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Utica Greens and Beans

Chef John

"Why greens and beans on New Year's Day, you may ask? Because, as any scientist will tell you, if you eat 'poor' on the first day of the year, you will enjoy incredible financial prosperity the rest of the year! The original Utica greens do not have beans but they are such a classic combination."
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35 m servings 309 cals
Original recipe yields 6 servings

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  • Prep

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  1. Wash escarole leaves in a large bowl in several changes of cold water until no grit remains.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; cook escarole in the boiling water until bright green and slightly wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer escarole to a large bowl using a slotted spoon. Rinse greens in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain thoroughly.
  3. Place pancetta and olive oil into a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat; cook until browned and crisp in spots, about 5 minutes. Stir jalapeno peppers into pancetta; cook and stir until peppers start to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
  4. Pour chicken broth over pancetta mixture, bring to a simmer, and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Gently stir beans into skillet. Mix escarole into mixture, turn off heat, and top with 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Stir until crumbs are still visible but most are incorporated. Season with red pepper flakes. Top with 2 tablespoons bread crumbs followed by Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; drizzle top with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  5. Set oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven's broiler.
  6. Place skillet under broiler and cook until top is golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.


  • Cook's Notes:
  • You can drain some of the rendered pancetta fat if it looks like it's going to be too much. You want about 2 tablespoons total rendered fat pancetta in the casserole.
  • You can substitute cannellini, butter, or white beans for the cranberry beans, and prosciutto for the pancetta.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 309 calories; 18.4 g fat; 25.4 g carbohydrates; 12.5 g protein; 19 mg cholesterol; 736 mg sodium. Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 2
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This recipe is delicious! I've made it as is a couple of times with huge compliments. Last night we made it with just harvested collard greens. Really you NEED to make this! Don't change a t...

I have made this a few times, but we do not like very spicy foods. I used one small red cherry pepper and the pinch of red pepper flakes and it still had a nice kick. I used cannellini beans, ...