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Overhead view of two bowls of Escarole and Beans surrounded by parmesan, a spoon and a piece of bread.

Escarole and Beans (Scarola e Fagioli)

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5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Sabrina Russo
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This Italian classic is so healthy and comforting. Escarole and Beans (aka Scarola e Fagioli) is delicious paired with crusty bread or even pasta. 


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed with press
  • 12 pinches hot red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 head escarole, cleaned, trimmed, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1, 15oz can cannellini beans
  • 6 cups (or as desired) chicken broth, vegetable broth or water 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Crusty bread, for serving
  • Grated parmigiano reggiano (parmesan cheese), for serving (optional)


  1. Sauté garlic. Add oil, garlic and red pepper to a large soup pot. Turn heat to medium. Allow garlic to sizzle for about 30-60 seconds.
  2. Add escarole. Add escarole to the pot. Sauté 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add beans and broth. Stir in beans and broth. Simmer 15-20 minutes or until escarole is tender.
  4. Serve. Serve soup with crusty bread for dunking. Top with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese, if desired.


Substitute escarole for kale, spinach or Swiss chard, if desired.

Use Great Northern White beans or other white beans in place of cannellini beans, if desired.

Instead of canned beans, you can use jarred beans with their liquid, or of course, dried beans. Soak and cook the dried beans in advance to making the soup.

Add onion or use onion in place of garlic for a different variation.

If desired, add pasta. Sometimes I add 1 cup of dried ditalini pasta directly to the soup a few minutes before the escarole is fully cooked.

Use less broth if you prefer a thicker version of the soup.

To crisp up the bread for serving, preheat oven to 350F. Add entire loaf (make sure any exposed, cut ends of bread are covered with foil) directly onto rack of oven. Heat for 5-8 minutes, or until crispy on the outside.

Freeze in sealed quart containers for up to 3 months.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Saute, Boil
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of soup
  • Calories: 200
  • Sugar: 3
  • Sodium: 900mg
  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 7g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 21g
  • Fiber: 9g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg