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Pesto Spaghetti with White Beans

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1 (16 ounce) package whole grain spaghetti
1 (15 ounce) can canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14 ounce) can canned diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (10 ounce) containers refrigerated pesto
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Pesto Spaghetti with White Beans

Cannellini beans and pesto add wonderful flavor to whole grain pasta in this easy main dish recipe.

  • Serves 4
  • Easy

About This Recipe

It may seem unusual to combine pasta with beans, but Italians do it all the time. This is a version of a classic Tuscan recipe. The combination of spaghetti with white beans, tomatoes, and pesto is really delicious in Pesto Spaghetti with White Beans.

And you can make it in less than 30 minutes using convenience foods!

This recipe is a great example of collecting recipes you know how to make, that are fast to make, and use ingredients you can keep on hand in the pantry, fridge, and freezer.

And you can vary this recipe easily too. Add some fresh spinach when you stir in the pesto and it will wilt in the hot pasta. Add some chopped bell peppers or some frozen corn, or use another kind of cheese.

Serve this recipe with a green salad tossed with mushrooms and chopped bell peppers, and some crisp and delicious Cheesy Toasted Breadsticks. Enjoy!

Tips for the best Pesto Spaghetti with White Beans:

  • There are many varieties of pesto on the market. You can choose shelf-stable pesto, refrigerated pesto, and even fresh pesto from the deli. Choose any for this recipe, or make your own. It’s easy if you have access to fresh basil.
  • This recipe is vegetarian. You can make it gluten-free by using a rice pasta.
  • Use a good brand of canned beans and canned diced tomatoes. With so few ingredients, the quality of each ingredient is important.

Why this recipe works:

  • The pesto adds great flavor to the pasta. I always have some in the fridge.
  • The diced tomatoes add flavor and a pop of color to this dish, along with some vitamin C.
  • Combining the pasta with the beans makes this recipe a complete protein, with all of the 9 essential amino acids you need in your diet every day.

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Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and start cooking.


Open the bean and tomato cans and set aside.


When the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain it and return it to the hot pot. Place the pot over low heat.


Add the beans and tomatoes. Cook over low heat for a few minutes to heat these ingredients, tossing occasionally with tongs.


Add the pesto, cream, and cheese and toss gently again, then serve.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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