Lemon Garlic Pasta with White Beans (Vegan)

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Hand holding a bowl and fork in a bowl of lemon garlic pasta with veggies

Creamy, garlicky pasta — what’s not to love? This quick and easy pasta is the ultimate satisfying, nourishing meal with tomatoes, arugula, and fiber-rich beans. YUM. 

Just 10 ingredients required for your new favorite weeknight-friendly pasta, friends. Let us show you how it’s done! 

Penne pasta, white beans, lemons, cashews, cherry tomatoes, salt, olive oil, nutritional yeast, garlic, water, and arugula

This garlicky pasta starts with (you guessed it) garlic! And there’s more in the sauce, friends. We aren’t playing around! Canned white beans combine with the garlic and some tomatoes for a savory, garlicky base.

Sautéing garlic, lemon zest, white beans, and tomatoes

While the beans soften in tomatoey goodness, it’s sauce time! The sauce starts with soaked cashews for a super creamy result, and for major flavor and “cheesiness” we add nutritional yeast, garlic, and lemon zest + juice. Add some water and blend ‘er up!

Blender with cashews, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and nutritional yeast

Next it’s time to add a generous portion of arugula to the saucy tomatoes and beans. Not a fan of arugula? Spinach would work well here, too!

Saucy white beans, tomatoes, and arugula

“All together now!” Lastly, the cooked pasta goes into the pot with the wilted greens and saucy tomatoes. The sauce gets added as well, and while it might look a bit thin, don’t worry! A few minutes over low heat and the sauce will thicken to creamy perfection.

Pouring cashew sauce over pasta and veggies

We hope you LOVE this lemon garlic pasta! It’s:

Creamy
Savory
Comforting but fresh
Perfectly lemony
& SO satisfying!

It’s perfect as a meal on its own but is also delicious with sides such as our Perfect Roasted Asparagus or Simple Green Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette. For more protein, pair with our Crispy Baked Tofu with Italian Herbs or Lemon Baked Salmon with Garlic Dill Sauce.

More Plant-Based Pasta Recipes

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!

Bowl of lemon garlic white bean pasta with veggies

Lemon & Garlic Pasta with White Beans (Vegan)

A creamy, savory, plant-based pasta with a lemony twist! Tomatoes, arugula, and white beans make this a nourishing, satisfying, weeknight-friendly meal. Just 10 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Bowl of vegan lemon garlic pasta with tomatoes and arugula
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 (Servings)
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

SAUCE

  • 2/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest

PASTA

  • 12 oz pasta of choice (we like Jovial gluten-free penne)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 (439 g) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or sub chickpeas, but they’ll be more firm)
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 6 cups baby arugula

FOR SERVING optional

Instructions

  • Add cashews to a heat-proof bowl and cover with at least 2 inches of boiling water. Set aside to soak.
  • PASTA: Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta, stir, and set a timer for the lower end of your package’s al dente recommendation. Proceed with the recipe while your pasta cooks.
  • Meanwhile, heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add olive oil and garlic and cook until fragrant and lightly sizzling — about 1 minute. Add the drained and rinsed beans, tomatoes, and salt and stir to combine. Then reduce to low heat, cover, and let simmer while you make your sauce.
  • SAUCE: Drain the cashews and add them to a high-speed blender along with the other sauce ingredients (water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt, and lemon zest). Blend on high until very smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. The sauce may seem thin but it will thicken once added to the pasta.
  • PASTA: Test your pasta for doneness and drain. Then add the arugula to the tomatoes/beans and stir to combine. Once the arugula has wilted, add in the cooked pasta and the cashew sauce and mix well. Turn the heat to medium-low and continue stirring until everything is nicely coated and the sauce begins to thicken slightly.
  • Serve warm garnished with vegan parmesan cheese, if desired. Leftovers keep for 3-4 days. Not freezer friendly.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with Jovial brown rice penne and ~2 teaspoons vegan parmesan cheese per serving.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 440 Carbohydrates: 65.1 g Protein: 15.6 g Fat: 14.7 g Saturated Fat: 1.9 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.8 g Monounsaturated Fat: 7.2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 388 mg Potassium: 789 mg Fiber: 8.1 g Sugar: 3.5 g Vitamin A: 320 IU Vitamin C: 86 mg Calcium: 163 mg Iron: 4.8 mg

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  1. Jane says

    Great recipe! Super fresh and jam packed with goodness. I added mushrooms, and I used chickpea pasta for an extra protein punch. Seriously, so good. I’m already looking forward to leftovers tomorrow!

  2. Piper says

    So incredibly delicious. Only adjustment I made was adding a bit less water to the sauce because I was afraid of it being too thin. It is so fresh. Big thumbs up!

  3. Molly Upstill says

    I made this recipe tonight and it was a hit with both the husband and 15 month old toddler.
    At any opportunity I have, I always add extra vegetables so a zucchini and bag of frozen spinach also went in.
    Seriously delicious and I will absolutely make it again.

  4. Jess says

    My little guy has a cashew and peanut allergy. Any suggestions on another nut to use here? Maybe almond? Thanks in advance!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jess! We haven’t tried this sauce with any other nuts, however you could try silken tofu, macadamia nuts (they might not get as smooth) or pine nuts. The flavor and texture of the sauce will be slightly different. Let us know if you try it though!

      • Meri Schroeder says

        How would you use the silken tofu? I’m new to the tofu world – would you just use 2/3 cup of the tofu and follow the directions as is? Thanks!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Meri, we haven’t tested it, so can’t guarantee it will turn out the same. But yes, 2/3 cup and maybe start with less water since it won’t be as absorbent as cashews. Let us know if you try it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Gabriela! We haven’t tried it, but you could try using 1/2-3/4 cup of cream instead of the cashews and water. When you add the sauce to the pasta, you may need to add water to thin it out! Let us know if you try it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Joanna, if you don’t mind the flavor of coconut milk, that should work here. We would suggest starting with about 1 cup and adding more as needed.

    • JD says

      Love these cream type vegan pasta dishes. I used tahini in place of cashews and it tuned out great. Probably a little nuttier and more toasty in flavor but I enjoy that. I eyeballed the sub so can’t really comment on measurement specifics. Thanks for all the recipes and inspiration!