Meatless Monday – Fresh Cranberry Beans with Olive Oil & Garlic

Have you ever heard of cranberry beans?

I know, I know. Thanksgiving has already come and gone, and between all the prepping, the eating and the leftovers, you probably don’t wanna hear the word cranberry till next year…

But don’t worry, cranberry beans actually have nothing to do with cranberries. They’re beans that have this really cool deep pinkish red color when fresh (hence the name) and a nice nutty flavor.

I had never heard of them before, but happened to find them the other day at the market and I couldn’t resist. They looked so pretty, I had to buy them. I had no idea what they would look like on the inside, or what they would taste like, but you know how much I love experimenting, so I figured I would give them a try anyway.

So when I got home, I opened up the pods, and these little guys were inside. Really cool looking, aren’t they?

I was trying to figure out what to do with them, when the light went on. I remembered a friend of mine from college, originally from the northern part of Spain, who taught me how they cook fresh black beans in his hometown. Super simple, but bursting with flavor.

Hope you like it 🙂


  • Prep time: 10-15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 35-40 minutes
  • Ingredients (makes 1 1/2 cups, serves 2):
  • 1 lb fresh cranberry beans, shelled ( about 1 1/2 cups shelled)
  • 6 garlic cloves, whole
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp red hot pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. In a deep skillet, cook garlic in olive oil at medium heat. Tilt the pan so all the oil goes to one side of the pan and the garlic cooks evenly.  Cook for about 6 minutes or until it starts to get a slight golden color (make sure it doesn’t burn!)
  2. Add red hot pepper flakes and thyme and cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden.
  3. Add shelled beans, mixing well so the beans get evenly coated with the oil and cook for 3-4 minutes
  4. Add water, bay leaves and salt. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes uncovered.
  5. Turn down the heat and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes or until beans are tender but not mushy.
  6. These are delicious plain or served over rice

ENJOY! From May I have that recipe

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11 Responses to Meatless Monday – Fresh Cranberry Beans with Olive Oil & Garlic

  1. moderngirlnutrition November 26, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    What a good idea! Can’t wait to try these!:)

    • mayihavethatrecipe November 26, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

      Great! Let us know how they come out!

    • ray December 31, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

      this does sound great , i got some cranberry beans ata the market and thought this would be nice on new years

  2. Pat June 29, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    Don’t you need to soak the beans first?

    • Vicky & Ruth June 29, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

      If they are fresh cranberry beans, you don’t need to soak them. If they are dried then yes soak them overnight. We were lucky to find fresh ones.

  3. marianela September 13, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    Where can I find cranberry beans. I was looking for them for a long time, I know for sure they are really good but unfortunately until today I haven’t been able to find them.
    If you can tell me where to buy them I will really apreciate

    • Vicky & Ruth September 18, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

      We found cranberry bean in our local market. If you cannot find fresh may me you can soak some dried cranberry beans overnight with some baking soda, rinse them and and follow the same recipe. It may work, but it will take longer to cook and may require more water.

    • Catherine September 30, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

      We happen to be at a Health Food Store & found the Cranberry Beans there. Maybe you like to look there for them…

  4. Don Jose November 19, 2013 at 12:13 am #

    This was mighty tasty. I stirred in some fresh vegetables — brussells sprouts, broccolini, green beans) and chopped Tofurky Cajun sausage— and served over cous cous. Even with all that, the cranberry beans stood out, tastewise.

    • Vicky & Ruth November 19, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

      That sounds wonderful! We must try that recipe.

  5. Mary Beth September 2, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

    This is perfect for me today. I love cranberry beans and am willing to pay the $6.99/lb when I find them.

    I just started this and didn’t want to peel so many garlic cloves, so I smashed them lightly. Do you think the result will be too garlicy? My husband loves garlic so it won’t be a problem but I am wondering if you want the flavor to be more subtle.

    I am also using pimenton de la vera just because I like the flavor and I have some that I don’t want to go bad.

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