5-Minute Garlic Beans & Greens

This tasty side dish of soft, yummy garlic beans and greens comes together in less than 5 minutes, and makes for a perfect easy, healthy meal on a busy weeknight.

close up white bowl full white beans with pieces of kale and sprinkled with garlic salt and black pepper

This is so simple that it’s barely even a recipe, but it’s one of my go-to’s on busy weeknights when I don’t feel like cooking.

These Garlic Beans & Greens Are:

  • Quick
  • Easy
  • Satisfying
  • Healthy
  • Simple
  • Easily made from pantry and freezer staples

Fresh Beans vs. Canned

There’s really no contest, freshly cooked beans are always going to be better than canned beans. Freshly cooked beans are soft, flavorful, and oh-so-yummy. They do require the extra step of remembering to dump a cup or two of beans in a pot of water the night before, but cooking your own beans is so hands-off, especially if you have a crockpot or instant pot. You can just set it and forget it, and come home to warm, delicious beans, just waiting patiently for you. You can find my tutorial on how to cook dry beans here.

That said, the point of this recipe is to get healthy food on the table in under 5 minutes, so by all means use canned beans if that’s what will make this meal actually happen!

Fresh or Frozen Greens

You can use any dark, sturdy greens for this dish, including kale, chard, collards, or spinach. If you’re using frozen greens, just be sure to defrost them and squeeze out any excess water first.

Simply Spiced

The beauty of this dish is in its simplicity, no need to overcomplicate it. All that the soft, yummy white beans need is a kick of garlic, drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. However, I recently learned about putting nutmeg on everything, and that really adds a lovely dimension to these beans. Give it a try!

More Simple Dinner Recipes

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5-Minute Garlic Beans & Greens

This tasty side dish of soft, yummy garlic white beans and greens comes together in less than 5 minutes, and makes for a perfect easy, nutritious meal on a busy weeknight.
5 from 5 votes
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Active Time: 2 minutes
Inactive Time: 3 minutes
Servings 2


  • 2 cups white beans, cooked or canned
  • 1 bunch kale, or 10 oz fresh or frozen spinach
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • fresh ground nutmeg, a few grinds
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • If using frozen greens, defrost and squeeze excess liquid out before using.
  • Add the oil, garlic, and greens to a skillet. Fry over medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes, until the greens are wilted and the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the beans and toss gently to combine.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 349kcal (17%)Carbohydrates: 52g (17%)Protein: 20g (40%)Fat: 8g (12%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Sodium: 36mg (2%)Potassium: 1341mg (38%)Fiber: 11g (46%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 6494IU (130%)Vitamin C: 79mg (96%)Calcium: 267mg (27%)Iron: 8mg (44%)
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  3. 5 stars
    I just made this for the first time with a bag of fresh spinach & canned butter beans! Delish!

  4. Pingback: 15-Minute Tempeh Bolognese - Katie's Conscious Kitchen

  5. Caterina

    5 stars
    Super easy and delicious. I added a few sliced cherry tomatoes into the recipe

  6. Anonymous

    5 stars
    I love greens and beans. And this is the easiest recipe I have ever seen. I’m making it tonight

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