, you can add the roasted cauliflower now, nestle it in, top with some parm and serve it up family style with some crusty bread. Which is always a stellar life move.

Or! You can ladle the soupy beans into shallow bowls and commence with cauli nestling at your own speed. Cheese, red pepper flakes, your mouth.

Creamy White Beans with Roasted Cauliflower / Bev Cooks

It’s just DIVINE, I tell you. A humble meal in a way, but like – elevated. Those beans have been on quite the journey, and you will TASTE every step on your tongue. And snuggled all in a roasted garlic cream sauce with roasted cauliflower NO WILL NOT STOP.

You can absolutely serve this with a roasted chicken, or deem this’n your meatless meal of the week!

But make it. It’s so homey, smells ridiculous, has that rustic je ne said quoi that feels elegant but familiar.

And maybe obviously add more parmesan.

Creamy White Beans with Roasted Cauliflower / Bev Cooks

This weekend? YEPPERS.

Garlicky White Beans with Roasted Cauliflower
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Recipe Image


  • 1 pound dried white navy beans, soaked overnight in a big bowl of water
  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 head of garlic, root cut off to expose cloves
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • Coarse salt
  • Parmesan shavings
  • Crushed red pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the soaked beans and let simmer on medium-low anywhere from 1-2 hours, until softened, but not mushy and broken. Just keep an eye on them!
  2. Preheat your oven to 400.
  3. Place the cauliflower florets on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the cauliflower with a Tbs. or two of olive oil, and season with a pinch of coarse salt. Wrap the garlic in a small piece of foil, drizzle a tsp of olive oil on it, with a pinch of salt. Pinch the foil and place it on the baking sheet. Roast the cauliflower and garlic for one hour, until the cauliflower is tender and charred all over.
  4. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Once foaming, squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins straight into the butter. Using a wooden spoon, sort of press the garlic into the butter, breaking it up and letting it sizzle. Add the milk, the cooked beans, and a pinch of salt. Let it simmer roughly five minutes, just enough for the beans and milk to marry and fall in love. Now taste it. Need more salt? You could even add a squeeze of lemon juice right here, just to amp it up. Look at you, you rebel.
  5. Serve the creamy beans with roasted cauliflower, a pinch of crushed red pepper and the parmesan shavings!
  6. Rustic, homey, freaking delish. Slurp.
  7. Serves 4.

Creamy White Beans with Roasted Cauliflower / Bev Cooks

Potta beans MY FACE.

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11 Responses to Creamy White Beans with Roasted Cauliflower

  1. Rebekah S March 7, 2019 at 7:59 am #
    ABSOLUTELY having this in the best day or two
  2. Sandy March 7, 2019 at 10:23 am #
    This looks awesome. One little point of grammar, though. You say to add a "couple of cups" of milk. I believe as this is a potta beans recipe the proper term is "cuppla cups". Grammar matters, don't it?
  3. Billie March 7, 2019 at 1:07 pm #
    Does the cream sauce thicken or does it stay more on the soupy side?
    • Bev Weidner March 7, 2019 at 1:19 pm #
      Good question! The sauce won't thicken as it does with flour in it. It's more on the loose side, but not offensively loose! The longer the beans simmer in the milk, it thickens juuuust slightly. And then especially when you reheat the next day. But right out of the pan, it's a loose-ish garlic cream sauce. Not to be served like a soup, just a little sauce in the bottom. :)
      • Becky March 25, 2019 at 3:17 pm #
        Not offensively loose. Omg. Killed me.
  4. aaron March 7, 2019 at 6:38 pm #
    Made this tonight - it was speaking to me. And man oh man, delish!!! We went the instapot route and my carnivorous hubs loved it too!
  5. Michelle Smith March 13, 2019 at 9:03 am #
    Our Youngest daughter ~ who is 28, cough, cough ~ is moving out next weekend. so I've been thinking of things for my husband and me to see this as an opportunity to make meals together and have a fun time doing it ~ So far we have made this recipe Garlicky White Beans with Roasted Cauliflower and the Barley Risotto with Chicken, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes! (Made this 3 times already ) Both are our New Favorites ~ we plan on working our way through your recipes ~ they are Just Fabulous
  6. Ashleigh L March 13, 2019 at 11:22 am #
    Made this this week and just loooooved it! I was a little worried I had messed up after I added in my milk but it was another great dish, as always! xoxo
  7. pictaram March 14, 2019 at 12:26 am #
    I have never tried to make anything with navy beans. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

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