Broccoli Pesto Pasta with Cannellini Beans

Posted by Erin McCarthy

Crisp roasted broccoli is tossed with pasta and creamy cannellini beans in bright, herb-y pesto and topped with roasted cherry tomatoes.

Start by roasting the broccoli in a bit of the pesto, then toss with the beans, pasta, and the rest of the pesto. The roasted cherry tomatoes are a perfect topping. This is excellent paired with a side of Italian marinated mushrooms. (Bonus recipe listed at the end!)

The cherry tomatoes add bright little bursts of flavor to the more savory flavors of the dish. Although it's tempting, don't top with too many lest you overwhelm the flavor of the pesto.

The marinated mushrooms are easy to make and cost much less than buying the kind in the jar - and they taste 1000x better because you're using ingredients of much higher quality. The more you can make at once the less they cost per batch, since the primary cost here is the red wine vinegar (a couple of dollars).

Add this one to your menu for this week or next week - it won't disappoint!

cannellini beans with broccoli pesto and pasta and cherry tomatoes

Recipe Info

Servings: 4

Time: 1 hour


  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes , halved
  • 1 pound of penne regata (or whatever kind of pasta is your favorite)
  • 2 15 oz. cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (about 3 cups)


  • 4 cups loosely packed basil
  • 1 clove garlic, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (feel free to substitute walnuts here, just as good)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil (or more, up to one cup)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (substitute 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan here for non-vegan pesto)


  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • To make the pesto, add the basil, 1/2 cup of olive oil, garlic, salt, nuts, and nutritional yeast to a food processer and blend on high for until everything is blended, scraping the sides as needed. Add the rest of the oil in a thin stream while the food processor is running until smooth and creamy. Set aside. (If using Parmesan, don't blend it with the rest of ingredients, stir it in at the end instead.)
  • Bring the pasta water to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, toss the cherry tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper and put on a sheet pan.
  • Toss the broccoli with 1/4 cup of pesto, making sure it's all coated, and put on a second sheet pan.
  • Put the tomatoes in the oven and set the timer to 15 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes have gone by, also add the broccoli. Let it cook for that last ten minutes, tossing the contents of both sheet pans once or twice with a spatula.
  • At the same time you add the broccoli to the oven, add the pasta to the water and set the timer for ten minutes. (Penne will take about 10 minutes, but the time will depend on the type of pasta.)
  • When the ten minutes are up, drain the pasta and remove the broccoli and cherry tomatoes from the oven.
  • Toss the pasta with the rest of the pesto, the broccoli, and the white beans.
  • Put the tomatoes in a bowl to serve on the side.

vegan pesto bean pasta made with fresh basil

Bonus recipe - Italian Marinated Mushrooms


  • 1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lb. small button mushrooms, well rinsed (you can use up to three lbs. and cook in 1 lb. batches). If they're very large, cut in half.
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • Olive oil


  • Add the vinegar and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Add the mushrooms and boil for 5 minutes until tender.
  • Scoop the mushrooms out from the liquid with a slotted spoon and add to a jar (or bowl).
  • Add the oregano, red pepper flakes, and garlic and stir to coat well.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and stir once more.
  • If making multiple batches, add each batch 1 lb. at a time and repeat from step 2 on.

pesto bean broccoli pasta served with marinated mushroomsmoody pasta and mushrooms


Serve by itself for a nice hearty meal, or with some bread (and olive oil for dipping) if you like. Put a bowl of the roasted tomatoes on the table and let everyone top with as many as they like.

The mushrooms are delicious warm or cold, and they won't be in the fridge that long anyway - these are a super healthy and tasty snack and they'll be gone before you know it.


The mushrooms will keep for a week in the fridge b/c vinegar, but good luck not eating them for that long! This keeps for three days in the fridge, though it's best eaten fresh (if reheating, do so on the stove as microwaved pasta gets tough and chewy). Pasta isn't the best frozen, either (though I'd personally opt to freeze the leftovers rather than throw them away :)

Think you'll give this a try? Have you ever had marinated mushrooms, and do you like them? Let's dish in the comments!

pesto pasta with cannellini beans and broccoli

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