Creamy Cilantro White Beans

During the quarantine, we’re all trying new things. Some out of boredom, some due to what is available or not available in our cabinets and grocery stores. Last weekend as I deep-stared my pantry for some unknown amount of time, I was awakened by the sight of some dried navy beans (small white beans). The tamales in my freezer that I made with friends at New Years popped into my mind. And then the frozen cilantro oil I made out of a bunch of cilantro that was about to be past its prime last week. A Sunday dinner was born.

Alas, you’re here for the recipe. Here we go…

Note: If you don’t have time to prepare cilantro oil ahead for this recipe, simply use fresh cilantro chopped fine, plus a tablespoon of olive oil.


  • 1 pound bag of dried white beans (soaked per package instructions)
  • 4 tablespoons cilantro oil (click here for recipe)
  • 1 chopped red pepper (optional)
  • 1 or two finely chopped tablespoons red onion
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Drain and rinse soaked beans. Place them in a stock pot with enough water to cover the beans plus about an inch more. Keep adding water when it reaches the beans, but just enough to keep them cooking. Add one or two teaspoons of salt to the pot.
  2. Simmer until the beans are soft, then drain but reserve the cooking water.
  3. Save aside one cup of beans.
  4. Add the beans back into the pot with about a cup of the cooking water plus all of the other ingredients.
  5. Simmer over low heat to cook the new ingredients.
  6. Meanwhile, take your one cup of reserved beans plus 1/4 cup reserved cooking water and puree them either by hand with a masher or you can use a stick or other blender.
  7. Add pureed beans into the pot with the other ingredients and continue cooking until you have a creamy consistency. If you need to add more reserved cooking water, you may do so a little at a time.

Serve hot!

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