Healthy comfort food? You got it! This Warm Cannellini Bean, Chard, and Mascarpone Salad is a deliciously creamy dish that can be served as an entree or a side dish.
(This recipe for Warm Cannellini Salad with Chard and Mascarpone was originally published in April 2010, but has updated with new photos in 2021).
Tell me you're making me a dinner that consists of mainly cannellini beans and chard and I'll probably not be super excited about it.
Don't get me wrong, I like both cannellini beans and chard... But as the main ingredients in an entree? I'm skeptical. Add in mascarpone cheese and I'm a little more excited, but still not jumping for joy.
Well, this recipe from Green Kitchen Stories has totally changed my mind. They call it "No-Rice Risotto" because it's cooked using a similar method to risotto. But I'm calling it warm cannellini bean salad since it feels more like a warm salad to me.
You can call it whatever you want; just know that it's an incredibly creamy, warm, and satisfying dish. You can serve it alongside a protein like chicken breast or simply eat it as a meal.
Warm Cannellini Bean Salad with Chard and Mascarpone Recipe
A warm bean salad is perfect for the cold winter months. They're very easy to make and will leave you feeling totally satisfied and comforted.
When you chop your chard up, you'll want to roughly chop the leaves and then dice the smaller stems into ¼" dices. You should get about ⅓ cup of chard stem dices, but it's OK if it's less.
Now, bring vegetable broth to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. This is very similar to what you'd do if you were making risotto.
Then, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and the stems of the chard. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened.
Add one cup of the broth, cook and stir until almost absorbed. See? This really is kind of like making risotto.
Now add the chard leaves, cannellini beans, and the rest of the broth.
Cook for a couple minutes, while you stir.
Add the mascarpone cheese, lemon juice, thyme, salt, and pepper.
You only use ¼ cup mascarpone cheese here, but I swear it is everything. Most of us don't incorporate mascarpone into our cooking nearly enough and I think we need to change that immediately.
Before serving the warm cannellini bean salad, top with grated lemon zest.
Did you see how easy that was to make? Like way easier than risotto (NOT that risotto is difficult!) and it makes a good amount.
I love it because it's a deliciously healthy warm vegetarian salad that's also really filling.
The mascarpone cheese is the perfect touch. I ate some for dinner, but I also ate some for lunch and as a snack too.
And since it's so easy to make, it's the perfect weekday dinner. You don't even have to tell your family it's a "meatless meal" since they probably won't even notice, they'll be enjoying it so much!
Much like mascarpone, I also don't eat chard nearly enough. But this dish has definitely got me thinking about what else I can do with it.
So, this warm cannellini bean salad may not be risotto, but it's still a great dinner choice. Especially if you're looking for something pretty healthy that you can take with you to work for lunch the following day.
More Healthy Easy Dinner Ideas
Healthy and easy aren't always in the same sentence. But I have a lot of favorite recipes that actually are healthy, easy, AND delicious, too. Here are some recipes that are perfect for those crazy weeknights:
- Greek-Stuffed Chicken
- Lentil Soup
- Shrimp and Feta Orzo Salad
- Lighter Sesame Chicken
- White Chicken Chili
- Mexican Zucchini Boats
- Baked Chicken Chimichangas
- Tuscan Chickpea Stew (from Nourish and Fete)
- Spaghetti Squash Casserole (from Primavera Kitchen)
And now I'm off to go snuggle on the couch while eating a big bowl of this warm cannellini bean salad. I never thought I'd be so excited to utter that sentence, but I truly am!
What's your favorite healthier comfort food?
Warm Cannellini Bean Salad with Chard and Mascarpone
- 1 bunch chard
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced (about 2 cups)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp)
- 2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well
- ¼ cup mascarpone cheese
- 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp chopped thyme
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- Roughly chop chard leaves and chop smaller stems into ¼" dice. You should be able to get about ⅓ cup diced chard stems, but it's OK if it's less.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring vegetable broth to a simmer.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and the stems of the chard. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened.
- Add one cup of the broth, cook and stir until almost absorbed. Now add the chard leaves, cannellini beans, and the rest of the broth. Cook for a couple minutes while stirring.
- Add mascarpone cheese, lemon juice, thyme, salt, and pepper
- Top with lemon zest before serving.
- Recipe lightly adapted from Green Kitchen Stories