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This cheesy bean bake is family-friendly

Staff, America's Test Kitchen on

On busy weeknights, there’s nothing like a one-pan meal the whole family will love! You can even get the kids involved to help make this easy dish.

All it takes is stirring white beans into a quick-cooking tomato sauce, topping the mixture with cheese and bread crumbs, then baking until it’s creamy and crunchy!

This recipe uses two types of cheese — mozzarella and Parmesan — so one way to get the kids involved in the cooking process is to have them taste each one and compare the different flavors and textures before sprinkling bits of cheese on top of the dish.

And while the kids are snacking, you can spill some facts about these key ingredients: Firm Parmesan has been aged, sometimes for more than a year, giving it a stronger flavor because it loses water through evaporation. Soft mozzarella isn’t aged at all, meaning it’s full of water and melts into gooey goodness.

And just like that, in about an hour you’ll have made a scrumptious meal with your family. And because it’s in one pan, there’s minimal cleanup! No one has to fight over whose turn it is to clean a mountain of dishes.

Cheesy Bean and Tomato Bake


Serves 4 to 6

2 (15-ounce) cans white beans, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 small onion, chopped fine


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