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Italian-Style White Bean & Millet Bake

This rich Italian-style stew of white beans, tomatoes, mushrooms and Swiss chard gets topped with a cheesy layer of millet. The millet is crisp around the edges and creamy in the middle—the perfect foil for the flavorful stew below. Serve the dish straight out of the skillet at the table.
Servings: 4
Author: Nicki Sizemore


  • 1 cup millet
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt plus additional for seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon butter or ghee
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese , divided (I grate it on a microplane), plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion , finely diced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces mushrooms , thinly sliced (I usually use cremini, but any variety will do)
  • 2 large garlic cloves , minced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard , bottom stems trimmed, leaves and other stems finely chopped
  • 2 cups cooked cannellini beans or 1 15-ounce can , drained and rinsed
  • 1 14- ounce can stewed tomatoes or tomato puree , or 2 cups leftover marinara sauce
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • Fresh basil for serving (optional)


  • If you have the time, soak the millet (to remove the phytic acid – if you don’t have time or if you forget, don’t sweat it). Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
  • In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon sea salt and the millet. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low simmer; cover and cook 15-20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and millet is tender. Stir in the butter or ghee, along with ½ cup of the cheese. Season to taste with additional salt, if needed. Cover and keep warm.
  • While the millet cooks, start the filling. In a 12-inch (preferably cast iron) skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle in the garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes. Add the tomato paste. Stir 1 minute. Add the Swiss chard and a pinch of salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are wilted. Stir in the tomatoes, ½ cup water, the cannellini beans and a pinch of cinnamon. Bring to a boil and simmer 3-5 minutes, or until thickened. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Dollop the millet over the filling and spread it out in a smooth layer (it doesn’t have to be perfect!). Sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes, or until bubbling and lightly golden around the edges. Let cool 5 minutes. Spoon the mixture into wide bowls and garnish with freshly sliced or torn basil (if you’d like) and grated Parmigiano.