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Creamy Pesto Beans

This delicious one-pot creamy pesto beans recipe is ready in just 15 minutes and makes the perfect light, easy dinner served with crusty bread or as a side for a bigger meal. The fresh flavors from the pesto and lemon juice give this recipe the perfect spring-inspired taste.

an overhead shot of creamy pesto beans topped with pine nuts and fresh basil

This is a combination of two recipes that have been super popular on the blog lately: this creamy pesto pasta recipe, and these gorgeous one-pot creamy butter beans.

For more delicious bean-inspired recipes, you’ll love these creamy leeks and beans, this spicy vodka beans recipe, or this cheesy white bean tomato bake.


This is a beautifully simple recipe (perfect for when you can’t be bothered or simply don’t have the time to cook!) and can be made even simpler by opting to use a jarred store-bought pesto instead of making your own.

Below are the ingredients used plus some notes on each – scroll down to the recipe card for the full quantities and instructions.

  • Beans: I used cannellini beans in the photos for this recipe, but you could also use butter beans or haricot beans instead. Tinned or jarred beans make this recipe super quick – you could use dried beans but you’ll need to add on additional cooking time for this.
  • Garlic: I used two relatively large cloves of minced garlic for this recipe, and omitted any garlic from the pesto so as not to overload the dish!
  • Vegetable stock: I use vegetable stock cubes mixed with boiling water in my recipes, but feel free to use a ready-made vegetable stock instead.
  • Lemon: The lemon juice adds a necessary zingy, fresh flavor to this recipe. Zesting the lemon over the finished dish is also a lovely extra touch.
  • Pecorino cheese: Many pesto recipes contain Parmesan, which is not suitable for vegetarians. I use Pecorino cheese instead. To make this recipe vegan, omit the cheese or substitute with nutritional yeast.
  • Pine nuts: Toasted pine nuts (literally toast the pine nuts in a dry pan for 2-3 minutes until golden) add a lovely depth of flavor to the pesto. Reserve a few nuts to scatter over the finished dish for added texture.
  • Pesto: I made a simple fresh pesto from basil, coriander (cilantro), and the toasted pine nuts. You could also use a store-bought version if you prefer.
a close up shot of the creamy pesto beans

How To Make The Pesto

I kept the pesto for this recipe super simple as a lot of the ingredients traditionally used in pesto are also used in the dish itself.

Simply blitz toasted pine nuts with fresh basil and fresh coriander. Then, add your olive oil and blend again into a smooth, emulsified pesto. Add a splash of water to create a more “saucy” texture to make the pesto easier to swirl into the beans.

Storing Your Pesto Beans

This recipe is best served fresh as the pesto may lose its color when reheated. However, you can store any leftover creamy pesto beans for up to 3-5 days in the refrigerator and in an airtight container.

Reheat your beans in the microwave or over the hob.

creamy pesto beans scooped up with crusty bread
Creamy Pesto Beans

Creamy Pesto Beans

Yield: 2 portions
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This simple creamy pesto beans recipe is ready in less than 15 minutes and contains fresh flavors from the pesto and lemon so a light, summery meal. Perfect served with crusty bread.


  • 1 (400g) tin of cannellini beans, drained
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 15g Pecorino cheese

For the Pesto:

  • 20g fresh basil
  • 20g fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • 15g pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  1. Heat your oil in a pan, then add the minced garlic. Saute for 1 minute or so until just beginning to turn golden.
  2. Add your cannellini beans to the pan, stirring them into the garlic. Use the back of your spoon to crush about 1/3 of the beans into a paste, which will help to thicken the creamy beans.
  3. Pour in your vegetable stock, lemon juice, salt, and Pecorino cheese. Leave the beans to simmer for 10 minutes while you make the pesto.
  4. To make the pesto, blitz half of the toasted pine nuts, basil, and coriander until smooth, then add the oil and blitz again into a smooth, emulsified pesto.
  5. Remove the beans from the heat, then swirl the pesto through the creamy beans along with the remaining pine nuts, more fresh basil, and the balsamic vinegar.


If you want to save time/keep this recipe as a true one-pot dish, feel free to use a store-bought pesto instead.

This recipe is so delicious served with crusty bread or over a jacket potato with a side salad to make it a more filling meal.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 413Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 1636mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 6gSugar: 3gProtein: 13g

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