Cheesy Vegan Pizza Beans (30 Minutes!)

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Spoon resting in an empty space of a pan of cheesy vegan pizza beans

Friends! We’re SO excited about this one. This dish is inspired by a recipe from the talented Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen. We’ve simplified and veganized her delicious recipe for the ultimate “cheesy” and saucy plant-based entrée!

This zippy and savory meal takes all the things you love about pizza and pasta and pairs them with fiber- and protein-rich beans! And (if you can believe it) it requires just 10 ingredients and 30 minutes. Yep, that’s including the homemade cheese sauce! Let us show you how it’s done!

Cashews, tomatoes, white beans, tapioca starch, olive oil, maple syrup, lemon, nutritional yeast, dried Italian herbs, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes

How to Make Vegan Pizza Beans

With a name like pizza beans, there are a few essential ingredients that we must include. First, garlic and red pepper flakes sauté in olive oil for a slightly spicy and super savory base.

Sautéing garlic and red pepper flakes in a cast iron pan

Next, we add more potent pizza-ness with crushed tomatoes and dried Italian herbs. Maple syrup adds an optional touch of sweetness and balance. Then we add the white beans, toss it all together, and let it simmer to soften the beans and meld the flavors!

Stirring cannellini beans into an Italian-seasoned tomato mixture

While the beans are getting saucy, it’s time to blend up our “cheese” sauce! We blend raw cashews with water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, tapioca starch, and salt. The result is a milky mixture that gets poured over the beans. This is the time to trust the process, friends! The “cheese” firms up by covering with a lid and steaming.

Pouring a creamy vegan sauce over a tomato bean mixture

Then after (optionally) broiling, the “cheese” becomes deliciously browned on top and perfectly creamy underneath. Yep, it’s pretty life changing!

Fresh basil leaves sprinkled on a pan of vegan pizza beans

We hope you LOVE these vegan pizza beans! They’re:

& SO easy!

They make a delicious dinner alongside salads, garlic bread, sautéed greens, or roasted vegetables. After that, the leftovers keep well in the refrigerator or freezer. Who doesn’t love meal-prepped pizza?! Count us in.

Love Beans? Try These Recipes Next:

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Slice of vegan garlic bread in a pan of pizza beans

Cheesy Vegan Pizza Beans (30 Minutes!)

Savory, saucy, and CHEESY white beans that taste like pizza! An easy, comforting, plant-based entrée with just 10 ingredients and 30 minutes required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Cast iron pan of cheesy vegan pizza beans topped with fresh basil
4.99 from 84 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (Servings)
Course Entrée or Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Italian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days



  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 ½ Tbsp nutritional yeast (for cheesiness)
  • 2 Tbsp tapioca starch (for stretchiness // also called tapioca flour)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp dried Italian herbs*
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans white beans, drained and rinsed (we used cannellini // or ~3 ½ cups cooked homemade beans)

FOR SERVING optional


  • CHEESE SAUCE: Add cashews to a heatproof bowl and cover with hot water by at least 1-2 inches. Let them soak while you get started on the beans.
  • BEANS: Heat a large stainless steel or enameled cast iron skillet (or other oven-safe skillet) over medium-low heat. Once hot, add olive oil and garlic and sauté until fragrant — about 1 minute. Add red pepper flakes (optional) and stir to infuse flavor. Turn down heat if cooking too quickly.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, 1/4 cup (60 ml) water, Italian herbs, maple syrup (optional), and salt. Stir to combine, then add the white beans and mix to evenly distribute. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, cover, and let cook for 15-20 minutes until the beans are tender and the sauce is bubbly.
  • CHEESE SAUCE: While the beans simmer, make your cheese sauce. Drain the cashews and add them to a high-speed blender along with 2/3 cup (160 ml) water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, tapioca starch, and salt. Blend on high until very smooth and milky in texture, about 1 minute. Set aside.
  • Once the beans are tender, reduce the heat to low and carefully pour the cheese sauce over the beans in an even layer. Cover and steam for 2-3 minutes to encourage the cheese to firm up, then transfer to the oven to broil (optional) for another 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is darkened in spots and dry to the touch. Optionally, garnish with fresh basil.
  • Serve warm with vegan garlic bread, sautéed greens, roasted vegetables, or alongside a salad. Leftovers keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator or 1 month in the freezer.
  • Reheat leftovers in oven or microwave until warmed through.



*If you don’t have an Italian herb blend, you can substitute 2 tsp dried basil, 3/4 tsp dried oregano, and 1/4 tsp dried thyme.
*Recipe adapted from the talented Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 387 Carbohydrates: 47.5 g Protein: 17.5 g Fat: 16.1 g Saturated Fat: 2.3 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 8.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 853 mg Potassium: 958 mg Fiber: 12.3 g Sugar: 7.5 g Vitamin A: 307 IU Vitamin C: 12 mg Calcium: 131 mg Iron: 6 mg

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My Rating:

  1. Jarro Lightfeather says

    Exceptional. I substituted cashews for tofu and tapioca starch for potato. Noticeably burnt it, exeryone still loved it. Thank you <#

  2. Alessia Love says

    I made your white bean skillet meal and it was DIVINE, so I want to try this! If I don’t have tapioca flour, will that ruin the recipe leaving it out?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed that one, Alessia! The tapioca flour is what makes it “cheesy,” so it won’t have the stretchiness of cheese, but it would still be tasty without it. We would recommend using less water though to compensate. Hope that helps!

  3. Trish says

    I made this last week for a quick dinner and it was so good! I did have a few modifications, I added zucchini, onion, capsicum and celery as I’m trying to up my veggies and to the sauce added a teaspoon of liquid smoke and a dash of soy. It was really delicious and leftovers heated up well a couple of days later to bring to work for lunch. Thank you!

  4. Annabelle says

    My family loved this. My son is an avid meat and vegetable eater (variation of paleo) and he even liked it but ate it without the pasta. I had leftover cannellini beans so this was a perfect fit. I didn’t have a 15 oz can of tomatoes so added 28oz and decided to serve it over pasta. (Trader Joe’s Rice/Quinoa). I did add sautéed onions and doubled some of the spices. Next time I would add mushrooms & peppers too. I loved the hint of spice…. I don’t like a lot so I did cut down the chili flakes to about 1/8t for the whole amount. The cheese sauce was easy and worked well.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! We’re so glad you and your family enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing, Annabelle! xo

  5. Coby says

    Oh man, these beans are delicious! Before sauteing the garlic, I first sauteed green bell pepper and red onion so it would taste like a pizza supreme. To that end, I also added sliced black olives. I served the beans over lentil pasta. Such a fantastic and filling dish!