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The #1 Dinner Recipe I Made This Past Year

It's (mostly) inexpensive and deeply satisfying.

<p>Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn</p>

Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn

I'm a recipe person. I don't make stuff up on the spot for dinner, or just buy a bunch of random groceries and see what happens. I follow recipes. And out of the hundreds of recipes I made in 2023, my hands-down favorite is none other than the concept of "creamy beans." (I apologize in advance to all my coworkers and friends who know I won't shut up about this.)

This concept is not new, and plenty of cultures around the world have their versions of creamy bean recipes, but the specific type of creamy beans that I'm currently pining over are all from Natalia Rudin, aka @natsnourishments on Instagram.

The first recipe I saw from Rudin—and subsequently tried—was a simple creamy tomato bean dish that she says she likes to cook for herself after a long day of work. The dish combines fresh cherry tomatoes that you cook and then blitz with a stick blender before adding the beans. You top with cheese and basil, and pair it with a heavily buttered piece of toast. That video alone has over 500,000 likes and 4,000 comments on Instagram, and due to its success she's come out with plenty of other creamy bean recipes to feed her hungry fans.

From there, I was hooked. I've made every single one of her creamy bean recipes to date—and let me tell you, it's weeknight gold.

The Creamy Bean Magic of Natalia Rudin

The wizardry of creamy beans cannot be underestimated. This is a relatively inexpensive meal (cheese dependent), all of the recipes I've made are under 30 minutes, there are minimal ingredients, it's packed with protein and pretty healthy ingredients, and above all else, it's deeply satisfying. Warm, flavorful beans paired with buttered toast and lots of cheese? I mean, come on.

While there are different flavors and ingredients that Rudin utilizes in her recipes, there are three essential things (I think) that belong in each dish. Here's what you need to know:

The Beans: Rudin usually recommends a certain type of bean for her Instagram recipes, but I honestly always go rogue. I tend to use any of the big, creamy-looking beans I get from my Rancho Gordo Bean Club subscription, but canned beans would work fine here, too. Cannellini and garbanzo beans, in particular, are always a safe bet.

The Bread: Don't use sandwich bread here! Buy a big loaf of crusty bread and slather it with your favorite butter for dunking in the beans.

The Cheese: I'm a cheese gal through and through, so this is where I end up splurging on the recipe. I tend to use burrata, fresh mozzarella, or good Parmesan as a topping.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images</p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

My Favorite Creamy Bean Recipes

Rudin has a plethora of creamy bean recipes on her Instagram, but here's a few I think you should start with.

  • Creamy Tomato Beans: This is the first recipe I made from Rudin that made me fall in love with the concept of creamy beans for dinner. I skip the pine nuts (too expensive for me!) and use burrata for the cheese element.

  • Creamy Miso Beans with Crispy Mushrooms: This is probably my favorite of all of the creamy bean recipes. The crispy mushrooms mixed with the scallions and chili crisp adds the best textural component.

  • Cavolo Nero Beans: I thought this was going to be too fussy for me, but it ended up being one of the easiest creamy bean recipes to date! You blanch some dinosaur kale, blend it up, and then use that as your sauce for the beans.

  • Creamy Miso Beans with Leeks: This is the most recent creamy bean recipe I made, and like the other miso option, it's umami-rich and deeply satisfying. I do think it's the least flavorful of the bunch, and might benefit from a dash of white wine (à la française!).

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.