As far as sides go, there may not be an easier dish than these Burst Tomatoes and White Beans. Spread cherry tomatoes, cannellini beans, garlic, salt, and thyme on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and bake. It really is that easy!
Cherry or Grape Tomatoes - Cherry tomatoes are small, round, thin-skinned tomatoes. Grape tomatoes are small, oblong tomatoes with slightly thicker skin than the cherry ones. Either one will work for this dish.
Cannellini Beans - I like hearty creamy cannellini beans for this but you could also use great northern beans or navy beans.
Garlic - Garlic adds a ton of flavor to the tomatoes and beans. Because this side dish cooks so quickly, I like to slice the garlic cloves thinly so that they cook through and become slightly brown.
Thyme - Thyme adds an earthy and slightly lemony flavor. It pairs perfectly with tangy tomatoes and creamy beans. I like to just leave the thyme on the stem. As they cook they'll naturally fall off. But, you could pull them off the stem and spread them throughout if you want.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Extra virgin olive oil has a nice fruity and slightly peppery flavor. Once the tomatoes burst, their juices combine with the oil to create a sauce for everything. Plus, a good coating of oil keeps everything from drying out as they cook.
Sea Salt - Fine sea salt is my preferred salt for cooking. You could also use kosher salt. In general, I don't recommend using table salt.
How to Make Burst Tomatoes and White Beans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 10x15 inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
On the baking sheet, spread out the tomatoes, drained and rinsed cannellini beans, and garlic slices. Place the thyme sprigs on top.
Then, drizzle extra virgin olive oil over everything and sprinkle with the sea salt.
Bake for 15 minutes then give everything a good toss. At this point, I like to gently press down on the tomatoes with a spatula to help them burst open.
*Caution* When you press down on the tomatoes to help burst them open, the hot juices can shoot out. To avoid being hit with them, angle the spatula towards you so that you're pressing the tomato away from you.
If the tomatoes resist bursting, that's fine. Just leave them whole to continue cooking.
Put the baking sheet back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.
When done cooking, burst any remaining tomatoes and remove the twigs of thyme.
Give everything one more good stir to combine. Be careful though, the beans can break apart easily at this point.
I love serving these with flatbreads!
Storage and Reheating
Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To reheat, place in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a damp paper towel. Heat in 20-second bursts, stirring between each one until warmed through.
Burst Tomatoes and White Beans
- 10 ounces cherry tomatoes washed and dried
- 30 ounces canned cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 10x15 inch baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the beans, tomatoes, and garlic slices evenly on the baking sheet. Tuck in the sprigs of thyme.
- Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over everything. Sprinkle with the sea salt.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Then, give everything a stir. Use a spatula to gently press down on the tomatoes to help them burst. *(see notes)
- Bake for another 15 minutes.
- Remove the thyme sprigs and gently stir everything together bursting any tomatoes that are still whole.
- Caution - the juices in the tomatoes are hot and can shoot out when pressed on. Angle the spatula towards you and press away so that if any juices burst out they go away from you.
- If the tomatoes resist when you press on them that's fine. Just leave them whole for the second half of roasting