Escarole And Bean Soup – A Traditional Italian Food

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Indulge in the rustic charm of this Escarole and Bean Soup, a delightful marriage of hearty greens and creamy legumes that promises to nourish and satisfy. Begin by sautéing garlic and onions, their fragrances laying a savory foundation. Add in chopped escarole, its slight bitterness mellowing as it wilts. Stir in cannellini beans, their creaminess a perfect foil to the greens. Pour in a rich chicken or vegetable broth, bringing the mixture to a gentle simmer. Season with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, then serve hot, for a bowl that’s like a cozy embrace on a chilly day.

Savor the rustic charm of Escarole and Bean Soup, a heartwarming classic hailing from Italy’s robust culinary heritage. Picture curling tendrils of steam rising from a simmering pot, redolent with garlic and luscious olive oil, enriching your senses. 

Escarole and Bean Soup

Delicate sturdy, yet tender escarole intermingles with protein-packed cannellini beans, creating a symphony of textures in every spoonful. Experience the sublime interplay of tangy tomato and a hint of chili, breathing fiery life into this timeless dish. 

A whisper of Parmesan cheese, melting slowly, adds a creamy depth that will make you delightfully close your eyes. This wholesome blend marries nutrition and comfort, delivering more than a mere meal – it offers a cozy embrace on chilly evenings. 

So why wait? Journey with us as we plunge into the preparation of this hearty delight, where every ingredient sings in perfect harmony, inviting you to savor each sip. Remember, it’s not just soup – it’s an experience.

What Is Escarole And Bean Soup?

Escarole and Bean Soup is a traditional Italian comfort food, combining the slightly bitter, crunchy escarole leafy green with creamy cannellini beans. The soup boasts a delicate balance of flavors simmered in a savory broth infused with garlic, olive oil, and chili. 

A generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese adds a layer of richness, making the dish hearty and satisfying. A wholesome concoction, it embodies the quintessence of home-style cooking, brimming with nutrition, warmth, and authentic Italian taste.

Escarole and Bean Soup

Can You Vary The Escarole And Bean Soup With Other Ingredients? 

Escarole and Bean Soup is a flexible recipe that can be modified to suit various dietary needs:

  1. Keto Substitute beans with a low-carb vegetable like zucchini or cauliflower. Add in some diced chicken or sausage for protein.
  2. Paleo Use fresh green beans instead of cannellini beans, and ensure that the stock is homemade or certified paleo-friendly.
  3. Gluten-Free The classic recipe is already gluten-free. However, check the labels on any store-bought broth to ensure no gluten-containing additives are used.
  4. Whole30 Follow the recipe, replacing beans with a Whole30-compliant vegetable like kale or spinach. Use compliant chicken or vegetable broth.
  5. Vegetarian/Vegan The traditional recipe is vegetarian. Skip the Parmesan cheese or use a vegan cheese substitute to make it vegan. Again, ensure that your vegetable broth is vegan.
Ingredient tips

Recipe Directions

  1. Add a bit of stock or olive oil to a large pot over medium heat to prevent the onion and garlic from browning. Cook the minced garlic and chopped sweet onion until they become fragrant and translucent, typically for about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Next, add the remaining chicken broth to the pot. If you prefer, you can also use vegetable broth as an alternative. Sprinkle in the optional adobo seasoning for an extra kick of flavor. Stir everything together to ensure the flavors are well combined.
  3. Drain and rinse the navy beans from the cans, then add them to the pot. Stir gently to incorporate the beans with the other ingredients.
  4. Now it’s time to introduce the star ingredient: the chopped escarole. Add the four cups of chopped escarole to the pot, distributing it evenly. The escarole will add a pleasant bitterness to the soup while providing a delightful crunch.
  5. Allow the soup to simmer over medium-low heat for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the escarole is tender yet slightly crispy. Stir occasionally to prevent any sticking or burning.
  6. Once the escarole reaches the desired texture, your Escarole and Bean Soup is ready to be served. Ladle it into bowls and enjoy the comforting flavors of this nourishing soup. 
Recipe Direction

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


  • Mix the protein with shredded chicken, diced sausage, or a handful of cooked quinoa. 
  • Experiment with different types of beans, like chickpeas or kidney beans, for a new flavor profile.


  • Crumbled bacon or pancetta add a savory, smoky note. 
  • For an added health boost, stir in additional leafy greens like kale or spinach during the final minutes of cooking.


  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese or a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil can enhance the soup’s richness. 
  • For a kick of heat, sprinkle on some red pepper flakes. 
  • A handful of homemade croutons adds a delightful crunch.
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Can I Make Escarole And Bean Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

The Escarole and Bean Soup recipe adapts well to slow cookers and Instant Pots.

Slow Cooker

  • After sautéing the onion and garlic on the stovetop, transfer them to the slow cooker and the other ingredients. 
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Add the escarole about 30 minutes before cooking ends to retain some crunch.

Instant Pot

  • Use the “Sauté” function to cook the onion and garlic. Then add the rest of the ingredients, except for the escarole. 
  • Cook on high pressure for around 10 minutes, then release the pressure manually. Open the pot, switch back to the “Sauté” mode, stir in the escarole, and let it cook until tender.
Escarole and Bean Soup

Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

You can certainly use store-bought broth in your Escarole and Bean Soup. It offers convenience and is a great option when time is limited. When purchasing, look for low-sodium versions to control the salt content in your dish.

However, making your broth can significantly enhance the soup’s flavor if time allows. Homemade broth allows for complete control over the ingredients and seasoning. Plus, it can be made in large batches and frozen for future use.

Escarole and Bean Soup

How To Serve?

Escarole and Bean Soup shine best when served hot, freshly made, with complementary accompaniments. Here’s how you can serve it:

  • Bread: Serve with a side of crusty Italian bread or a baguette. It’s perfect for soaking up the flavorful broth.
  • Garnish: Top with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of high-quality extra virgin olive oil to enhance its richness. If you like a kick of heat, sprinkling red pepper flakes works wonders.
  • Salad: Pair with a simple green salad for a light, balanced meal.
  • Wine Pairing: A glass of crisp white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with the soup, complementing its savory, earthy flavors.
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Perfect Side Dishes

  • Crusty Bread: A thick slice of warm, crusty bread like sourdough or a French baguette is perfect for sopping up the flavorful broth.
  • Green Salad: A fresh green salad with a tangy vinaigrette can balance the hearty, savory flavors of the soup. Think mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a simple lemon-olive oil dressing.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: For a comforting, cozy meal, pair the soup with a classic grilled cheese sandwich.
  • Roasted Veggies: Roasted seasonal vegetables like asparagus, Brussels sprouts, or sweet potatoes can add color and variety to the meal.
  • Charcuterie Board: A small charcuterie board with cheeses, cured meats, and olives can add a gourmet touch to your soup meal.
Escarole and Bean Soup

Storage And Make Ahead

  • Refrigeration: Store cooled soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freezing: Escarole and beans soup can be frozen in airtight containers for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: Reheat soup gently on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the soup as directed, excluding any pasta or rice if the recipe includes them. Cool completely and store in the refrigerator. Cook the pasta or rice separately and add to the soup when reheating to prevent them from becoming mushy.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve the soup with crusty bread or over cooked pasta for a hearty meal.
Escarole and Bean Soup

What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

Leftover Escarole and Bean Soup offer a wealth of creative possibilities:

  • Next-Day Lunch: Enjoy it as a quick, ready-made lunch the next day. It’s even better as flavors meld overnight.
  • Pasta Sauce: Reduce the leftover soup on the stove until it thickens, then toss with pasta for a quick, hearty meal.
  • Grain Bowl Base: Use the soup as a flavorful base for a grain bowl. Add cooked quinoa, farro, or brown rice and top with fresh veggies.
  • Stuffed Peppers: Mix the soup with cooked rice and use it to stuff bell peppers. Bake until the peppers are tender.
  • Casserole Addition: Add the soup to a casserole for extra flavor and moisture.
  • Freeze for Later: If you can’t use it right away, freeze it in single-serve portions for an easy meal down the road.


  • Prep the Escarole: Remove any tough outer leaves, wash the remaining leaves thoroughly, and chop them into bite-sized pieces. This ensures they cook evenly and retain their vibrant color.
  • Enhance the Flavor: Sauté onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes in olive oil before adding the escarole and beans. This step builds a flavorful base for the soup.
  • Add Depth with Parmesan Rind: Simmer the soup with a Parmesan rind to infuse it with a rich, savory flavor. Remove the rind before serving.
  • Use Homemade Stock: If possible, use homemade chicken or vegetable stock for a more flavorful base.
Escarole And Bean Soup - A Traditional Italian Food

Escarole And Bean Soup – A Traditional Italian Food

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Course: Soup Recipe


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Enjoy the delightful flavors of Escarole and Bean Soup. This recipe combines tender escarole, protein-packed navy beans, and aromatic spices in a savory broth. A nourishing and satisfying dish that will warm your soul with every spoonful.

Ingredients List

  • 6 6 Cloves of Garlic (Minced)

  • 1 1 Sweet Onion (Chopped)

  • 2 2 Navy Beans (Canned)

  • 1 Quart 1 Chicken Broth

  • 1 Teaspoon 1 Adobo Seasoning

  • 4 Cups 4 Escarole (Chopped)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation Steps
    Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.
    Rinse and chop the escarole into bite-sized pieces.
  • Cooking
    Over medium heat, add a small amount of stock or olive oil to a large pot.
    Add the chopped onion and garlic, stirring frequently to prevent browning.
  • Blending
    Add the remaining stock to the pot, a generous dash of adobo spice, and navy beans. Mix well to combine.
    Stir in the chopped escarole, ensuring it’s submerged in the liquid.
    Final Touches:
    Cook the mixture until the escarole becomes tender, retaining a slight crunch for texture.
  • Serving
    Ladle the soup into bowls, ensuring a balance of escarole and beans in each serving.
  • Large Pot
  • Cutting Board
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Wooden Spoon or Ladle
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Can Opener
  • Soup Bowls and Soup Spoons


  • Feel free to adjust the quantities of garlic, onion, and spices according to your preferences.
  • If you prefer a vegetarian or vegan version, you can substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth.
  • Adobo seasoning is optional but adds a flavorful kick to the soup. You can omit it or replace it with your preferred seasoning blend.
  • Ensure to cook the escarole sparingly to maintain its slight crispiness and vibrant green color.
  • Leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The flavors develop more over time, making them even more delicious the next day.
  • This soup pairs well with crusty bread or a side salad for a complete and satisfying meal.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition Table

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