Sautéed White Beans with Garlic, Sage and Tomatoes

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Sautéed White Beans with Garlic, Sage and Tomatoes is a recipe that you’ll come back to time and time again.

It is such a wonderful side dish to so many main courses, but it’s so delicious on its own, you could easily make a meal out of it with a nice loaf of crusty Italian bread, a leafy green salad, and a glass of wine.

Now we’re talking!

Sautéed white beans with garlic and sage in a large skillet with wooden spoon


You can easily skip soaking the beans overnight and use canned beans to save time. Or, you can soak overnight. Either way is great!

Watch us show you how simple it is to make this amazing Sautéed White Beans with Garlic, Sage and Tomatoes:


The garlic and sage really bring this dish to life.

Be sure to sauté the garlic until it’s a golden brown. But don’t let it burn!

You will love the way your kitchen smells when cooking Sautéed White Beans with Garlic, Sage and Tomatoes

Garlic and sage sautéing in a skillet for sautéed white beans with garlic and sage


And of course cooking with a nice dry white wine enriches the flavor even more.

Pour only a quarter cup into the sauce pan, and then pour a nice glass for yourself.  You deserve’re making something spectacular!

The flavors of this Sautéed White Beans with Garlic, Sage and Tomatoes are quintessential Italian.

White wine pouring into a pan of sautéed white beans and sage

I absolutely love using certified canned whole San Marzano.

These tomatoes come from the rich soil at the foot of Mount Vesuvius in Italy and they are canned at the height of their season. Read more about them here.

Legend has it that the tomatoes are best when squeezed into the skillet with your hands.  Why take a chance? Squeeze away! And it’s kind of fun!.

San Marzano tomatoes being hand squeezed into sautéed white beans with sage and garlic


Not many recipes are this easy to prepare that still produce such flavorful and amazing results.

I get hungry every time I think about this dish.

Within no time, I’m running to the pantry to get the simple ingredients. This is definitely one of the Loon’s favorite dishes.

Wooden spoon full of sautéed white beans with garlic, sage and tomatoes


But in the meantime, how about these amazing Sautéed White Beans with Garlic, Sage and Tomatoes!

Sautéed white beans with garlic, sage and tomatoes in a skillet


We just love beans of all kinds. But there is something about cannelloni beans that seem extra delicious to us.

I know the history of beans doesn’t really sound fascinating, but actually it is. Read this interesting A Selective History of Beans article from Republic of Beans.

As mentioned, this Sautéed White Beans with Garlic, Sage and Tomatoes recipe is the perfect side dish for so many wonderful main courses, such as our Mediterranean Tuna Steaks.

If this doesn’t make your stomach growl, well…I don’t know what to say to that.  Because this is one of those dishes that actually tastes even better than it looks.  And it is a gorgeous plate of yumminess!

Sautéed white beans with garlic, sage and tomatoes in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

Sautéed white beans with garlic, sage and tomatoes

Sautéed White Beans with Garlic, Sage and Tomatoes

This Sautéed White Beans with Garlic, Sage and Tomatoes couldn't be easier to prepare, but is so full of robust flavor, you won't believe how quickly you'll be getting this to your table.  Simple ingredients and wonderful flavors.  It is wonderful served warm or at room temperature. 
5 from 20 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Cannellini beans
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 162kcal


  • 1 cup dried cannellini beans (or two 15.5 oz. cans, drained)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced about 2 tbsp
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, chopped about 1 tbsp
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes drained
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Cover the beans with water in a large pot and let soak overnight (if using drained canned beans, skip to step 3)
  • Drain beans and re-fill with fresh water in same pot.  Bring to a boil and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until beans are soft. Drains beans, reserving about 1 cup of liquid.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil.
  • Add the garlic and sage and cook until lightly golden, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 3 minutes. 
  • Add the beans and the squeeze the tomatoes into the beans with your hands.  Season with a healthy pinch of salt and pepper.  Simmer for 15 minutes, adding reserved liquid if becoming dry.
  • Transfer to serving bowl and serve at once, or serve at room temperature. 



Calories: 162kcal
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  • Hey there! I love this recipe i’ve been having it twice a month. I was wondering however if I could substitute dried ground sage for the fresh sage? My local grocery runs out of sage very quickly.

    Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Emma! Yay!! We are so so happy you are enjoying the sautéed white beans! They are one of our favorite dishes, too!! You can absolutely go with dried sage, no problem! Just use 1 tsp of dried, vs. 1 tbsp of fresh. Hope this helps!! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    I’ve been trying many new recipes – trying to find more healthy choices. I saw your recipe and it was intriguing! I used San Marzano tomatoes for the first time and could tell the difference from what I normally use. They gave the dish an ‘Italian’ flavor of sorts. I was planning on using this as a main dish and at the last minute added 2 small links of chicken/cauliflower sausage, sliced. Served it with quinoa and fine green beans. It was delicious as a combination. Thanks for taking me outside my comfort zone!

    • Hi Cindi! Wow!! It all sounds so amazing! We are so so glad you ventured outside your comfort zone and had such great success!! And thank you SO MUCH for letting us know and for the wonderful review. That means the world to us!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

    • Hi Carolyn! It does! Don’t make it too far in advance, otherwise, the beans will absorb too much of the liquid. Gently reheat and add additional beef, chicken, or vegetable stock to reach the right consistency. Let us know if you make them and how they turn out! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • I love using beans in a side dish but this one is good enough as a main dish too. I’ve substituted with lentils and even added in sausage to make it a main dish but even alone it’s just the perfect comfort food especially now that it’s fall. Thank you for this!!

    • Hi Naomi! We agree so much! These beans make a wonderful side dish, but they make an amazing entree, too, and the addition of sausage is just incredible. Thanks for letting us know and please stay in touch!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    I had ppanned on this for supper, started a cornbread and grabbed all of my ingredients only to realize those white beans I was sure I had weren’t there. I used red lentils instead. Not sure how it compares but it turned out fabulous regardless

    • Hi Ashley! So sorry for the delayed response! We are THRILLED you had such great success with the recipe and lentils sound wonderful!! You’ve inspired us to try it with lentils, too!! Thanks so much for letting us know and for the wonderful review! That means the world to us!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

    • Awesome!! We are so happy you had such great success with the white beans recipe! That’s one of our favorites, for sure! And thank you for letting us know and for the great review! That means a lot to us! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    So glad I found your site! What wonderful recipes you have!! Made this and, unable to ever leave well enough alone, snuck a bit of spinach in. The kids ate it, even the teens. Goal to Mom!

  • 5 stars
    Hi! Can I substitute the white beans for Red beans? Thanks it looks great (all the way here from Israel )

  • Is there a substitute for San Marzano tomatoes. I can’t seem to find them in the markets. I look forward to your response.

    Thank you,

    • Hi Gee! So sorry for the delayed response!! Canned whole tomatoes will work just great. Heinz is good, and so is Cento, or whatever your favorite brand is. We hope this helps and let us know if you make the dish. It’s one of our all-time favorites!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    Great tasting rustic bean dish with amazing flavor… family loved it ! Will definitely be putting this into the rotation for our ” Meatless Mondays”. Served it over grilled polenta with simple mixed greens salad with balsamic dressing and a lovely red wine . Fabulous!

    • Hi Carolyn!! We are SO THRILLED you loved the white beans recipe! We have loved that dish for years and so glad you had such great success with it. And thank you for letting us know and for the wonderful review! That means the world to us!! Stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley

      • 5 stars
        Saw this recipe made on TV and have searched for it forever thank you so much I love these beans

  • 5 stars
    This was delicious. Even our picky 5 year old, who isn’t a fan of tomatoes, seemed to enjoy it. I’m definitely not a cook and this was simple enough for even me to do, that’s saying something!

  • 5 stars
    I’m so glad you discuss the beauty of the San Marzano tomatoes. Too many people think that all canned tomatoes are are same (I work in the grocery business). I always use them just as you did, crushed by hand. I love all the uneven delicious chunks of tomato in my soups, stew and side dishes.
    I had some extra cans of white beans in the house and was looking up a recipe for them. I’m making your recipe this week. Can’t wait! Thank you!

  • Loved it! Does this dish have a name? My father made this and called it ‘ beans like little birds ‘ or something like that & I never thought to ask why.

  • Absolutely delicious!! Saw the polenta comments and happened to have cornbread on hand so I ate it over that, amazing!

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