Molly Yeh’s white bean hotdish recipe is a cheesy, saucy comfort – Lifotravel


Veggie Supreme White Bean Hotdish

Active time:35 mins

Total time:50 mins


Active time:35 mins

Total time:50 mins



After the holidays, our pants a little (or a lot) tighter than they were a month or two ago, we’re all craving something lighter. Or at least we’re supposed to. At the moment, I appear to be holding out.

Why? Well, I’ve just started another few months of paternity leave, and I’m feeling a layered mixture of hope and anxiety as my husband and I mark six months that we’ve had the latest (and possibly last) foster son, a smart and talented 14-year-old we are working to make a permanent part of the family. (As they say, the third time’s a charm.)

That’s one factor. The others: We just emerged from a bone-chilling cold spell, one that caused two pipes to freeze and one to burst, leaving us without water for a few days. Finally (I hope), I have been dealing with a benign and temporary — but acutely painful — health condition that has been dragging on longer than anticipated.

For all those reasons, I’m still plenty interested in rib-sticking comfort food and probably will be for a while.

If you’re familiar with hotdish (Midwestern for casserole), you know that nothing is heartier or more comforting, and you might know that the reigning queen of hotdish is Molly Yeh, the cookbook author and Food Network star whose new book celebrates her take on Chinese-Jewish-Midwestern cooking. Yeh is also trying to serve nourishing food to her husband and two young children, and this recipe is her take on pizza hotdish, which she calls “basically pepperoni pizza toppings tossed with pasta and ground beef.” After she saw Deb Perelman’s famous “pizza beans,” she decided to sub cannellini beans for the pasta and meat, making what she calls a “pizza-adjacent casserole that I feel a whole lot better about serving my family on a non-pizza night.”

She calls it Veggie Supreme White Bean Hotdish, and it’s a straightforward recipe to make, with bell pepper, spinach, black olives, beans, tomato and more, “bound together by cheese, all cozy under a blanket of breadcrumbs dressed up like garlic bread.”

If possible, make it in a vessel that can slide from stovetop to oven, because nothing says self-care like one fewer pot to wash. Or make it ahead and refrigerate or freeze in a casserole dish, baking directly from frozen.

The next time I make it, I think I’ll double the recipe and freeze half. Then, when I say this is the kind of thing that can satisfy me and the family until spring, I’ll be speaking literally.

Veggie Supreme White Bean Hotdish

Make Ahead: Assemble the casserole through topping with breadcrumbs in a metal or otherwise freezer-safe 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Cool, tightly wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. If baking from frozen, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, uncover, then bake at 450 degrees until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Storage: Refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

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  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 5 ounces baby spinach, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or finely grated and divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • One (2.25-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained and rinsed
  • Two (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • One (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone (may substitute ricotta or cream cheese)
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup (1 ounce) finely grated parmesan cheese
  • Handful of torn basil leaves

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

In a Dutch oven or another large oven-safe pot over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion, bell pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, just until wilted. Stir in half of the chopped garlic, the oregano, and a pinch or two of crushed red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the olives, beans, tomatoes and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, increase the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so the mixture is at a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the flavors meld, about 10 minutes. Stir in the mascarpone and a big handful of the mozzarella until melted. Taste, and season with more salt as needed.

Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on top, going all the way to the edge.

In a small bowl, toss the panko with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the remaining garlic. Scatter the panko all over the mozzarella.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melty and the breadcrumbs are lightly browned. Top with the parmesan, basil and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper, and serve hot.

Calories: 433; Total Fat: 24 g; Saturated Fat: 12 g; Cholesterol: 52 mg; Sodium: 952 mg; Carbohydrates: 36 g; Dietary Fiber: 6 g; Sugar: 10 g; Protein: 18 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

Adapted from “Home Is Where the Eggs Are” by Molly Yeh (William Morrow, 2022).

Tested by Joe Yonan; email questions to

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