Fagioli Stufati | Tuscan Beans Baked with Sage and Lemon

An Italian baked beans dish full of goodness and taste.

Fagioli Stufati | Tuscan Beans Baked with Sage and Lemon

I love beans. Give me Italian or Indian bean dishes and I am in heaven. Without much ado today, this is a baked dish full of goodness and taste. Italian in origin, it is something we have been cooking for years. Fagioli Stufati means Stewed or Baked Beans.

Although this dish is traditionally made with the traditional white beans – cannellini, haricot or lima (butter) beans, I have also made the dish with black-eyed beans, and it was just as delicious.

It is a dish with extraordinary flavours for very little effort, apart from the soaking time and cooking time. For less than 10 minutes (closer to 5 minutes), you can have this dish on the table for lunch or dinner if you think ahead. Quite the opposite to Ottolenghi’s dishes, hey? Maximum flavour with Maximum Effort and Maximum Time.

Similar recipes include Fagioli a la FlorentinaRustic Spicy Lima Beans, Baked Lima Beans with Celery, Slow Cooked Tomato Chickpeas with Burrata, and White Bean Salad.

Or browse all Italian recipes. Our Baked Bean recipes are here and our Cannellini Beans recipes are here. Or check out our Mid Winter recipes.

Soaking Beans

Fagioli Stufati

Beans Soaking 2Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 mins + 2 hrs or more soaking
Cook Time: 120 mins
Serves: 4 – 6

2 cups cannellini beans, black eyed beans, lima beans or haricot beans
4.5 cups cold water
10 large sage leaves or 2 sprigs rosemary
4 Tblspns olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 lemon
black pepper and sea salt
parsley to serve


Ahead of time: Soak the beans overnight, or during the day, for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours, in a large bowl of water. It will froth a little.

At the time of cooking: Preheat the oven to 200C. Drain the beans and rinse them well.

Place the beans in a heavy ovenproof casserole or terra-cotta fagioliera. Pour in the water and add the sage or rosemary, olive oil, garlic and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Beans and OilCover the casserole and bake for about 2 hours, stirring twice. The cooking time will depend on the dryness of the beans, the soaking time and even the method that was used to dry them. Check the beans after 1.5 hours to make sure they are not overcooking.

When the beans are almost cooked, squeeze the juice of 0.5 – 1 lemon over the beans and add salt to taste. Stir to combine, and continue to bake, uncovered, for an extra 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven, check the seasonings, place on a serving dish and sprinkle with parsley and a little very good virgin olive oil.

recipe notes
Depending on the beans, cooking time, cooking dish and the beans, they might bake until dry, or have retain some delicious liquid when cooking is completed.  If there is too much liquid with the beans, drain some off and keep for your next soup. I must say I love the cooking stock with the beans.

Fagioli Stufati | Tuscan Beans Baked with Sage and Lemon


This has been cross posted with our sister site, Heat in The Kitchen. It appears there  as part of the Retro Recipes series.






Author: Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.

23 thoughts on “Fagioli Stufati | Tuscan Beans Baked with Sage and Lemon”

  1. Thanks, Peter and Linda! It is very easy to cook.

    Hi Shivapriya, you can serve this as a side dish. Or you could surround serve with a green salad and some gorgeous red sliced tomatoes (maybe with green chilli and onion), and some crusty bread or Indian breads. Eat for lunch or light dinner.

    Another use for it would be to pile it onto some bread, lightly toasted, with some lettuce and tomato. You could rub a cut garlic clove over the bread before topping it with the beans. Yum.

    I hope that I have given you some inspiration to imagine more uses, and play with the flavours.


  2. This looks delicious! It’s interesting to me, as an American, that we have our own lingo again. Here, cannellini are entirely white beans. The ones you show are called black-eyed peas and are popular in the South.

    Many Southerners still make Hoppin’ John for good luck on New Year’s Day. Black-eyed peas, bacon, white rice, a few red pepper flakes. It’s wonderful.


  3. Hi Ella, yes, I was thinking today about the cultural food differences and how interesting blogging is as we become more informed about them.

    This dish is really mean for the all white cannellini beans, but i made it this time with the black eyed beans. Still just as yummy.

    i have no idea what Hoppin’ John is! ? I would leave out the bacon, because we are all veg here. But beans, rice and chilli – ah, hah, sounds yum.


  4. Hi, I love your photos. Somehow, I’ve never thought of baking beans..Does it make a difference in taste if u just boil this over the stove?


  5. Hi milz – I haven’t heard that about soaking beans. It is done mainly to assist with cooking them – shortens the cooking time. If you add just a pinch of turmeric to them when cooking, it can assist.

    I found these sites which might help. Click here and here

    Glad you like the pictures.

    Hello, happygrub. You could cook this over the stove. The taste and the texture would be different, but it would also be nice. I love the concept of slow cooked food, the slow, meditativeness of it somehow. But if short on time, the stovetop will work. Use the lowest heat setting. And thanks for your comments about my photos. I love taking them.


  6. Vegeyum,
    Thanks a lot for the quick response. I have seen hummus recipes with black eyed peas. I will sure try something new next time.
    Thanks for ur patience and time:). Its soo sweet of you.


  7. I love black eyed beans!!!! (every good southerner HAS to like them 🙂

    I am planning an untraditional Thanksgiving dinner – I think this recipe is going on the menu list.


  8. I love black eyed peas too. I made Jamaican Rice and beans with it, will post next week!:)

    Your dish looks delicious. Makes a great filling lunch with salad on the side.


  9. Hi Sivapriya, I have never thought of hummus with black eyed peas! That would be great.

    Hi Kimberly, let me know how you go with Thanksgiving. I think this would be great! Also I recently saw a Greek baked bean dish on a blog somewhere. That also looked great.

    Asha, Yes, I would love it with some crusty bread and salad. I am looking forward to your jamaican rice and beans.


  10. Although not mentioned above, with the reappearance of slow cookers it doesn’t hurt to remind people that many beans, but specifically red kidney and cannellini or white navy type contain a potentially harmful lectin called Phytohaemagglutinin. I have provided a link to the USFDA that comments on this and there are other sources on the web. Note especially the temperature issues around this substance. Beans are wonderful and I have grown them and happily eaten them all my life. Still, it pays to be aware of any downsides and act accordingly. See link: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~mow/chap43.html


  11. Thanks, rprog, for the reminder that some foods we do need to cook properly, and some foods will cause reactions on some people. Peanuts are a prime example. Also, Soya beans have also been discussed in this way – although I still love raw soya beans.

    We do need to be aware and have the information, to remember that the combinations of foods is also important, and then to make wise choices on cooking and eating.


  12. Yes soybeans too can be a problem, and I must say eating them raw or eating raw sprouts of soybeans makes you braver than me. Personally I don’t have a cast iron stomach…more like the canary in the coal mine. Unfortunately when we travel I am the one that falls over first when at the dodgey places !!

    By the way Milz is quite right. Long soaks do remove oligosaccharides in beans that are very difficult to digest and cause gas. One of the best ways to treat beans after picking out the baddies and rinsing completely, is to put them on a pot on the stove and bring them to a boil for about 5 minutes. Let them sit for up a bit and then dump the water and rinse the beans. This does a few things: it kills any wild yeasts on the beans thus reducing the chance of them going sour or spoiling, and it releases much of the oligosaccharides into the water. When you dump the water you also get rid of these hard to digest sugars. Happily this short boil can also shorten your soak time to about 2 to 4 hours. Whether you decide to soak for the short period or overnight you should change the water several more times if possible. I used to use a pressure cooker and would cook garbanzo beans from dry in less than 40 minutes. Fast yes, but way too gassy. Use a modified technique now that takes somewhat longer but lots less gas later !!


  13. We have to remember that some cultures have been living on bean based diets for centuries, without any noticeable bad effects. So what did they do that is different? Long soaks, combinations of foods traditionally eaten together (where one might minimise the impact of the other) and so forth. India, Greece, Italy – look to the traditional methods of cooking.

    See my post on pasta and the length of time to cook it. There is such wisdom embedded in the accepted ways.

    Oh, also, add a little turmeric to the cooking water of beans and lentils. Reduces gas.


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