Gluten-free, Side Dishes, Vegan/Vegetarian

Spicy Italian Rapini and Cannellini Beans

Loreto February 6, 2019

Jump To Recipe

Spicy Italian Rapini and Cannellini Beans. Sometimes the simplest things in life are fabulous. Like this dish, easy to prepare and in no time you have a dish that is substantial enough to stand alone and deliciously noteworthy at that.

Song of the day: “Chandelier” by Sia.

Spicy Italian Rapini and Cannellini Beans

Spicy Italian Rapini and Cannellini Beans.  A true Italian dish that has so much flavor and texture that you will have forkful after forkful until the sad end when it is gone. Earthy meets starchy in this wonderful Italian menagerie!

The life of a Food Blogger!

I have to say, cooking all the time has its moments of ‘less is better’. Creativity is a wonderful thing, but being human leads to its time of tiredness and exhaustion. Blogging, for those of you who don’t know, is hard work.

Between social media, meal plans, recipe development, and doing photography yoga while cooking up a dish, takes time, energy, and patience. When these times hit, it calls for going back to basics!

Simplicity is best…………

This is when I go back to my roots and simple dishes like this Spicy Italian Rapini and Cannellini Beans. All in all, it takes less than 1/2 hour and with very few ingredients. However, the best part is eating it with some good bread. I just had this for supper, because it has everything you need. Protein, carbs, minerals, vitamins, and enough substance to settle the hunger that roars inside of you!

Spicy Italian Rapini and Cannellini Beans

Dried or Canned, that is the question

I know there are some who like to use the dried beans, and that is fine if you have the time. For me, tonight’s supper will be easy and quick hence why I opted for something simpler like the canned cannellini beans. They are the organic ones, just thought I would mention that, which I rinsed to get the salt out of them, knowing if they need seasoning I could do that in the end!

Let’s recap the ingredients:

  • A bundle of Rapini (also known as Broccoli Rabe)
  • garlic
  • shallots
  • olive oil
  • red chili flakes
  • cannellini beans
  • salt and pepper

Spicy Italian Rapini and Cannellini Beans

First things First……

Firstly we need to boil the rapini for a few minutes to soften them a bit, however, you need to cut the end stems and give them a wash first.

Secondly, rinse the beans and set them aside.

Thirdly, heat up some olive oil, throw in the garlic, shallot and chili flakes and saute the cooked rapini adding in the beans after a bit of time. A quick seasoning check, a drizzle of olive oil, and that’s it!

Lastly…….. Let’s eat!

Spicy Italian Rapini and Cannellini Beans

Look at the beautiful contrast in color. The brightness of the green and the ever so soothing creaminess of the beans. Nature is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? Similarly the aroma, oh that aroma of rapini is so distinct and inviting for those of us who have a fondness for it!

Spicy Italian Rapini and Cannellini Beans

Memories just like the ones I used to know……..

This dish really brings me back to my childhood. I used to make sandwiches with the greens, beans and good bread. Then clean my plate so well my mom would always say she didn’t have to wash it and remembering the smell of the garlic sauteing in the pan. That alone would have my hunger attention!

Time to cut the chatter out and eat this wonderful Spicy Italian Rapini and Cannellini Beans!

The rapini has a slight acidity to it making it very distinguishable and the earthy notes are wonderful harmony to my palate.

I love how the garlic plays so joyfully with the greens, and those hits of spice from the chili flakes are perfect, as a result, it is not too strong and not too subtle, it is justttttt right!

The pungent earthy nature of the olive oil is a wonderful partner to the cannellini which gives this luxurious rich starchiness to the dish, similarly, the beans just have enough texture to be noticed only to dissipate in nutty buttery silk leaving us in anticipation of the next bite.

The bread is the perfect foundation to hold all the texture and flavor into each mouthful and is the key to do the scarpetta because getting every bit of that oil and smidgens of greens and beans to the luxurious end e’ molto importante!

Can’t rant enough about this Spicy Italian Rapini and Cannellini Beans…..

I absolutely love this dish. On its own, it filled me up really well, but I know it is also a wonderful side dish. Either way, I really think you may want to try this dish. Get to the market and buy some rapini or broccoli rabe, whatever you want to call it. Get that bread ready because I think you are going to love these greens and beans for sure!


Song of the day: “Chandelier” by Sia.

Spicy Italian Rapini and Cannellini Beans

Spicy Italian Rapini and Cannellini Beans

Spicy Italian Rapini and Cannellini Beans

  • Author: Loreto
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: vegetarian
  • Method: sauteing
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean


Spicy Italian Rapini and Cannellini Beans.  A true Italian dish that has so much flavor and texture that you will have forkful after forkful until the sad end when it is gone. Earthy meets starchy in this wonderful Italian menagerie!


  • 1 bundle Rapini (Broccoli Rabe)
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 can of organic Cannellini Beans (or 1/2 cup dried cannellini bean)
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of red chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. If using dry cannellini beans, place in a bowl of water and soak overnight, rinse, then cook them in boiling salted water till tender, about 30 minutes. Drain beans and set aside.
  2. If using canned cannellini, rinse beans and set aside to drain in a colander.
  3. Place a large pot of water on to boil.
  4. Wash, trim the ends, and cut any bruised or spoiled parts of the rapini and let drain in a colander.
  5. Throw rapini into the boiling water and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes or until stalks are fork tender. Take out of pot and place in a colander to drain and cool.
  6. In a medium saute pan heat up olive oil. Throw in garlic, shallots and chili flakes.
  7.  Toss in rapini and saute for about 5 minutes. Add beans and saute for an additional 5 minutes.
  8. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
  9. Drizzle with some additional olive oil and serve with a good bread.



  1. If you cannot find rapini use broccoli or broccolini.
  2. Remember, if using dried beans take into account the soaking time and cooking time (overnight plus 30 minutes).

Spicy Italian Rapini and Cannellini Beans

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Margaret@Kitchen Frau February 7, 2019 at 12:28 am

    That looks wonderful, so simple and delicious! I always feel so good after I eat beans – so satisfied, but not over full. With the greens, it would be fantastic.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 8, 2019 at 12:20 pm

      Hi Margaret so nice to hear from you. I agree with you, I also feel really good eating dishes like this. Makes me feel like I am taking good care of myself and the fact that it is so delicious makes it a bonus! Thank you again for commenting.
      Have a great Day!


  • Reply Denise February 7, 2019 at 8:38 am

    Yum! A simple, yet flavorful dish. I love beans with greens! And with just a few additional ingredients really makes the flavor pop.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 8, 2019 at 12:19 pm

      Yes Denise you are so right, the olive oil and that garlic and red chilies are just what the doctor ordered to make these veggies and beans pop. Thank you so much!

  • Reply Carrie | Clean Eating Kitchen February 7, 2019 at 9:04 am

    I agree – blogging IS hard work! This looks like such a fresh and tasty dish, sometimes its good to go simple!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 8, 2019 at 12:17 pm

      Hi Carrie most definitely simple is nice sometimes especially when you are tasked to the max. So glad you stopped by and checked this out. It is such a perfect go to dish!
      Cheers and have a good weekend!

  • Reply Jennifer February 9, 2019 at 8:53 am

    These beans are delicious!! The flavor is amazing and I will be making these again soon! My family loved them!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 9, 2019 at 8:47 pm

      Thank you Jennifer, so glad you really enjoyed this. This is really what Italian cooking is all about, simple and amazingly delicious!
      Have a wonderful Sunday!

  • Reply Michelle February 9, 2019 at 10:12 am

    I love everything about this! The simple things in life are the things that keep me sane when I feel I have too many plates in the air! This dish is perfect, I can’t wait to try this and I may just make a sandwich out of it too!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 9, 2019 at 8:44 pm

      Hi Michelle, that’s the way to do it. You are just going to love the sandwich! So true about the simple things in life we always go back to simplicity. Thank you for taking the time to experience this post.
      Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Reply Sharon February 10, 2019 at 11:48 am

    This recipe looks so easy to make yet FULL of delicious flavor. A simple recipe that’s perfect for busy weeknights.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 11, 2019 at 5:05 pm

      Sharon you said it best easy and delish, a perfect way to describe this recipe and I am going to have it this week again except with broccolini!
      Thank you!

  • Reply Elizabeth Leaver February 10, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    I completely agree, simple sometimes is the absolute best. This recipe is no exception! I love that this can be a meal on its own or an accompaniment to something like chicken or fish. A perfect weeknight dinner.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 11, 2019 at 5:04 pm

      Most definitely Elizabeth. Yes lately life has been very busy and lots to do. There are those nights that I reach out for those simple yet oh so comforting and delicious Italian dishes. This one is a favorite for sure! Thank you!

  • Reply lauren February 10, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    What an amazing side dish! This is perfect to spread on toast or to go along side dinner. I’m going to make it to serve with braciole for Valentines Day!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 11, 2019 at 4:59 pm

      Hi Lauren, you have said the magic food love word “Braciol” I am already drooling!, love that dish and this rapini and cannelini will go perfect. Italian the whole way! Thank you!
      Have fun in the kitchen.
      Cheers Loreto

  • Reply Amanda Mason February 10, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    This looks so good and so healthy! I love cannellini beans and this looks like a great recipe!! Full of fiber!!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 11, 2019 at 4:55 pm

      Hi Amanda, it is a real healthy dish and I feel so great after having it. Makes me feel like I am taking good care of myself and eating right and well. Funny thing is when I am in Italy I lose weight. Good food, lots of walking and amazing ingredients and sights is a recipe for success!
      Thank you!

  • Reply Krista Price February 10, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    Broccoli Rabe is by far my favorite veggie. I’m always on the hunt for new ways to cook it! I’m loving what you did with it in this dish! Great recipe! 🙂

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 11, 2019 at 4:54 pm

      Hi Krista, isn’t it just an amazing veggie, it has that distinct flavor and with the cannelini they are a perfect match!
      Thank you!

  • Reply Andrea February 11, 2019 at 2:46 am

    I absolutely love this! A simple nutritious dish that is perfect as a side or as a meal on its own with a salad, will make it soon!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 11, 2019 at 4:52 pm

      Hi Andrea so glad you like it.It is a great dish and that is really what Italian cooking is all about, freshness, simplicity and deliciousness.
      Have a great day!

  • Reply Karyl Henry February 11, 2019 at 5:46 am

    I love cannelini beans, but run out of ways to use it pretty quickly. What a beautiful dish, and I can definitely see myself making this on a regular basis. I live in a smallish town, so I doubt I can find rapini, but I do have broccoli and broccolini

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 11, 2019 at 4:50 pm

      Hi Karyl you can use pretty well any green you can fine however with the broccoli and broccolini it will be amazing. Have fun cooking and Thank you for commenting!

  • Reply Milena February 11, 2019 at 8:51 am

    I’ve been seeing rapini in the organic produce section of our grocery store lately. As always I can count on you for a genuine Italian recipe – this spicy dish is in my immediate future:)

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 11, 2019 at 4:49 pm

      Hi Milena that’s fantastic that they have the organic Rapini in the market. You will love this dish. Lots of flavor, healthy and easy to prepare. Can’t get any better than that!
      Happy cooking!
      Ciao Loreto

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.