Fennel-White Bean Mash

Fennel White Bean Mash


Tender, cooked fennel is combined with garlic, chili flakes, olive oil and white beans. This fantastic side is healthy and full of flavor.
  • Serves: 4 to 6
  • Active Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr - 8 hrs
  • Views: 37,266
  • Success Rating: 100% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Soaking the Beans (optional)

• 1 cup white beans, dried (preferably cannellini)


Rinse the dried beans and use either the quick soak method or soak them overnight.

You can use canned beans instead of dried. In this case, use 18-20 oz of beans.

Step 2: Cooking the Beans (optional)

• 2 cloves garlic
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1/2 tsp sea salt


Drain the beans and then place into a pot, along with the garlic cloves and bay leaves. Add about twice the amount of water to beans and bring to a boil.

Then turn down the heat and let simmer until just cooked through. Add the salt about halfway through cooking.

Once done drain and set aside. In the meantime, you can go ahead and prepare the fennel.

Step 3: Preparing the Fennel

• 1 bulb fennel (white and light green part only)
• 1 shallot
• 1 clove garlic


To prepare the fennel, slice lengthwise into 1/4" -inch thick pieces and then finely dice. Finely mince the shallots and garlic. You can prepare everything up to this point one day in advance.

Step 4: Cooking the Fennel

• 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 tsp sea salt
• 2 fresh sage leaves
• 1 small sprig fresh rosemary


Once the beans are finished cooking, you can continue.

Place a large fry pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil, followed by the fennel, shallots, garlic, fresh herbs and salt. Sweat and stir occasionally and adjust the heat, if necessary, so that the fennel doesn’t take on any color.

Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the fennel has softened and becomes translucent.

In the meantime, you can prepare the soffritto (Step 5).

Step 5: Preparing the Soffritto

• 2 cloves garlic
• 1 tsp chili flakes
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


To prepare the soffritto, emincé the garlic and then place into a small fry pan with the chili flakes and olive oil.

Place over medium heat and cook until the garlic softens and you start to smell it. Once done, pour into the fennel mixture. Stir to combine.

Step 6: Finishing the Dish

• sea salt (to taste)
• freshly ground black pepper (to taste)


To finish the dish, add half of the beans to the fennel mix and mash with a fork. Add the remaining beans and fold in, keeping the beans whole.

If the mixture seems a bit dry, you can go ahead and drizzle in a bit more olive oil. Taste for seasoning and serve.

Chef's Notes

This dish is not only great as a side dish, it is also great as the first layer of a pizza, or even as a spread with bread and cheese.

It goes particularly well with this Pan-Fried Sole dish.


  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Added some chicken stock to some leftovers and it made a super quick and delicious soup.
  • Francois G
    Francois G
    Can it be made in advance and just reheated?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    I haven't tried it myself but I would think that it would likely be totally fine if made ahead. Cheers!
  • Rebecca B
    Rebecca B
    I make this all the time for potlucks, as a side dish throughout the week, and I've even used the white bean mash as a base for a vegetarian pizza. It's so versatile, healthy, and goes with just about anything. I have reheated this dish by a steam method on the stovetop, and also in the microwave. It seems to do fine both ways -- I think it doesn't dry out as easily as other bean dishes, probably due to the soffritto (oil) that coats the beans. I've actually even served this dish cold during summer as a BBQ side dish. It still tastes great and is probably healthier than a mayonnaise based potato salad, but provides the same level of satisfaction.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Thank you Rebecca! The comment about serving it cold as an alternative to a mayonnaise based salad is spot on! It is really satisfying hot or cold. I spread it in tortillas with lots of herbs and shredded veggies. Delicious beans...so satisfying.
  • Nichole D
    Nichole D
    Loved this alternative to cold potato salad or chunky mashed potatoes! From a nutrition perspective, really like the fact that it's filled with protein and fiber-rich beans, not to mention the fresh herbs. It definitely makes for a healthy and hearty dish. I added more fresh rosemary on top which made it absolutely perfect.

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