Pizza Beans

This recipe for pizza beans is an easy, cheesy white bean tomato bake that’s a one-pan, 30-minute main dish. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly and serve with a garlic bread baguette and a side salad for a complete meal. With canned beans, canned tomatoes, and only a little bit of chopping, pizza flavor doesn’t get much easier than this.

Read on for detailed steps, tips, and tricks and to learn all about the racy pasta sauce that inspired this pizza bean recipe. Or just grab your one pan, hit that Jump to Recipe button, and let’s make some pizza beans!

frying pan with a hand dipping a piece of crusty toast into frying pan full of beans, tomato sauce, and melted cheese topped with basil slivers.
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white beans, tomatoes, garlic, dried red pepper flakes, capers, black olives, mozzarella cheese, and a bowl of grated Parmesan.
  • Canned white beans for convenience – I use cannellini or Great Northern. When I have time, I soak beans overnight and cook them with some onion and garlic until soft.
  • Chopped tomatoes – buy fire-roasted tomatoes for a bit more flavor. Or amp up the tomato flavor with a bit of tomato paste.
  • Olives – use Kalamata or another black olive. Pitted olives save even more time!
  • Mozzarella – shredded cheese works better than fresh mozzarella because it melts more evenly. Feel free to buy pre-packaged or shred your own.
  • Parmesan – it’s always best to grate your own.

Tip from the wise quacker: with canned tomatoes, whole tomatoes are usually the best choice because only good quality tomatoes can be canned whole. In quick and easy recipes, it’s ok to use chopped tomatoes.


Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.

Substitutions and variations

Use your favorite pizza recipes for inspiration for these pizza beans

  • Lightly cook sliced bell peppers or mushrooms. When soft, add the garlic and proceed with the recipe.
  • Feel free to throw in some dried basil, oregano, rosemary, or thyme into the pan when you add the olives.
  • Add pepperoni, cooked sausage, or anchovies before you mix in the cheeses.
  • Add a handful of greens like spinach or kale when you stir in the mozzarella.

Recipe tips and tricks

Recipe adaptation

These pizza beans were adapted from the cheesy white bean tomato bake recipe with the same name by Ali Slagle in the New York Times cooking app. They’re a quick and easy way I get pizza flavor without making my favorite pizza dough recipe or fussing with the Ooni pizza oven.

I’ve married the ease of the cheesy white bean tomato bake recipe with puttanesca. Although puttanesca means “in the style of a prostitute,” the actual origin is unclear. Perhaps it’s because the sauce, made with tomatoes, garlic, black olives, capers, dried red pepper flakes, and sometimes with anchovies, is just a bit spicy.

Step by step

Step 1: To make pizza beans, cook the garlic and red pepper flakes for a minute over medium low heat until it starts to become fragrant (Panel #1, below). Be careful not to burn the garlic, or it will become bitter.

Step 2: Add the chopped olives and capers and cook for another minute (Panel #2).

four panels showing recipe steps from sauteing garlic and pepper flakes in a large frying pan, adding chopped olives and capers, the tomatoes, and finally the white beans.

Step 3: Add the tomatoes, turn the heat to medium, and cook for about five minutes until the liquid thickens a bit (Panel #3, above).

Step 4: Turn off the heat and stir in the drained white beans (Panel #4).

Step 5: Stir in the mozzarella and sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over top.

Step 6: Bake for ten minutes in a 450 degree oven until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling. Remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle on chopped basil or parsley, and serve your pizza beans immediately.

What to serve with pizza beans:

Recipe FAQs

How do I store pizza beans?

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days or freeze your pizza beans for three to six months. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

If you’re looking for easy meat-free meals and other white bean recipes, check out:

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.


Pizza Beans

5 from 2 votes
Category: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 332kcal
This pizza bean recipe is a cheesy white bean tomato bake that makes a meat-free main course inspired by your favorite pizza. It brings together white beans, tomatoes, and lots of cheese for a quick and easy weeknight dinner sure to please the whole family.
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  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup pitted black olives, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt plus more as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper plus more as desired
  • teaspoon red pepper flakes plus more as desired
  • 28 ounce canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained.
  • 2 cups (8 ounces or 227 grams)shredded dried mozzarella
  • ½ cup Parmesan, grated
  • ¼ cup fresh basil or parsley, chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Heat the oil in a large, oven-safe saute pan. Then add the the garlic and cook over medium-low heat for one minute.
    1 tablespoon olive oil, 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Add the olives, capers, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for one minute.
    ½ cup pitted black olives, chopped, 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Add the canned tomatoes. Bring to a simmer under medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes have reduced somewhat.
    28 ounce canned chopped tomatoes
  • Add the beans and stir them into the tomatoes.
    2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained.
  • Turn off the heat and stir the mozzarella into the beans.
    2 cups (8 ounces or 227 grams)shredded dried mozzarella
  • Top with Parmesan and carefully transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling.
    ½ cup Parmesan, grated
  • Garnish with the chopped basil or parsley and serve immediately.
    ¼ cup fresh basil or parsley, chopped


These 30 minute pizza beans are all about balancing flavor and convenience. There are a few minutes of chopping and grating to give the recipe more flavor and make it worth your time! 
With canned tomatoes, whole tomatoes are usually the best choice because only good quality tomatoes can be canned whole. In this white bean tomato bake, it’s ok to use canned beans and tomatoes to save time. Feel free to soak dried beans or use fresh tomatoes if you’ve got more time on your hands!
I recommend dried mozzarella because it’s easier to stir into the pizza sauce then shredded fresh mozzarella.
Use this pizza bean recipe as a base for all of your favorite pizza toppings!


Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 1221mg | Potassium: 1133mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 511IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 514mg | Iron: 7mg
Love this recipe?Mention @Uglyducklingbakery or tag #uglyducklingbakery!

Are you an adventurous home cook looking for inspiration in your weeknight meals and weekend baking? Get inspiration here:


  1. I’ve seen the recipe from the NYT, really like your addition of olives. What do you think of adding green sliced olives for some saltiness?

  2. I too tried this recipe from the NYT and found it a bit flat, at which point I shrugged and walked away. Totally going to try it again now, though–thanks! 🙂

    1. Hi Catherine. Thanks for the note! I do love how you can get the NYT recipe to the table in 15 minutes, but I’m willing to trade a little bit of chopping for flavor. Would love to hear your thoughts if/when you make this! Joanne

5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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