Kidney Beans and Pears

Kidney Beans and Pears | Wheat-Free Meat-Free

This recipe comes from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I made it over the weekend when some friends came over to dinner. I think they and Mike thought I was a little crazy when I told them I was feeding them kidney beans with pears. But they’re good friends, so they tried it anyway. It was a hit! So here is the recipe for you to enjoy.


Kidney Beans and Pears

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 3 pears, cubed
  • 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped (or heaping 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  1. Heat the oil in  a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and pears. Cook for about 5 minutes, until just starting to brown.
  2. Add the wine and thyme. Bring to a boil and allow most of the wine to cook off.
  3. Add the kidney beans and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes more until the beans are heated through. Serve.

Serves 4

Pears Shallots and Beans

I used Asian pears because I love their crunch. I used one can of dark red beans and one can of light red just to add a little variety.

Looking for More Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes?

Take a look at my book, The Wheat-Free Meat-Free Cookbook: 100 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes.

A sampling of the recipes included:
  • Breakfasts: Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins, Yeasted Waffles, Gooey Butter Cake,
  • Sides: Patatas Bravas, Pea and New Potato Salad, Braised Celery,
  • Mains: Corn Waffle Sandwiches, Enchiladas with Green Sauce, Pesto Asparagus Galette, and
  • Desserts: Blueberry Mango Crisp, Baklava Rolls, Amaretto Cake.

You can see the full recipe list on the Amazon page.


  1. This combination is odd, but I can see it working. I really enjoy merging very different ingredients, and I’ll have to give this a shot!

  2. It’s really the sort of thing you have to try.

  3. My mom used to tell me that “if you start with good food, you’ll wind up with good food.” She was inferring that there are many combinations of food that may sound odd at first, but given a chance, they may just be delicious. I remember thinking that pizza with jalapeno peppers and pineapple sounded really weird, but once I tried it, it became my fave pizza. Who would have guessed… pineapple and jalapenos? Even crazier… how about chocolate chip cookies with habanero pepper bits? I tried them at a get-together with some sailing buddies. Best chocolate chip cookies I ever had! Something about the sweet & heat that just work together. I haven’t been brave enough to try to make them yet. Get the ratio wrong and they could hurt!

    I’ll try the Kidney Beans & Pears recipe and report back. I love thyme and everything else in it, so we’ll see. My dad used to say, “I’ve never met a bean I didn’t like.” I’m with him on that one, so… we’ll see.

    Note: Of the many recipes I’ve tried, Kalinda hasn’t let me down yet. ;-)

    ~ Les

  4. Jalapeno and pineapple pizza sounds great. Pineapple pizza is Mike’s favorite.

    I’m glad we have lots of brave souls around here willing to try new things.

  5. This is going on my menu plan! I think the kids will like pears with their “jelly beans”, as A calls them. I think that speaks to our parenting if my poor children think kidney beans are candy:-).

  6. This is my favorite recipe ever. I make it all the time for dinner/to take to work as lunch, and I wish I had 10 easy, flavorful bean recipes just like it. Do you have any more? :)

  7. I’ll see what I can do. I do love beans. Should be a fun challenge.

  8. This looks AMAZING!! I have some dried kidney beans that I soaked and sprouted and now I’m stuck on an idea to cook them- I’m so hoping my kids will eat this! How much longer do you think I should cook the kidney beans the way that I have prepared them?

    So excited to find this website!!
    Peace and Light,

  9. The recipe uses canned beans, any cooking you’re doing from the recipe is really just to heat the beans up. I’ve never sprouted kidney beans before, but my understanding is that they still need to be cooked like regular beans. Exactly how long that will take, I’m not sure. I’d just throw them in a big pot of water, and cook them until they are soft. Then proceed with the rest of the recipe.

  10. I would serve over some greens for a full balence. Maybe some arugula or romaine hearts. Some wilted swiss chard might be good too.

  11. That sounds nice.

  12. for the dry white wine, do you think Mirin would work as a substitute?

    • Mirin is much sweeter than white wine. It will certainly work, in that the cooking won’t really be affected. If you don’t want to use wine, I would probably try veggie broth instead.

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