Great Northerns with Leeks and Bacon

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 6 servings
  • Prep 10 mins
  • Cook 80 mins

High-protein dried beans cook up to a great evening meal.

Great Northerns with Leeks and Bacon
Mark Boughton Photography / styling: Teresa Blackburn

Low in fat, and high in fiber and protein, plus lots of vitamins and minerals, make beans and legumes a nearly perfect food.


2 cups dried Great Northern beans
4 slices thick-sliced bacon, diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and tender green parts (2 bunches)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place beans in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 1 hour. Drain beans and return to pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook until tender, but not mushy, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Drain beans, reserving some cooking water. Return beans to pan.
  2. Place bacon in a large skillet; cook over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove and set aside, leaving bacon drippings in pan. Add olive oil to skillet. Add leeks and garlic; saute 10 minutes. Add to beans. Crumble bacon and add to beans with salt and pepper. Add cooking water if beans seem dry. Serve hot.

Recipe by Nancy Krcek Allen.