I have been craving arancini so much, first of all because they are delicious, second because I associate them with parties, and parties are certainly missing these days. This recipe for spicy white bean croquettes offers that familiar arancini vibe using a different medium. Spicy white bean croquettes are a nice treat and change of pace.

White beans, blended with herbs, spices, egg, and parmesan cheese, create a creamy contrast to the crispy, crunchy exterior. Serve these spicy white beans croquettes with marinara sauce for a yummy snack or pair them with a salad for a full meal! 

makes about 9 large croquettes


  • 1 can white (cannellini, great northern, navy) beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons parsley
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 cups neutral oil (the amount will vary depending on the size of your cooking vessel)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup marinara sauce, for dipping


Place the rinsed beans in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Add the salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and lemon zest and mix with a spatula or spoon. Mix in the parsley, oregano and basil, then add the parmesan cheese. 

Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium-high heat. I cooked these in a 6 ¾ quart dutch oven, so it took about 2 cups of oil to fill it an inch high, but you can use any heavy-bottomed pot or cast iron skillet. Depending on its size, you may need more or less oil, but measuring out the oil exactly is not critical, just fill it enough so that about half of the croquette is covered when placed in the pan.

Once the oil has been heating for 5-7 minutes, it is time to prepare the croquettes. Measure out two tablespoons of the mixture, roll it into a ball, and set it aside. Repeat until all of the bean mixture has been rolled into balls. One at a time, coat each ball in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs, then place it in the pan. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan as this will cool the oil and prevent the croquettes from properly crisping. 

Cook each croquette for 4-5 minutes on one side then flip it and cook for another 4 minutes. Feel free to turn it onto the other sides to achieve a thoroughly crips + golden texture. Serve hot with marinara sauce.

Chermoula is a fragrant condiment from North Africa which is typically made of garlic, fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, mint), lemon, and spices. It is traditionally served with fish, but it works really well when drizzled on vegetables or meat. Refried white beans with chermoula could not be easier to prepare and are packed with bright flavor.

The crisp white beans, enhanced with the vibrant herbs, punch of lemon, and hint of spice in the chermoula are a sensory thrill. Throw these refried white beans with chermoula together when you don’t know what to eat, and enjoy the burst of texture and aromas.


for the beans

  • 1 can white beans (cannellini, great northern, navy), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

for the chermoula

  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ cup parsley leaves and stems, packed
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves and stems, packed
  • ¼ cup mint leaves 

beans steps

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet (I use cast iron) over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until just golden, about 2 minutes. Add the beans and lightly mash them using a potato masher or a fork. Let cook for another 5 minutes until the bottom layer of beans is golden. Flip the beans over in the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes on the other side. Feel free to cook longer for even more crisp!

chermoula steps

Place the coriander and cumin seeds in a saucepan and toast for 7-10 minutes until nutty and fragrant. Crush or add to a spice grinder. Add the toasted seeds, garlic cloves, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, smoked paprika, kosher salt, and crushed red pepper to a food processor or blender. Blend for a few minutes until evenly combined. Add the parsley, cilantro, and mint and process until smooth. Drizzle chermoula over the beans and serve immediately!

White beans in parmesan broth are essentially a warm and cozy soup which you can throw together in the morning, let simmer for a few hours, and enjoy by late afternoon. Saving parmesan rinds for this purpose is a wonderful habit to get into, as the rinds will add a depth and creamy richness to your broth. Add in frozen spinach to pack in more greens to your meal. Enjoy these white beans in parmesan broth as a delicious vehicle for dipping bread or warming your soul as it awaits the vernal equinox (16 days!). 


for the beans and soup

  • 1 pound (16 ounces) dried cannellini, great northern, or navy beans (soaked overnight)
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) parmesan rinds
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • ½ cup parsley
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 8-10 cups water

for the garnish

  • Parmesan cheese
  • Frozen spinach (optional)


Place all of the ingredients in a large stock pot and add the water last. Bring the pot to a boil then lower the heat, cover the pot, and allow it to simmer for 2-3 hours. The longer it simmers, the more developed the flavor will be. After 2-3 hours, turn off the heat and allow the soup to sit for about 30 minutes. Strain out any pieces of parmesan rind and serve with a generous layer of grated parmesan cheese on top.

Add in frozen spinach to pack in more greens to your meal.
Add in frozen spinach to pack in more greens to your meal.