Beans Alla Vodka

Posted on: January 6, 2023. Updated on: July 1, 2023.

by Carolina Gelen

4.1 / 5. from 156

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Comfort food doesn’t get cozier than this: creamy butter beans coated in spicy vodka sauce served with garlic-rubbed toast. This is a reliable 20-minute dinner recipe that uses a handful of pantry staples you can always come back to during the cold season. The final dish feels like a hug in a bowl: so comforting and filling.

  1. Add a glug (about 3 tablespoons) of olive oil to a pan on medium heat. Add the finely chopped shallot and cook for about 3 minutes, or until softened and translucent. Add the heaping tablespoon of tomato paste. Mix it with the shallot and cook for 3 to 4 minutes mixing occasionally, or until fragrant and darker in color (you’re looking for a dark-ish red). Reduce the heat to medium low and add more olive oil if needed. Add the garlic, chile flakes and cook for 1 minute, until softened and fragrant. Carefully add a splash of vodka or water to the pan, and mix.
  2. Pour in the heavy cream (or coconut milk) and mix to combine. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Add the water, beans and mix until combined. Simmer everything until the sauce looks smooth and glossy, for about  2 to 3 minutes. Add more water until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.
  3. Add the freshly grated cheese, a knob of butter and season everything with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve right away with a drizzle of good-quality olive oil on top, freshly grated Parm, chile flakes, parsley and balsamic vinegar. Serve with garlic-rubbed toast on the side.

Beans Alla Vodka

4.1 / 5. from 156

Click to vote

Servings: 2
Prep: 5min
Cook: 15min
Total: 20min

Ingredients

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile flakes, plus more to taste
  • A splash of vodka, can be substituted with water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, can be substituted with full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 x 15 oz (500 g) can butter/lima beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for topping
  • A knob of butter, optional
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fresh parsley and balsamic vinegar for topping

Instructions

  1. Add a glug (about 3 tablespoons) of olive oil to a pan on medium heat. Add the finely chopped shallot and cook for about 3 minutes, or until softened and translucent. Add the heaping tablespoon of tomato paste. Mix it with the shallot and cook for 3 to 4 minutes mixing occasionally, or until fragrant and darker in color (you’re looking for a dark-ish red). Reduce the heat to medium low and add more olive oil if needed. Add the garlic, chile flakes and cook for 1 minute, until softened and fragrant. Carefully add a splash of vodka or water to the pan, and mix.
  2. Pour in the heavy cream (or coconut milk) and mix to combine. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Add the water, beans and mix until combined. Simmer everything until the sauce looks smooth and glossy, for about  2 to 3 minutes. Add more water until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.
  3. Add the freshly grated cheese, a knob of butter and season everything with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve right away with a drizzle of good-quality olive oil on top, freshly grated Parm, chile flakes, parsley and balsamic vinegar. Serve with garlic-rubbed toast on the side.

Carolina Gelen

I speak 5 languages, but my favorite way to communicate is through the universal language of food. I translate food to be more approachable and accessible for the everyday cook. I didn't grow up with a lot, so I’ve always loved thrifting and finding a good sale. That also shapes my approach to cooking: I try to make most of my recipes as affordable as possible, and that is what my SCRAPS newsletter is about. Every two weeks I will send an exclusive recipe to your inbox. Subscribe to get full access to the newsletter and website.

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47 thoughts on "Beans Alla Vodka"

  1. Magdalena Moszny says:

    Absolutely delicious! Seen the video and had to run to the shop but so worthy. Creamy, comforting and just delicious

  2. Cathy says:

    Delicious bowl of comfort!
    I didn’t have the “splash of vodka” on hand, but still great. Just used water as noted. Definitely love the balsamic drizzle. Enjoying right now with a little bread.

  3. Brittany says:

    I made this (vegan and gf) and it was incredible! It’s now a household favorite, thanks for this amazing recipe! Used violife parmesan, drizzled harissa oil on top when done instead of balsamic, and ate it with warmed corn tortillas. Will be making this again very very soon!

  4. Brittany says:

    Made the vegan version of this (gf too) and it was amazing, thank you for this incredible recipe! Used violife parmesan, and instead of balsamic I drizzled harissa oil on top and ate it with some warmed corn tortillas instead of bread. Really delicious, my husband loved it too! Will definitely be making this again soon.

  5. Sydney says:

    So delicious and easy to make. Everyone in my house was raving over this! I will definitely use this recipe again soon 🤌

  6. Morgan says:

    In the words of my boyfriend, “my favourite thing you’ve ever made” – it will now be on repeat! I subbed double for single cream and added juicy sausages for anyone wondering. Thank you Carolina! x

  7. Nahimana says:

    I didn’t even have all the ingredients and made substitutions and it still came out yummy☺️ Definitely the warm hug I needed in this rainy weather we’re having in Cali.

  8. Kelly says:

    I made this tonight for my family and it was deliciously cozy. I love that by using beans, we skip the pasta and it’s all made in one pot…bonus!

  9. Ben CHild says:

    Made this a few days ago, and I’m making it again tonight because it’s so good! Make sure to really finely dice the shallot, and I use a garlic press for a smoother sauce

  10. hazirah says:

    i saw this video on your instagram and went straight to the store to get the butter beans, never had them in my life but i made this recipe and they were so yums!!! super easy to make too. this was the first time i’ve tried a recipe from you, so excited to try out more!! sending love from singapore <3

    1. Carolina says:

      aww, that makes me soooo happy <3

  11. Angelica says:

    So perfect and so easy to make!

  12. Jade says:

    Wow! This was the best vodka sauce anything I’ve ever had.

  13. JefffreyB says:

    So easy and – delish! I made it as directed, but substituted beans with a can of chickpeas as that’s what I had in hand, and I used coconut milk in place of cream. I added a pinch of cornstarch at end to make it a bit thicker. That splash of balsamic at the end really made the whole dish pop! It was rich, and savory and was perfect for 3 adults. Everyone thought it was a winner. We will definitely make it again!

  14. tam says:

    LOVE! A stunning recipe!Enough for 2 as a lunch with Garlic bread or Garlic Pita or as a side with a big breakfast. I never knew Butter Beans were So good! (Drained liquid from the beans can be frozen to be used in soups or casserole

  15. Miki says:

    I usually lurk your Instagram without making the recipes, but I finally got around to making this and ohh my gosh it was so good. I avoid lactose and didn’t have any cream on hand so I just used soymilk and it worked fine. I appreciate how quick and easy this was since I’m a student in finals season, definitely going to become a go-to recipe!

    1. Carolina says:

      Miki,
      I am so happy you enjoyed the recipe! Wishing you the best during finals season, I know how stressful it can get.
      Best,
      Carolina

  16. Dennis Engstrand says:

    I feelt doubtful about the vodka but it proved to be great

    Thanks for this recipe

    1. Carolina says:

      glad you gave it a go and it was a success!

  17. Sibyl says:

    Just made this last night. SO good and comforting. Definitely going to make again and again .

  18. Kira says:

    This was SO fast and amazingly delicious!! Thanks so much!

    1. Carolina says:

      my pleasure, so happy to hear you liked it 🙂

  19. Pamela says:

    WOW OH WOW CAROLINA… Just found you.. What a talent you are sweet lady.. Can you tell me how much in your opinion is a KNOB of butter?? I have no idea.. Thanks a bunch..
    Big Hug.. Pam

    1. Carolina says:

      Yayy, happy to have you here, Pam! I usually aim for 3 tablespoons when I call for a knob of butter 🙂

  20. Paige says:

    We are obsessed with butter beans and love that we have a new recipe to enjoy them with! This was FANTASTIC! Making it again tonight with some homemade cashew cream and escarole and garlic on the side. The only thing I did different was to mash some of the butter beans to make it a little thicker, but will add water a little at a time next time. But this is a 10/10, will be on a constant rotation!

    1. Carolina says:

      So happy it was a success, love that you made it your own, that version sounds amazing 🙂

  21. Jocelyn says:

    I’m no longer able to view the recipe. Did you remove it?

    1. admin says:

      Hi Jocelyn,

      i just sent you an email

      1. Emily says:

        Hello! I’m also looking for the recipe, please 🙂

        1. Carolina says:

          Hi Emily, Sorry the site crashed but the recipe is back up. I sent you an email with recipe link.

      2. Aubree says:
        I’d also love the recipe. I made it a couple weeks ago and loved it! I’d like to make it agian but I can’t see the recipe. 
        1. Carolina says:

          Hi Aubree, Sorry the site crashed but the recipe is back up. I sent you an email with recipe link.

  22. Adriana says:

    Hi there! Would it be possible to share the recipe (Can no longer see it!) ? Thank you!

    1. Carolina says:

      Hi Adriana, Sorry the site crashed but the recipe is back up. I sent you an email with recipe link.

  23. Payton Degner says:

    how do i find the actual recipe?

    1. Carolina says:

      Hi Payton, Sorry the site crashed but the recipe is back up. I sent you an email with recipe link.

  24. Victor says:
    I’m no longer able to view the recipe. Did you remove it?
    1. Carolina says:

      Hi Victor, Sorry the site crashed but the recipe is back up. I sent you an email with recipe link.

  25. Sue says:
    I have the same question as Jocelyn. Was the recipe removed?
    1. Carolina says:

      Hi Sue, Its back up after my website crashed. I sent you an email with recipe link.

  26. Leah Tabbert says:

    Came home from vacation to nothing in the fridge and no energy to buy groceries. Luckily I had saved this recipe on TikTok! Substituted Aleppo pepper for chili flakes, and used pisco because I was out of vodka, and it turned out great. Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas Carolina!

  27. Hannah says:

    Simple, delicious, and filling! Added this one to the weekly rotation and it has not disappointed. I added sundried tomatoes and fried the shallots in some of the oil for a little more tomato flavor

  28. Dan Parisi says:

    Thanks! 🙂
    Looking forward to trying this tonight.

  29. Felix says:

    Haven’t tried this yet but anxious to make it for my cooking club.

  30. Gayle says:

    I love the idea of “the universal language of food!” So true. Am looking forward to trying Beans Ala Vodka.

  31. Al Beau says:

    This was delicious. I grew up on pinto beans and halfway through this meal I was like, “pinto beans could never.” They probably could with your help, but it’s so fun to branch out with legumes. It was creamy, pleasantly acidic, and had a lovely kick from the chili flakes.

  32. Amy says:

    I was alone for dinner, and made this dish for myself. Ate the entire thing! Who knew something this fast and simple could taste like you spent all day cooking? Wouldn’t change a thing.