Great Northern Beans Recipe with Lemon Roasted Broccoli and Bacon

By Amanda Paa – Updated April 23, 2021
4.57 from 16 votes
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When a Minnesotan schedules something in winter, they know it comes with the risk of snow impeding plans. I had been looking forward to spending a day cooking and gabbing (a Midwest term for a mix of talking and laughing) with my sweet friend Brenda of A Farmgirl’s Dabble.

Our largest snowfall came down boldly the night before, but having lived in these parts all my life, I wasn’t too worried about “skating” out to the cozy little town of Lake Elmo, where she and her family live. In fact, I was super excited to see the countryside in all its fluffy, white glory and spend a snow day with my best friend, similar to the joy I had felt about situations like this when I was younger.Brenda is a gem. True and kind, always supportive, and even though we have differences, I’ve always felt close to her since meeting 5 years ago…. Connection, shared sensibilities, honest opinions and a love for wholesome food that has heart.

We had talked a little about what we were going to make beforehand, our main ingredients being roasted broccoli and great northern beans, fresh lemon and herbs. It sounded comforting and flavorful, yet fresh and bright – a perfect match for an easy winter meal. Upon arriving, Brenda’s big smile greeted me and as we walked into the kitchen she said, “I think I have one more ingredient that we should add”.

Roasted Broccoli and Lemony White Beans with Bacon {via heartbeet kitchen}

She reached for a brown parchment paper covered slab, and opened it to reveal thick, double smoked bacon from the local butcher that she knew was my favorite – my weakness actually. 

It didn’t take us long to fire up the oven, pour a cup of coffee, and pretend like what we were doing was work. We tasted and tweaked, stood on ledges to shoot pictures, and fell in love with this “off the cuff” great northern beans recipe we had developed.

Great Northern Beans Recipe with Lemon Roasted Broccoli and BaconRoasted Broccoli and Lemony White Beans with Bacon {via heartbeet kitchen}

From the charred broccoli, to the soft and silky white beans, to the garlic and shallots that get sautéed in the salty bacon drippings….. At the end, a splash of lemon, crack of black pepper, and fresh parsley brightening every element.

It’s a dish you’ll be able to make from memory, and can be on the table in less than 45 minutes.

Serve it hot or room temperature, as a side dish or a main, change it up with roasted cauliflower, or basil instead of parsley.

Just be sure you don’t skip the bacon, and a girlfriend to share it with. They feed our souls in a way that other relationships can’t. Enjoy this recipe, and also a little glimpse into Brenda’s kitchen. xo

Roasted Broccoli and Lemony White Beans with Bacon {via heartbeet kitchen}Roasted Broccoli and Lemony White Beans with Bacon {via heartbeet kitchen}Roasted Broccoli and Lemony White Beans with Bacon {via heartbeet kitchen}

Roasted Broccoli and Lemony White Beans with Bacon {via heartbeet kitchen}


Roasted Broccoli and Lemony White Beans with Bacon {gluten-free}

If you make this Great Northern Beans recipe, be sure to tag me on instagram with hashtag #heartbeetkitchen or @heartbeetkitchen!

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Great Northern Beans Recipe with Roasted Broccoli and Bacon

This flavorful great northern beans recipe has bacon and roasted broccoli, and a burst of lemon.
4.57 from 16 votes
Prep Time :20 minutes
Cook Time :35 minutes
Total Time :55 minutes
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 1 small head of broccoli cut into florets (3/4 pound)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound thick cut bacon 5 slices, cut into small matchsticks
  • 1 15 ounce can white beans, drained
  • 1 medium shallot chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 medium lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • Place a large roasting pan in the lower half of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Once the oven is preheated, remove the heated pan and spread the broccoli florets out on it. Then drizzle the broccoli with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and toss just a bit to combine.
  • Return the pan to the oven and roast the broccoli for 15 minutes. Toss the broccoli and roast for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until broccoli is just softened and nicely caramelized and charred. Remove pan from oven and set aside.
  • While broccoli is roasting, heat a medium-large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Fry the bacon pieces, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crispy on the edges but still mostly chewy. Once most of the fat has rendered from the bacon, drain all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the skillet.
  • Then add the shallot and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, until shallot has softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until garlic is softened and fragrant. Add the roasted broccoli and beans, folding to combine.
  • Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the fresh lemon juice over the top, followed by the lemon zest, parsley, and a bit of freshly ground black pepper.  Serve hot or at room temperature
Roasted Broccoli and Lemony White Beans with Bacon {via heartbeet kitchen}

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tag @heartbeetkitchen on instagram and hashtag it #heartbeetkitchen

March 3, 2016


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  1. AF

    5 stars
    A most delicious dish. Great for a side or a meal. Immediate requests to make it again. I did roast tomatoes along side the broccoli. Scrumptious!!

    • Amanda Paa

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Kathy

    This was quite good and easy to make. Next time I would add more spices.

  3. Carol

    Do you have any suggestions for replacements for bacon? I know that sounds sacrilegious, and I wish it were otherwise, but hubby is trying very hard to keep his red meat and salt to a minimum. Thanks in advance looks positively scrumptious.

    • Amanda Paa

      Hi Carol! You could use saute 1/2 pound of ground chicken or turkey, instead of the bacon!

  4. Stacey

    5 stars
    This was super easy to pull together for dinner. I loved all the bold flavors.

  5. Elizabeth

    This was so, so good! I’m trying to make us more vegetarian / veg-forward meals, and this one my whole family loved!

    • Amanda Paa

      Really glad you and the fam enjoyed this recipe, Elizabeth!

  6. Janette

    This looks light and delightful! Can’t wait to try! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  7. Cassie

    You and Brenda have beautiful sites! This veggie salad looks absolutely AMAZING.

    • amandapaa

      aw, that is so kind of you to say Cassie! Appreciate you stopping by. xo

  8. laurasmess

    Another perfectly nourishing salad for dinners. Cannot wait to try it (my husband loves bacon, as I guess most of them do haha). Lovely recipe!

    • amandapaa

      i can assure you that this will win your man over. :) and he’ll be eating plants too! xo

  9. Emily

    Gorgeous Amanda! Definitely a recipe I think my whole family would enjoy. So many great textures, colors, flavors- the perfect all-in-one bowl meal. I always hesitate to buy the good bacon because of the price, but when I do, it’s always worth it. :)

    • amandapaa

      the thickness of the bacon, and knowing your butcher makes such a difference! worth it. :) and yes, totally a family meal! thanks for stopping by, girl! xo

  10. Lane Patten @ With Two Spoons

    Cooking with friends is one of the BEST ways to spend a day. Even better when something truly delicious comes out of it!

    • amandapaa

      yes, was definitely a keeper of recipe! we’ve made it several times since. and every time such good memories return.

  11. Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits

    Cooking with friends…I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon! This salad looks absolutely delicious, Amanda, and I love the touch of bacon in here! Hopping on over to check out Brenda’s blog now!

    • amandapaa

      yes, that touch of bacon was meant to be! the lemon really adds brightness too. so good all around. xo

      • Amanda Gibson

        Although it’s not March anymore, this recipe speaks to me! I’m not sure if it’s the bacon, beans, or broccoli (love the alliteration there, BTW). Cooking with girlfriends is truly the best. I’ll bookmark this one, for sure.

        Another Amanda :)

        • amandapaa

          It really is! I wish time allowed for it to happen more often. And I will say that although this recipe is more winter focused, it’s amazing served at room temperature and would great right now too! xo

  12. Faith (An Edible Mosaic)

    I was completely smitten by this salad when I saw it over on Instagram…what a lovely pairing of flavors! And that day sounds like so much fun; I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon! xoxo

    • amandapaa

      yes! and hopefully no more snow days, just rain! ;) xo

  13. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles

    Such a memorable (and yummy!) day with you! And all that snow added an extra element of sparkle. Bacon and bubbles forever and ever, amen. xo

    • amandapaa

      Brenda, that needs to be made into a t-shirt -ASAP! xo

  14. Sherrie

    “…pretend like what we were doing was work” – that was my favorite part. Work aside {it is work after all!} how lucky we are to do the things we love for a living! I loved this post I could visually the entire day, and I love the photo Brenda posted of you on a table with your little sock-feet, #bloggerlife. These photographs are stunning and I love the bits of lemon zest peaking through.

    All my love always, xx!

  15. Linda | The Baker Who Kerns

    Oo I love cooking with friends! I have noticed that my guy friends are super good cooks and I get so surprised! They can dice an onion like they are on IronChef! But speaking of this roasted broccoli! I have never seen white beans look so appealing! Such a great dish to start the coming spring season!

  16. Abby @ The Frosted Vegan

    Cooking with girlfriends is the BEST, isn’t it? I love these pictures and love that you also use the work gabbing, Midwest ladies unite :) xo

    • amandapaa

      It is the best! We have to cook something when you come visit. And gab, of course. ;)

  17. Tessa | Salted Plains

    So delicious! Charred broccoli will always win with me. And bacon. Time with girlfriends really is important. The older I get the more and more I’m aware of the need for the special connection. Beautiful collaboration!

    • amandapaa

      Those friendships that you can count on are irreplaceable. Even with you not living here, I feel like our bond is so strong too. Nothing I wouldn’t do to help support you! xo