Cacio e Pepe Beans

Creamy, hearty and warming, Cacio e Pepe is one of my favourite dishes – so why not make a variation with beans? Yes, you read that right! Today we’re making Cacio e Pepe beans. 

cacio e pepe beans

You know we don’t really play favourites here at The Culinary Cartel. Every cuisine, ingredient and dish gets an equal shake. So, we’ve made Cacio e Pepe, and we’ve made a couple of creamy and delicious bean dishes in the past, so the thought occurred – why not combine the two?

Enter, Cacio e Pepe Beans! This dish is fantastic, quick, easy, and a wonderful, budget-friendly family meal. This white bean stew will warm you to the tips of your toes and takes no time to make on the stovetop.

You can make this recipe with any white beans you can find; cannellini beans are my favourite. This dish is saved from being one-note by the addition of lovely wilted kale and a crisp, zingy chilli pickle, which you can make as hot (or not) as you like. I like it on the hotter end, but let your palate dictate which chillis you decide to use. 

When I say this could not be more perfect as a weeknight family dish, I do mean it. It comes together in under 20 minutes of prep and cook time, and requires only 8 basic supermarket ingredients. This is the ultimate bougie on a budget dish, and you’ll find yourself coming back to it time and time again – or at least I do, anyway! 

If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. To view our recipe
video on Instagram click 
hereHappy cooking!

cacio e pepe beans

Frequently Asked Questions

I can’t find cannellini beans, what else can I use?

If you haven’t got canned cannellini beans available in your supermarket, you can substitute with white beans or butter beans. 

I don’t like/can’t find kale, what can I use instead?

If kale is either not available, or not to your liking, feel free to substitute it with spinach or chard. Simply rinse well and cook until just tender.


cacio e pepe beans
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cacio e pepe beans

Cacio e Pepe Beans

  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: <20 Minutes
  • Yield: 3 - 4 Servings


Creamy, hearty and warming, Cacio e Pepe is one of my favourite dishes – so why not make a variation with beans? Yes, you read that right! Today we’re making Cacio e Pepe beans. 



For the Beans

  • 3 tins cannellini beans
  • 2 white onions
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/31/2 cups water/stock (homemade or use stock powder/pots)
  • 100g parmesan
  • 200g kale
  • freshly ground black pepper, salt and oil as needed

For the Quick Pickled Chilli

  • 2 red chilli
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp sugar


  1. Wilt the kale in a pan with a bit of oil until softened and tender. Set aside for later, then wipe the pan out.
  2. Add a drizzle of oil to the pan. Dice the onions and sweat in the pan over a medium heat with the bay leaves until soft.
  3. While the onions and bay leaves are sweating, make the chilli pickle. Slice the chilli thinly, then place it in a bowl with the lime juice, pinch of salt and sugar. Set aside to pickle while you make the rest of the dish.
  4. Once the onions have softened, add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Drain and rinse 2 cans of cannellini beans and add them to the pan, then add the last can of beans including the liquid, plus the extra ⅓ cup water or stock and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the parmesan to the bean mixture and stir until combined. Add more water/stock as need at this stage to yield creamy beans, roughly the consistency of risotto.
  6. Season the beans to taste with salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
  7. Top the beans with the quick pickled chilli and the wilted kale, and serve.
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10-15 Minutes
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian-inspired


  • Serving Size: 1

Keywords: Cacio e Pepe Beans

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