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Vegan Heirloom Beans Cassoulet – Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian

Vegan Heirloom Beans Cassoulet – Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian

This delicious bean vegetable casserole calls upon the French tradition of cassoulets—the forerunners of casseroles—which are often based on savory pots of beans and meats. However, you can showcase the beans and veggies and skip the meat altogether, as I do in this classic Vegan Heirloom Beans Cassoulet recipe, which is completely plant-based (vegan) and gluten-free. Try unusual dried heirloom beans—Eye of the Goat, Rattlesnake, Flageolet beans—or something you can find anywhere, such as lima or cannellini beans. All you have to do is soak the beans overnight, cook them with onions, garlic and root vegetables, drizzle with olive oil and bake to create this truly rustic, hearty vegan casserole packed with plant protein. This is one of my favorite recipes for one pot meals, as the beans and vegetables create a delicious and nutritious combo, especially when paired with crusty toasted whole grain bread. Make a Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Heirloom Beans version of this recipe, by following the instructions below.

What Are Heirloom Beans?

Heirloom beans are unusual varieties of beans that farmers discovered during their harvest, and would save the seeds back to plant the following year—essentially heirlooms! Maybe it was an offshoot with a pretty color or large form—whatever it was, the farmer selected that one plant to harvest its beans (which are also seeds for the next year) and plant it again, forever preserving the unique qualities of that plant. That’s why we have so many gorgeous, unique varieties of beans! I will admit it right now—I collect heirloom beans. Whenever I spy an unusual breed of beans, I buy it and save it for a future culinary adventure. In this recipe pictured here, I used white runner beans from Beanstory. But I have found so many cool beans at farmers markets and shops all over the world to bring back to my kitchen. With a long shelf life, you can collect heirloom beans to feature in your cooking all year long. It’s my thing!

So, you can use this simple, straightforward recipe to take advantage of your heirloom beans—or to showcase any dried beans you have in your pantry. It’s up to you! This rustic, hearty recipe for Vegan Heirloom Beans Cassoulet will make the most of any bean, I promise. Here’s how to serve it: with a crusty, whole grain bread, toasted to perfection (perfect for sopping up any juices left on the bottom of your plate), and a crisp, green salad. That’s it, a plant-based meal made in heaven that happens to be very budget-friendly. And all of the nutrition rewards of including more pulses in your diet, too.


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This rustic, hearty Vegan Heirloom Beans Cassoulet powers up on heirloom beans, carrots, parsnips, olives, and rosemary for a delicious, budget-friendly, vegan, gluten-free vegetable casserole packed with nutrition.

  1. Soak beans in water overnight. Drain and rinse the beans and place in a large oven-proof pot or Dutch oven.
  2. Add 6 cups fresh water, vegetable bullion, bay leaves, celery salt, and garlic and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Add onions, carrots and parsnips, cover, and simmer for about 45 – 60 minutes, just until beans are tender, yet firm on outside (time varies based on the type of bean).
  4. About 10 minutes before beans are done, starting preheating oven to 375 F.
  5. Drizzle beans in pot with olive oil and top with olives and rosemary.
  6. Place pot or Dutch oven on top rack of oven and bake for 10 minutes, uncovered.
  7. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings (about 1 1/4 cups each).


Instant Pot Directions: Skip step 1. For steps 2 and 3, place all of these ingredients in the container of the Instant Pot and press “bean” setting. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions. Release pressure, transfer beans to a casserole dish, draining any extra liquid (should make a thick texture), and follow steps 4-6.

Slow Cooker Instructions: Follow step 1. For steps 2 and 3, place all of these ingredients in the container of the Slow Cooker and cook according to manufacturer’s directions for 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on medium setting. Transfer beans to a casserole dish, draining any extra liquid (should make a thick texture), and follow steps 4-6.

Look for heirloom beans from these sources:

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, French, American


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 197
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Sodium: 76.5 mg
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 41 g
  • Fiber: 12.5 g
  • Protein: 13.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: heirloom beans, heirloom beans, vegan casserole, vegetable casserole, easy one pot meals, cassoulet recipe

For other bean dishes, check out some of my favorites:

Mediterranean White Bean Salad with Persimmons
Spicy Pumpkin Black Bean Burgers
Ratatouille with White Beans
Green Bean Chickpea Salad with Za’atar
Vegan Tacos with Jackfruit, Black Beans and Quinoa
Tuscan Kale and White Bean Savory Pie
Sautéed Asparagus with Fava Beans

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