One-Pot White Bean Pasta (15 Minutes!)

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This white bean pasta makes a wonderful one-pot family meal ready in less than 15 minutes. It’s everything you want in a pasta dish: it’s comforting, packed with fresh ingredients, protein, veggies, and it’s no fuss.

And if you’re after easy pasta dishes, you’ll love these delicious one-pot pasta recipes and quick pasta ideas!

Top view of a grey plate full of one pot white bean pasta with cherry tomatoes and spinach.

I do love one pot pasta meals, they’re easy, and pack a lot of flavor into only one pot. This white bean pasta recipe is not exception and makes a delicious balanced meal in no time.

Watch how to make it

In this recipe, I sauté garlic, paprika, and fluffy beans in olive oil (plenty of flavor!). Then I add water, pasta, and cook all together on medium-low heat until the pasta releases its starch. In the last minutes of cooking time, I stir in fresh spinach, cherry tomatoes, and I finish the dish with parmesan. Done, ready to serve and so delicious!

The mashed creamy cannellini beans, the starch and the melted cheese make the final dish mouthwatering, perfect as a meatless main meal or side dish. I promise, you’ll have everyone asking for seconds.

What ingredients you need

  • Pasta (short pasta shapes)
  • Cannellini beans (or Great Northern beans)
  • Baby spinach
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated!
  • Paprika
  • Chili flakes
  • Olive oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
The ingredients for this white bean pasta are arranged over a white background.

White Bean Pasta Step-by-Step

(Note: the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)

  • Saute’ garlic in olive oil until fragrant
  • Add spices, beans, black pepper and give a good stir
Top view of one pot full of white beans, oil, garlic and paprika/
  • Add hot water – or vegetable broth – salt, and bring to the boil
  • Add pasta (the liquid is minimised, it’s fine)
  • In the last minutes of cooking time, stir in spinach and tomatoes
Top view of one pot full of white bean pasta with spinach, tomatoes and grated parmesan cheese.
  • Add freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Give a good stir and serve!
One pot full of white bean pasta with spinach and cherry tomatoes.


White bean pasta ingredients

  • Pasta: any short pasta shapes such as penne, fusilli or bow ties are perfect for the recipe. Choose premium quality pasta, it’s more expensive than basic pasta, but it’s resilient and has a more robust texture.
  • White beans: cannellini beans with their fluffy texture are my go-to white beans for any recipe, but Great Northern beans work just fine.
  • Spinach: fresh washed spinach is the best: ready to use, perfect texture, and wilts quickly. You can swap swiss chard (cut and steams removed) for spinach, add it in the last 3-4 minutes of the cooking time.
  • Cherry tomatoes: they add a lovely sweet flavor and make the final dish so inviting! But I leave them optional: if they’re not in season, flavorless or too pale, skip them.
  • Extra flavor: give a good final stir with plenty of freshly grated parmesan, if you don’t keep it vegan, of course.

How to cook it

While you add pasta to the pot, you may think to yourself “there’s not enough liquid“, but I promise it will be fine: the liquid is minimized and the pasta absorbs it completely and releases its starch. And the more starch, the better!
But keep in mind a few tips:

  • Cook on low-medium heat
  • Cover with a lid
  • Stir frequently
  • Add a bit of liquid only if needed
A grey plate full of one-pot white bean pasta with spinach and cherry tomatoes.


First of all, make sure you’ll have a look at this collection of scrumptious 15 cannellini bean recipes, you’ll find so many creative ways to turn you canned beans into something good!
I also list here a few tasty bean recipes that feature cannellini beans, some of my family favorites:

If you make white bean pasta recipe or if you have any questions, let me know! Leave a comment, send me a message, or rate it.
I would love to hear from you!

Top view of a grey plate full with white bean pasta with spinach and tomatoes.
Print Recipe
4.89 from 18 votes

One-Pot White Bean Pasta

This quick white bean pasta makes a wonderful One-pot family meal ready in less than 15 minutes. It’s everything you want in a pasta dish: it's comforting, packed with fresh ingredients, BIG flavor, protein, veggies, and it's no fuss.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: pasta
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: Pasta with white beans
Servings: 4
Calories: 382kcal
Author: Katia


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or extra virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ or ⅛ tsp chili flakes*
  • 1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, or Great Northern beans
  • ⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ½ cups (600 ml) water or low sodium vegetable broth*
  • ½ tsp fine salt, or according to taste
  • 8 oz (220 grams) short pasta shapes (fusilli, penne, bow ties…)
  • 4 oz (120 grams) baby spinach, washed
  • 4 oz (120 grams) cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 2 oz (60 grams) freshly grated parmesan, plus more to serve


  • Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant and smells good, about 45 seconds.
  • Add paprika, chili flakes, beans, black pepper, and give a good stir.
  • Add hot water or low sodium vegetable broth, salt, turn to high heat and bring to the boil.
  • Stir in pasta, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and cook stirring frequently. The amount of liquid is enough to partially cover the pasta (but keep an eye on it to make sure the pasta doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot, and add a touch of water if needed).
  • In the last 2 minutes of the pasta's cooking time, add fresh spinach, a handful at a time, and cherry tomatoes. Stir until the spinach is wilted, it takes a couple of minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, finish the dish with freshly grated parmesan, and give a good stir until the cheese melts and the pasta looks well combined (taste and adjust the season according to your taste if needed).
  • Serve immediately with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, more freshly ground black pepper and parmesan cheese if you like. Enjoy!


*Chili flakes (or crushed red pepper): add the spice according to your liking. If you feed children, you might want to use only ⅛ tsp.
Liquid:  ½ cup of water is an estimate. While the pasta is cooking, you might want to add a touch of water gradually, if needed. 
Parmesan cheese: use freshly grated parmesan cheese that melts well and tastes much better than store-bought grated cheese. 


Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 244mg | Potassium: 670mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3141IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 248mg | Iron: 4mg


  1. This is an excellent recipe. We both loved it. I used veggie broth and arugula instead of spinach. Yummy. Will definitely add this to my meatless Monday rotation!

    1. I’m so pleased to hear that, Jacquie! Thanks so much for sharing. x

  2. The recipe doesn’t state to drain and or rinse the beans. The recipe called for 8oz of pasta. Kind of inconvenient since a box of pasta is 16oz. I doubled the recipe to use a whole box. It was a little dry & bland. I did add more water.

    1. It’s unusual to find a recipe that calls 16oz pasta.
      I think 8oz pasta is convenient, enough to serve 3-4 people, but easy to double if you need more. Thanks! : )

  3. blue_eyes998 says:

    4 stars
    That was a good meal, thank you! I would suggest updating the recipe to say 2 to 2 1/2 cups water. I didn’t catch the bote until too late, but I just pulled out the extra 1/2 cup of liquid before adding the cheese so it’d be a thicker consistency.

    1. You’re welcome! I’m very happy to hear you enjoyed this pasta recipe, thanks for taking the time to share. : )

  4. James Baugh says:

    You mention “mashed creamy cannellini beans” in the introduction to the recipe. However, mashing is not referenced anywhere in the recipe. Can you clarify? Thanks!

    1. Hi James! I described mashed and creamy cannellini beans considering their texture after cooking along with the pasta, just because cannellini beans are very fluffy and tender. The actual recipe doesn’t mention nor require any “mashing”, but the beans will turn out super soft anyway. Hope this makes sense. x

  5. 5 stars
    delicious! I added half a yellow pepper, changed parmesan to cubed cheddar which I had handy, and used gluten-free noodles that I cooked separately and added at the end.

    1. That’s great to hear, Carmen. I’m glad it turned out delicious, thanks for sharing. x

  6. Tiffany B says:

    5 stars
    Wonderful recipe. Filling yet light. Easy to follow and great flavor with very little effort. Will make this again!

    1. Amazing! Thanks for sharing your great feedback, Tiffany. : )

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