This vegan butter bean pasta with a creamy sauce made from butter beans, jalapeno peppers and coconut milk is ideal for a warming weeknight dinner that takes just 15 minutes from start to finish. The flavor is rich and complex, with the perfect level of spice, while the addition of vegetables like carrots and broccoli add texture and color.
When I first went vegan in 2016, my cooking skills weren't quite as good as today. So, I went for store-bought options a lot. When I did cook, I had a lot of recipe failures. Oftentimes, I would end up eating dry pasta for dinner, or end up spending way too long on a recipe that should have taken 30 minutes.
Safe to say, my cooking skills have improved a lot since then. Nowadays, in less than 30 minutes, I can put together a lunch or dinner that makes me and other people incredibly happy. And that's with simple, easy-to-find recipes! This recipe for vegan butter bean pasta aligns exactly with those principles.
It's one of those super simple, comforting recipes that you'll want to make over and over again! When you next feel stuck about what to make for dinner, make this. Seriously - it's life changing! Chances are, you'll want to make it over and over again.
Vegan butter bean pasta sauce
Have you ever tried making a pasta sauce out of beans? It may sound strange, but hear me out. By themselves, the main ingredient in this pasta sauce - butter beans - have a very neutral flavor. Much like using cauliflower for cauliflower Alfredo or silken tofu for tahini pasta, they take on the flavor profile of the other ingredients that you add to the sauce.
The addition of butter beans is amazing for creating a smooth, rich texture that so many of us love in a dairy-free pasta sauce. I also added coconut milk, which is a great ingredient for adding creaminess. And don't worry, you won't be able to taste the coconut (plus, you can always substitute it with another plant based milk of your choice). The addition of Jalapenos, meanwhile, helps to add a great hint of spice and complexity. There is no blandness allowed!
Making the pasta sauce is as easy as blending all the ingredients together. I also added lots of sautéd vegetables for extra texture, and for a more fun way to eat more vegetables in general. Mix everything together with a pasta variety of your choice, and you're good to go for a fantastic lunch or dinner. Another great thing about this vegan butter bean pasta is that it's delicious eaten either hot or cold, so it's perfect for meal prep.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Pasta of your choice. I love using rigatoni because it's great for scooping up the sauce!
- Butter beans. This is the key ingredient here for creating an amazing pasta sauce texture. You can also use cannellini beans - the result will be very similar.
- Tinned jalapenos. You can adjust the amount you use depending on your preferred level of spice.
- Tamari or soy sauce. In order to keep this recipe soy-free, use coconut aminos.
- Coconut milk from a can. You can use either full fat or light coconut milk, or any other plant based milk of your choice.
- Nutritional yeast. This is perfect for adding a cheesy, savory flavor.
- Cornstarch. This is for thickening the sauce as it cooks. You can also use tapioca flour.
- Garlic granules and cumin.
- Olive oil for sautéing the vegetables.
- Mushrooms. I used cremini; you can also use shiitake and oyster.
- The vegetables: onion, carrots and broccoli. Feel free to use any other vegetables of your choice, depending on what you have in the fridge.
How to make butter bean pasta
Start by cooking the pasta according to instructions on packaging. This usually takes 10-12 minutes.
Next, add the butter beans, jalapenos, tamari, coconut milk, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, garlic granules and cumin to a blender or food processor. Blend until very smooth.
Now heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes to soften. Next, add the mushrooms, carrots and brococli. Cook for 5 minutes more, until the vegetables soften.
Drain the pasta and add to the pan together with the sauce. Lower the heat to a medium and stir for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
Questions and answers
You can add any other vegetables of your choice. For instance, bell peppers, zucchini and cauliflower work really well. I also love adding green peas.
The sauce is gluten-free as it is, so the whole dish will be gluten-free as long as you use gluten-free pasta.
Butter bean pasta keeps well in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days, making it a great meal prep option. You can eat it cold, or reheat in the microwave. I would not, however, recommend freezing, as this will interfere with the texture of the sauce.
Other amazing vegan pasta sauces
- For a light and refreshing lunch, try pea and avocado pesto pasta.
- Vegan spaghetti Bolognese is a great plant based alternative to the classic!
- Stuffed shells with tofu ricotta are the definition of comfort food.
- Make vegan baked mac and cheese for cheesy deliciousness as its best!
- You just can't go wrong with flavorful roasted red pepper pasta.
If you give this vegan butter bean pasta a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@ohmyveggies) and leave your feedback in the comments below together with a star rating! I love hearing from you!
- Saucepan x 2
- 3 cups rigatoni or any other pasta of choice
- 1 can butter beans (14oz), drained and rinsed
- ½ cup pickled jalapenos drained
- 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 1 can coconut milk (14oz)
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 cups mushrooms chopped
- 1 large carrot peeled and chopped
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- Cook the rigatoni according to instructions on packaging. This usually takes 10-12 minutes.
- Add the butter beans, jalapenos, tamari, coconut milk, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, garlic granules and cumin to a blender or food processor. Blend until very smooth.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes to soften. Next, add the mushrooms, carrots and brococli. Cook for 5 minutes more, until the vegetables soften.
- Drain the pasta and add to the pan together with the sauce. Lower the heat to a medium and stir for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
- This vegan butter bean pasta keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container. You can either eat it cold, or reheat in the microwave, adding extra plant based milk if necessary.