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white bean and spinach smash

This white bean and spinach ‘smash’ recipe came about after looking for a hearty alternative to hummus to enjoy on toast or crackers. The concept of a ‘smash’ is that it is somewhere between a well-blended hummus and a chunky salsa. Visually a smash is always a little more exciting too if you ask me with all of its different textural ingredients.

I’ve been using this recipe in clinic with my clients for a very long time now. The reason it is such a winner is due to the fact that it is ludicrously easy to make and uses pantry staples that just about all of us tend to have on hand. You can even use frozen spinach if you need, which again works great if you need to stock up a freezer with staples that help keep you sorted, particularly for those of you that travel a lot and end up wasting limp, sad vegetables staring back at you from your fridge draws.

I’ve used the frozen and fresh spinach interchangeably, depending on what I have on hand. As a side note, the frozen spinach cubes are a great addition to a smoothie! Of course if you don’t have cannellini beans you could use chickpeas or butter beans, we all tend to have a can of something kicking about in the back of the pantry.

Although this white bean smash is scrumptious as a spread, it is also delicious as a side dish to the main event. I’ve often served it with a salmon fillet or even with some roast lamb. That being said, I have also been known to eat it on its own straight from the pan or fridge!

white bean and spinach smash

Print Recipe

makes 2 cups
preparation time
2 minutes
cooking time
5 minutes


  • 1 can cannellini beans, well rinsed
  • juice half a good sized lemon
  • 1 small clove garlic, mashed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 110 grams frozen spinach, thawed (3 cubes), or 2 cups tightly packed baby spinach
  • salt and pepper to season


Heat a medium sized saucepan on a moderate heat and add a little of the oil. Toss in the beans, spinach, garlic and 1/2 of the lemon juice. Mix well squashing the beans with the back of a wooden spoon as you go leaving some beans still whole.

After 1-2 minutes add in the remaining oil, seasoning and lemon juice. Mix well again to heat through then remove from the heat. The white bean and spinach smash is now ready to serve.

nutritional information

  • This white bean and spinach smash is a hearty vegetarian alternative to eggs on toast. It is lovely with smoked salmon or freshly sliced ham too if so desired.
  • Frozen spinach is still full of nutrients such as folate and iron. You could use fresh spinach or even kale if desired, although you will need a good couple of handfuls to get the same amount as the frozen equivalent.
  • White bean and spinach smash is high in fibre, magnesium, iron and folate. It also provides sustaining legume based protein.

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2 years ago

Yum. One daughter tucked into it and the other was a little suspicious so I mixed in a little feta and she ate it. I confess to adding one ingredient that may seem odd- two anchovies at the beginning. They smash up into nothing and added a salty zing. Not sure whether this would make the salt content too high or not.

2 years ago

Can this be made ahead of time and be kept in the fridge?

2 years ago
Reply to  Jessica Cox

How long can it be kept in the fridge? 🙂

Kelly Olorenshaw
Kelly Olorenshaw
2 years ago

I made this today for lunch, and I have to say this is incredibly delicious. I pan fried some smoked ham as a side and figure this is as close as I’m going to get to green eggs and ham. For someone as crazy about eggs as me, this is a pretty good substitute for scrambled eggs.

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