Festive Fall Cranberry Beans with Green Beans

Cranberry beans also known as Borlotti or Roman beans are white with red speckles (hence the name cranberry). While they lose some of their red markings when cooked, they do have a creamy texture and mild nutty flavor. The fresh cranberry beans are easy to prepare yet they may be difficult to find at your local grocery. There is no guarantee, yet you are more likely to spot these fresh shell beans at your local farmer’s or specialty market from late August into November, when they are harvested. Last year I begged the produce manager of my specialty market to add them to their inventory! Although commonly used in Italy for soups and in pasta dishes, my grandmother and mom prepared them with fresh green beans as a prelude to the main meal. This protein-packed high-fiber vegetable dish is so satisfying, you don’t need large portions of more expensive protein sources for the second course.
I hope you enjoy this easy to prepare vegetable dish as a side or as I did, a first course!


Green beans, fresh is preferred for this dish.

Cranberry beans, fresh.

Garlic, 1 medium cloves, smashed or minced

Olive Oil, 2 Tablespoons

Tomato sauce, 8-ounce can

Water, 4 ounces

Salt, to taste.

Oregano, ¼ teaspoon (optional)


one large bowl, large saucepan, colander or vegetable spinner.


Wash green beans, remove ends and snap or cut in half. Remove fresh cranberry beans from pods.

Heat olive oil and garlic in saucepan. Do not brown garlic. Add fresh cranberry beans and coat with oil and add tomato sauce and water. Cook for about 15 minutes. Add in green beans and cook another 15 minutes or until beans are tender.

Add salt and oregano. Serve!

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