Fennel & Butter Beans with Smokey Paprika Butter-Fried Eggs

August 26 2022

One of my favourite 'comfort in a bowl' dishes is brothy butter beans and eggs. I love making them with garlicky greens and lemon or a thick tomato-based sauce. It’s incredibly comforting and nourishing.

For this week's new recipe, I've used fennel, lemon, and rosemary. Instead of cooking the eggs directly in the brothy sauce (as I normally would), these eggs are pan-fried in smoky paprika butter. It's super delicious and provides the perfect contrast to the fennel and beans.

Feel free to use any woody herb in this dish, such as sage, thyme, rosemary, or oregano. I’ve used rosemary because I have an abundance of it in my garden, but I often use thyme as well.

You want the fennel to have a little bite, so be sure to cook it until it's just tender (not mushy). This helps maintain a nice balance of textures in the dish.

In the video, you'll see that I squash some of the beans into the broth. This helps create a deliciously creamy, thick brothy sauce.

You’re going to love this one! It's easy and simple to make, and layered with so much flavour and texture. It’s perfect for breakfast, lunch, or a speedy dinner.

Enjoy the recipe, and as always, please let me know if you make it @gatherandfeast, and feel free to ask any questions.




Fennel & Butter Beans with Smokey Paprika Butter-Fried Eggs  |  Gather & Feast

Fennel & Butter Beans with Smokey Paprika Butter-Fried Eggs  |  Gather & Feast


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Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Nut-free
10 minutes preparation time + 15 minutes cooking time

Fennel & Butter Beans

  • 15g salted butter (I've used Westgold)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves (or another woody herb like thyme, oregano, sage, etc.)
  • 1 medium-sized head of fennel, sliced into roughly 1cm thick slices (reserve a few green fronds for garnish)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated or crushed
  • 1 x 400g can butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 250ml chicken or vegetable stock/broth
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Generous squeeze of lemon juice (about half a small lemon)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Smokey Paprika Butter-Fried Eggs

  • 20g salted butter (I've used Westgold)
  • 1 teaspoon smoky paprika
  • Pinch of chili flakes to taste (optional)
  • 4 eggs
  • Flaky sea salt


Prepare the Fennel & Butter Beans:

  1. Place a large saucepan onto medium-high heat, add the butter, then add the sliced fennel and rosemary leaves; sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, butter beans, and a pinch of salt; sauté for another minute until the garlic is softened.
  3. Pour in the stock/broth, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add the lemon zest and squeeze of lemon juice.
  5. Roughly mash 1/4 of the beans into the stock to create a creamy broth-like sauce.
  6. Simmer until the fennel is just tender.
  7. Stir in a little freshly grated Parmesan.
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper.
  9. Divide the mixture into two serving bowls and set aside.

Prepare the Smoky Paprika Butter-Fried Eggs:

  1. Using the same pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the smoky paprika, chili flakes (if using), and a pinch of salt; stir to combine.
  3. Crack the eggs into the pan and cover with a lid.
  4. Cook the eggs to your desired doneness.
  5. Remove the lid and transfer the eggs onto the fennel and bean mixture.
  6. Drizzle with any remaining smoky chili butter.

Garnish and serve:

  1. Top with reserved fennel fronds and some freshly cracked black pepper.
  2. Serve warm and enjoy!



  • Select fresh fennel bulbs that are firm and white. The fronds should be vibrant green and not wilted.
  • While rosemary is suggested, you can use other woody herbs like thyme or oregano.
  • For a vegetarian version, use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. Ensure that the stock is of good quality as it greatly influences the dish's flavour.
  • Fresh lemon zest and juice are recommended for the best flavour, avoid packaged lemon juice if you can.
  • While butter beans are used here, you can substitute with other white beans like cannellini or great northern beans if desired.
  • Cook the eggs to your preferred level of doneness. For runny yolks, cook for less time; for firmer yolks, cook longer.
  • Adjust the amount of chili flakes to your taste preference. Omit them if you prefer a milder dish.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a splash of water if needed to loosen the sauce.

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I’m Ashley, welcome to Gather & Feast. Here you'll discover wholesome, and nutritious recipes, baked treats, and delicious desserts. x

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