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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.
As you may know, lots of my pasta recipes are full of legumes and mostly inspired by my Italian roots. If you haven’t tried these pasta fazool, pasta with lentils and pasta with peas yet, 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.
The recipe starts with some olive oil, onion, garlic. Essential step to add flavor. Next, you stir in the beans, aromatic herbs, a touch of cayenne pepper, broth, seasoning. And you cook everything in one pot.
The end result is SO good that everyone will be coming back for seconds.
This pasta and cannellini beans is truly the perfect family meal that’s nourishing, delicious, and on a budget. Enjoy?
List of the ingredients
- Cannellini beans
- Broth or water
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Cayenne pepper or chilli flakes
- Salt & pepper
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.
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 fav 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 chilli flakes work just fine too.
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 you can use 1/2 teaspoon of oregano instead. The fresh parsley is added at the end to bring its fresh aroma and it works so well with cannellini beans.
Pasta: I would 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 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 that use pasta and legumes.
How to store leftover pasta with cannellini beans
If you have any leftovers, you can store this pasta and beans in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3 days. The pasta will absorb all the liquid as it sits and to reheat, add a splash of water until it’s thinned to the desired consistency, then gently warm over medium-low heat or microwave.
Italian pasta recipes you’ll love!
- Pasta with lentils
- Pasta with chickpeas (vegan)
- Pasta with peas
- Spaghetti with garlic and olive oil (vegan)
- Potato pasta (pasta e patate)
- Pasta with black beans “Bolognese Style”
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!
Pasta with Cannellini Beans
- 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 heart until shimmering. Add the diced onion, cook stirring often for about 4 minutes, than 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 large 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 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, stir frequently and and cook your pasta until al dente.
- Turn the heat off, stir in the parsley, taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy.