Published on March 27, 2020
Updated on November 30, 2020
French style cassoulets—the forerunners of casseroles—often are based on savory pots of beans and meats. However, you can showcase the beans and veggies and skip the meat, as I do in this classic dish for Heirloom Bean Cassoulet, which is completely plant-based (vegan) and gluten-free. Try an unusual heirloom bean—Eye of the Goat, Flageolet, Rattlesnake—or something you can find anywhere, such as lima or Great Northern beans.
What are heirloom beans? They are unusual varieties of beans that farmers discovered during their harvest, and would save the seeds back to plant the following year—essentially heirlooms! Maybe it was an offshoot with a pretty color or large form—whatever it was, the farmer selected that one plant to harvest its beans (which are also seeds for the next year) and plant it again, forever preserving the unique qualities of that plant. That’s why we have so many gorgeous, unique varieties of beans! I will admit it right now—I collect heirloom beans. Whenever I spy an unusual breed of beans, I buy it and save it for a future culinary adventure. In this recipe pictured here, I used my flageolet beans that I picked up at the Rancho Gordo Beans store in San Francisco. But I have found so many cool beans at farmers markets and shops all over the world to bring back to my kitchen. It’s my thing.
So, you can use this simple, straightforward recipe to take advantage of your heirloom beans—or to showcase any dried beans you have in your pantry. It’s up to you! This rustic, hearty recipe for Heirloom Bean Cassoulet with Root Vegetables will make the most of any bean, I promise. Here’s how to serve it: with a crusty, whole grain bread, toasted to perfection (perfect for sopping up any juices left on the bottom of your plate), and a crisp, green salad. That’s it, a plant-based meal made in heaven. And all of the nutrition rewards to boot.
This rustic, hearty bean casserole skips the meat and powers up on heirloom beans, carrots, parsnips, olives and rosemary for a delicious, budget-friendly, vegan, gluten-free dish.
- 1 pound dried heirloom beans (i.e. flageolet, rattlesnake, calypso, or eye of the goat) or great northern beans
- 6 cups water
- 1 cube vegetable bullion
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- 3 medium garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, coarsely sliced
- 1 parsnip, coarsely sliced
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup Mediterranean olives (i.e., Italian, Greek, Sicilian)
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Soak beans in water overnight. Drain and rinse the beans and place in a large oven-proof pot or Dutch oven.
- Add water, vegetable bullion, bay leaves, celery salt, and garlic cloves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add onions, carrots and parsnips, cover, and simmer for approximately 1 hour, until beans and vegetables are tender.
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Drizzle beans in pot with olive oil and top with olives and rosemary.
- Place pot or Dutch oven on top rack of oven and bake for 10 minutes, uncovered.
- Makes 8 servings (1 1/4 cups each).
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Category: Entree
- Cuisine: Mediterranean, French, American
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 197
- Sugar: 7 g
- Sodium: 76.5 mg
- Fat: 1 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 41 g
- Fiber: 12.5 g
- Protein: 13.5 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: heirloom bean, vegan entree, best vegan entree, vegan bean entree
For other bean dishes, check out some of my favorites:
Cretan Gigantes Beans
Vegetarian Baked Beans
Summer Vegetarian Chili
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