DENVER — There’s lasagna. And there are beans. But in our house, we are currently loving on Lasagna Beans. Garlicky, tomatoey, with just enough oregano and basil. Let’s not forget that creamy ricotta goodness that just seals the deal on this Italian favorite. My recipe for lasagna beans is sans pasta. Am I crazy? No. Is this recipe crazy good? Yes. Colorado grown, dry light red kidney beans, stand up to all the rich players of this popular dish. And the crispy and creamy cheeses make life better in general. Just this once, skip the lasagna carb coma. Your glass of red wine is totally worth of lasagna beans.
1 cup dry light red kidney beans
6 big cloves of fresh garlic, minced
2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp salt (optional)
1 ½ cup crushed or diced San Marzano canned tomatoes with basil leaf
½ cup tomato sauce
1 cup ricotta or cottage cheese
1 ½ cups freshly grated parmesan or Italian cheese blend
- Soak beans overnight in water
- Strain excess water from soak and simmer beans in water until they are cooked
- Once beans are cooked, strain them, and let cool. Once cooled, put them in a large bowl
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Into the beans - add in minced garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt if using. Stir mixture.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce into that bowl.
- Stir until well combined and pour mixture into a large cast iron skillet – 12 inches.
- In another bowl, mix the ricotta or cottage cheese and ½ cup of the grated cheese.
- Stir cheese mixture gently. Spoon tablespoons of the cheese mixture in various parts of the skillet, making little pockets of cheese around the entire thing.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes until the mixture is bubbling.
- Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the skillet (add in more cheese if you’d like!) and place skillet under broiler for about 5-7 minutes until the cheese is lightly brown and bubbling on top.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Garnish with fresh basil. Enjoy alone or with crusty bread.