Big-batch basics like these beans front-load the weeknight dinner prep work, leaving you with the beginnings of not just one but three quick and delicious meals—and they’re all different, so your family will never get bored.
, such as Great Northern or romano (about 4 cups)
2 1/2 tsp
, coarsely chopped
, or thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
- Place the beans in a very large ovenproof pot or Dutch oven and cover with cold water by at least 5 in. Stir in 1 tsp of the salt. Soak at room temperature for 6 to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Drain the beans, then put them back into the pot and cover with water again, this time by 2 in. Bring to a boil. Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, rosemary or thyme, chili flakes (if using), Parmesan rind and the remaining 1½ teaspoons of salt. Return to a boil, then cover and transfer the pot to the oven. Bake 25 minutes, then taste one bean for tenderness and add more water if needed (it should cover the beans by an inch at all times). Continue to cook, checking on the beans every 5 to 10 minutes, until they are tender without being mushy.
- Cool completely, then package into 2- or 4-cup portions in freezer bags. Pat down the bags so they lie flat (this speeds up freezing and thawing) and freeze up to 3 months. To use, thaw in the fridge overnight, then gently reheat to a simmer.
Originally published in the Today’s Parent November/December 2020 issue. Recipe excerpted from Dinner, Uncomplicated: Fixing a Delicious Meal Every Night of the Week by Claire Tansey. Published by Page Two Books, Inc. (Sept. 15, 2020). Photo by Suech and Beck.