Photo of Escarole and white beans with a parmesan-nut crust by WW

Escarole and white beans with a parmesan-nut crust

Total Time
43 min
18 min
25 min
A favorite green in Italian cooking where it's a "must" in traditional wedding soup, escarole stands up perfectly as the main ingredient in this quick bean bake, given its dense, spinach-like texture and punchy flavor. Leeks, garlic, and rosemary add to the dish's unmistakably Italian flair. And the crunchy, nutty Parmesan and walnut topping make this dinner-in-under-an-hour casserole anything but ordinary! Hearty enough to stand alone alongside a salad of sliced tomatoes, this casserole would also be perfect on a holiday sideboard or party buffet as a complement to roasted meats or poultry.


Olive oil

2 tsp

Uncooked leek(s)

1 medium, chopped (white part only)


1 medium clove(s), minced


8 cup(s), coarsely chopped (1 medium to large head)

Fat free chicken broth

½ cup(s), or vegetable broth

Canned cannellini beans

15 oz, drained and rinsed

Black pepper

¼ tsp

Dried rosemary

tsp, crushed

Grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup(s), Parmigiano Reggiano recommended

Dried plain breadcrumbs

½ cup(s), coarse-style


2 Tbsp, coarsely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Heat oil in a nonstick Dutch oven (a large pot with a tight-fitting lid). Add leek and garlic; sauté until leek is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add escarole and sauté, stirring constantly, until escarole is limp, about 1 minute; stir in broth. Cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until escarole is tender and broth evaporates, about 3 minutes; stir in beans, pepper and rosemary.
  3. Spoon escarole-mixture into a 1 1/2-quart glass baking dish. Combine cheese, bread crumbs and walnuts in a small bowl; sprinkle over escarole-mixture. Bake until bread crumbs are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Yields about 2/3 cup per serving.