Beans and Legumes/ Recipes/ Side Dishes/ Vegetables/ Vegetarian

Dinner on the Cheap: Garlickly Greens & Beans

Back in the day — four years ago to be exact — I had intended to start a new recipe series called “dinner on the cheap”. You may recall this recipe, which so many of you loved (and we still love…all the time!).

Well, welcome to the second installment! I mean, it’s only been four years. Come on, people. So I’m a little slow.

Seriously though, this is just the kind of dinner I make when I have no idea what else to cook and I want to get some quick, tasty nutrition into our bellies without breaking the bank. It’s not even really a recipe but I knew if I had just posted a photo of it — which was our dinner last night — on Instagram, you guys would have asked for the recipe. So here we go. I’ve been making versions of this since I moved into my first apartment for culinary school almost ten years ago (sidenote: what is happening? ten years?). It’s really simple and really good. My kids absolutely love this and I love that I make a meal out of basically nothing. Just some beans, olive oil, garlic and greens from the garden.

This might not seem like a meal but I can assure you it really is. I usually pair this with some bread from the bakery, milk for Grayson and wine for me. 🙂 It’s a great light dinner that I make often in the spring when my kale and collards are going crazy outside. 

Salads are a little difficult for Grayson still…but for some reason, he really gets into cooked greens. I’m not complaining. I think it’s because I have just always given them to him and, because of our little garden, we eat a lot of greens. Collards sauteed in olive oil is pretty much the standard veggie side-dish I make a few times a week. We never grow sick of it either.

I’ve only made beans and greens with dried beans and I urge you to do the same. It really doesn’t take any extra work and the result is 150% worth it. I just do a quick soak with my lima beans the morning I want to make this for dinner. Then, I simmer the soaked beans for 45 minutes during naptime in the afternoon. Once you have your beans cooked, this comes together in approximately four minutes.

I never fail to be impressed with how good this actually tastes, despite it’s simplicity. Try it and you’ll see!

Garlicky Beans & Greens
Prep Time
1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time
4 mins
Total Time
1 hr 34 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 3 servings
  • 1 cup dried lima beans
  • 1 large bunch dark leafy greens such as collard greens or kale, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. To quick soak your beans like I usually do, just place beans in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a high boil and boil for 3 minutes. Turn off burner, cover pot and let beans rest for an hour. After an hour, drain beans and add fresh water with plenty of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until beans are soft, about 40 minutes. 

  2. After your beans have cooked, drain them gently (lima beans get really soft so be careful not to crush them). Add three tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. 

  3. Add minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add leafy greens and saute for another minute. Stir in beans. Season to taste with salt and pepper and drizzle additional olive oil over top.

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    May 18, 2017 at 6:25 am

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  • Aimee
    May 18, 2017 at 10:08 am

    I love this post series idea! Keep them coming!

  • Sarah
    May 18, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Added to my meal plan! And I second the idea of ‘dinner on the cheap’ meals. My kiddos are similarly aged to yours, so easy and cheap is an extra win!

  • Amanda
    May 22, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    YUM! So simple and lovely with so much room for inspiration! Thanks. Will definitely use this after a long day/week at work!

  • Sophie Piper
    June 2, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Made this last week and it was crazy good! Great recipe! Thanks

  • Kristie
    July 1, 2017 at 12:10 am

    Beautiful – loved it! Splashed on some lemon juice, added some red pepper flakes and dinner was served. Thank-you!!

  • Kait
    August 5, 2017 at 11:16 am

    I’ve loved both of your “dinner on the cheap” recipes! Would definitely appreciate more of these. So glad you are back in the recipe blogging world! 🙂