White bean, onion and cheese English muffin melts

English muffins topped with white beans and cheese (fried egg optional).
English muffins topped with white beans and cheese (fried egg optional). Photo: William Meppem

This is almost like an Italian version of refried beans, but with a soft onion flavour. Stack on a fried egg and roasted tomatoes and you've got a walloping feast without spending big bucks.


a few stems of cherry tomatoes

1 large onion

4-5 cloves garlic

50ml olive oil

400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

30ml vermouth or white wine

salt and pepper to taste

about a dozen pitted black or green olives, sliced

120g sliced or cubed cheese, whatever you like best

2 English muffins, split and toasted

2 eggs, 60g each


1. Switch the oven on to 180C (160C fan-forced) and roast the tomatoes with some olive oil until they slightly soften and start to brown. This should take about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and slice the onion and garlic cloves and put in a saucepan with the olive oil and about 50 millilitres of water. Put the lid on and cook fiercely for four to five minutes, then remove the lid, drop the heat to low and cook a few minutes more until the water has evaporated and the onions are sizzling.

2. Stir in the beans, add salt and pepper to taste, then roughly mash a third of the beans in the saucepan to create a thick puree. Add the olives and vermouth or white wine and heat until thick and piping hot.

3. Split the muffins in half, lightly toast and spread the bean mixture over. When your tomatoes are ready, fry the eggs in a small saucepan with a little olive oil.

4. Next press the cheese onto the tops then grill for a minute or so until sizzling and slightly brown on top. Serve at once with a little more black pepper on top, then stack on the fried egg and serve with a side of roasted cherry tomatoes.

Make your own English muffins with Dan's recipe.

Find more of Dan Lepard's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.

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