Easy Beani Panini — Fast Healthy Lunch

Smashed Bean Panini
Smashed Bean Panini

You love white beans and spinach, say, in soup – well, how about smashed into a grilled sandwich? I give you, the Easy Beani Panini..

Beans are an incredible source of protein, fiber and vitamins – but getting the “bean critics” in your house to embrace them isn’t always easy. My fast, healthy lunch idea: the Beani Panini just may change all that. Give this recipe a try and see if you can convert the bean-haters in your house to “bean-sandwich” lovers!..

You’ve seen hummus – made from beans and easy to spread across some bread into a sandwich. Love it. But what about taking beans straight from the can and smashing them between two grilled pieces of bread? Crazy? Weird? Has it been done? Maybe. But this was the first time I have ever tried such a creation. And I loved it. I was able to enjoy all the taste and flavor of beans without actually taking the time to make homemade hummus first. Plus this was a creative new twist on “beans in a sandwich”.

I also saved a few calories since there was very little added oil to the beans, and less added salt than you’ll find in most store-bought hummus brands.

You can make this Beani Panini with a variety of beans, but the white cannellini beans I used are probably your best bet. They are soft enough to gently bind to the bread, yet not too soft to make things mushy.

And the best part about this idea is that it’s really a technique more than a recipe – you can add any ingredients you’d like to customize this “smashed bean” sandwich.

Give this creative recipe a try!..

fast healthy lunch
fast healthy lunch

White Bean Spinach –
EZ Beani Panini

vegan, makes one sandwich

2 slices whole grain bread – something hearty
handful of baby spinach
spicy mustard – optional bread spread

bean mixture:
1/2 cup cannellini beans, drained well
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (for cheezy flavor)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
pinch of salt
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp maple or agave syrup
2 tsp olive oil
dash of black pepper

tools: panini press (or stove-top grill pan)
spray oil for panini press


1. Gather all your ingredients. Combine the bean mixture in a small bowl. Toss well and allow to marinate for at least ten minutes.

2. Grill your bread on a panini press for a few minutes – or toast in a toaster. You want to warm and crisp up the bread a bit before adding the beans.

3. For the beans – warm the mixture in your microwave for about a minute. Then spoon the beans onto one slice of your bread. Place the bean-covered bread on your panini press. Add a pinch of spinach over top the beans. Spray the top spinach leaves with a spritz of canola or olive oil – so they don’t stick. Then press down your panini press – right on top of the spinach/beans. This will in essence – grill and lightly smash the beans.

4. After about one minute, lift the panini press and add the second slice of bread – the top layer slice – over top the beans/spinach. Close than panini press again for another minute.

5. Remove carefully from grill – allow to cool a tad and then slice. Serve!

Beani Panini
Beani Panini
white beans and spinach - stuffed panini
White Beans and Spinach – Stuffed Panini

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