Pasta with Cannellini Beans (1 pot)

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This pasta with cannellini beans is a breeze to make in one pot with simple pantry staples! It’s economical, full of plant-based protein, and big flavor! 

It’s the perfect and cozy family dinner for busy weeknights.

Top view of a dark bowl full of pasta with cannellini beans.

As you may know, lots of my pasta recipes are packed with legumes and inspired mainly by my Italian roots. If you haven’t tried these pasta fazool, pasta with lentils and pasta with peas, they are an absolute must.

To me, pasta dinners are also a great way to use pantry staples and veggies I have on hand to make scrumptious meals without too much work. 

Today’s recipe inspiration comes from my mom, who used to cook the most delicious, comforting recipes with cannellini beans like this simple yet amazing soup.

The recipe starts with some olive oil, onion, and garlic. An essential step to add flavor. Next, stir in the beans, aromatic herbs, a touch of cayenne pepper, broth, and seasoning. And you cook everything in one pot.

Finish with fresh parsley, ladle into bowls, and ENJOY with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some crusty Italian bread, black pepper focaccia, or garlic bread on the side.

The result is SO good that everyone will be coming back for seconds.

This pasta and cannellini beans is the perfect family meal that’s nourishing, delicious, and on a budget. Enjoy.

List of the ingredients

  • Pasta
  • Cannellini beans
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Broth or water
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Herbs
  • Cayenne pepper or chilli flakes
  • Salt & pepper
Top view of the ingredients to cook pasta with cannellini beans.

How to make pasta with cannellini beans

(Note: this is a quick description; the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)

  • Saute onion and garlic in olive oil.
  • Add beans, herbs, cayenne pepper, pasta, broth or water, salt and pepper.
  • Cook, stirring frequently.
  • Finish with fresh chopped parsley and adjust the seasoning before serving.
  • Enjoy with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese if desired.
Top view of a white cast iron full of cannellini beans and pasta before and after cooking.

Recipe Notes

Ingredients & Substitutions

Garlic, onion, and olive oil: the recipe starts with a simple flavor base made with onion and garlic sautéed in olive oil. I use extra virgin olive oil for my recipes, but olive oil works just fine here.

Cannellini beans: with their flavor and soft texture, cannellini beans are a staple for Italian soups and pasta dishes (I’ve also rounded up my favorite cannellini bean recipes here!). But you can use any white beans of your choice. Either canned and dry home-cooked work for this recipe.

Cayenne pepper: for a touch of heat, but chili flakes also work fine.

Aromatic herbs: dried rosemary, Italian herb seasoning, and a bay leaf are added at the beginning of the cooking to add flavor to the broth or water. You can skip the Italian herb seasoning or use 1/2 teaspoon of oregano instead. The fresh parsley is added at the end to bring its fresh aroma and works well with cannellini beans.

Pasta: I recommend using short-cut pasta shapes such as ditaloni, cavatappi, shells, fusilli.

Broth: I usually use low sodium vegetable broth, it brings flavor without adding too much sodium. Start with the amount of liquid stated in the recipe, then add it gradually as much as needed. You can use your favourite broth or even water if it’s all you have on hand, just make sure to adjust the seasoning at the end, not at the beginning of the cooking time.

Note: you need cookware that is large, thick, and heavy so the heat is evenly distributed, and the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. I love using a cast iron Dutch oven for my one-pot recipes with pasta and legumes. 

Close-up of a black bowl full of pasta with cannellini beans.

How to store leftover pasta with cannellini beans

If you have any leftovers, store this pasta and beans dish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The pasta will absorb all the liquid as it sits in the container. To reheat, you can add a splash of water to thin out the consistency you like. Then, you can gently warm it over medium-low heat or microwave

Top view of a blaco bowl full of pasta with cannellini beans.

Italian pasta recipes you’ll love!

If you make this delicious pasta with cannellini beans or if you have any questions, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo #theclevermeal on Instagram. I would love to hear from you!

Top view of a black bowl full of pasta with cannellini beans.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Pasta with Cannellini Beans

This comforting one-pot pasta with cannellini beans is a breeze to make with simple pantry staples! It's full of fiber, plant-based protein, and big flavor! 
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: pasta
Cuisine: Italian, vegan
Keyword: Pasta with cannellini beans
Servings: 4
Calories: 402kcal
Author: Katia


  • 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (15oz each) cannellini beans, drained
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or chilli fakes
  • 8oz (220 grams) short cut pasta (ditali, shells…)
  • 3 ½ to 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth or water
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves


  • In a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, warm the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the diced onion, cook stirring often for about 4 minutes, then stir in the garlic and cook for a further minute.
  • Add the beans, herbs, cayenne pepper, pasta, broth and seasoning.
    Note: I used 3 ½ cup liquid to cook the ditaloni pasta shape, but you might need more liquid or a bit less depending on the pasta shape you use. Keep an eye on it and add water gradually if needed. For the salt, I added nearly 1 ½ tsp salt that works for low sodium broth or water only, you need less if using a broth that taste salty on its own. Taste and adjust the seasoning at the end.
  • Bring the pot to a simmer, stirring frequently, and cook your pasta until al dente.
  • Turn the heat off, stir in the parsley, taste, and adjust the seasoning.
  • To make it more delicious, serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and freshly grated parmesan cheese, if you like. Enjoy.


Nutrition facts: the nutrition values are for one serving and are based on an online nutrition calculator. However, it’s an estimate and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. Please see my disclosure policies.


Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 495mg | Potassium: 729mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 5mg


  1. 5 stars
    I made your Pasta with Cannellini Beans for dinner last Monday while visiting my daughter and her family. I doubled the recipe to ensure we would have plenty for everyone. I omitted the cayenne pepper, used water instead of broth, and used basil from her garden instead of parsley. It was absolutely delicious! All eight people there loved it! I look forward to making it again! So very good!

    1. That’s great to hear, Roberta! : )
      Thanks so much for sharing your lovely feedback. x

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