Tuscan White Bean Pasta

$6.45 recipe / $1.61 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.90 from 55 votes
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This Tuscan White Bean Pasta is definitely my type of recipe. It’s quick, uses a lot of fresh ingredients, is very filling, and flavorful. This pasta packs protein (white beans and parmesan), veggies (tomatoes and spinach), and carbohydrates (pasta), making it a great one-dish meal. You can serve it up as is for a lighter main dish, or add some sliced grilled chicken to make it a bit more filling.

Originally posted 6-20-10, updated 2/25/18

Tuscan White Bean Pasta with Tomatoes and Spinach

Overhead view of a large bowl full of Tuscan White Bean Pasta, spinach and garlic on the side

Can I Substitute the Tomatoes?

If you can’t find fresh tomatoes and spinach for a good price, you can substitute one can of diced tomatoes (with juices) in their place. Make sure to let them simmer a bit so the juices reduce and concentrate in flavor.

Can I Use Frozen Spinach?

Yes, if needed, you can use frozen chopped spinach, although the texture of fresh spinach is far better for this recipe. Kale can also be substituted for the spinach, just make sure to tear it into very small pieces and it will take slightly more time to wilt down in the skillet.

What Kind of Pasta Should I Use?

I prefer a long pasta for this dish, like fettuccine or linguine, but you could also easily do this with a shorter pasta like penne or bowtie pasta. 

Tuscan white bean pasta in the skillet with a wooden pasta fork in the side

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Tuscan White Bean Pasta

4.90 from 55 votes
This Tuscan White Bean Pasta is a fast and flavorful dish that is perfect for weeknight dinners. Caramelized garlic, basil, and Parmesan add BIG flavor!
This Tuscan White Bean Pasta is a fast and flavorful dish that is perfect for weeknight dinners. The caramelized garlic, basil, and Parmesan pack a huge flavor punch! BudgetBytes.com
Servings 4
Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. linguine or fettuccine ($0.63)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.13)
  • 1 Tbsp butter ($0.13)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced ($0.24)
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes ($1.99)
  • 10 cranks freshly ground pepper ($0.03)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
  • 1 15oz. can cannellini beans ($0.69)
  • 4 oz. baby spinach ($0.65)
  • 3 oz. shredded parmesan ($1.89)

Instructions 

  • Fill a large pot with water and place over high heat to bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes). Drain the pasta in a colander.
  • While you’re waiting for the water to boil, mince the garlic. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and sauté for about a minute, or until it has softened and become very fragrant.
  • Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and basil. Sauté the tomatoes until the skins burst and the tomatoes begin to release their juices. It's important to not have the heat under the skillet too high here or the garlic may burn before the tomatoes break down. You want the garlic to brown and caramelize a bit, but not burn.
  • Once the tomatoes begin to break down, add the spinach and stir it into the tomatoes until it is about half way wilted. 
  • Rinse and drain the can of cannellini beans. Add the beans to the skillet and stir until they are heated through. The tomato juices will have created a thick sauce-like mixture on the bottom of the skillet at this point. Taste the mixture and add a bit more salt if needed. It should be slightly on the salty side in order to properly flavor the pasta.
  • Add the cooked and drained pasta to the skillet. Toss until the pasta is coated in the sticky sauce and everything is combined. Top with shredded parmesan, plus add a bit of Parmesan to the top of each bowl.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 556.63kcalCarbohydrates: 80.93gProtein: 28.7gFat: 13.78gSodium: 1134.93mgFiber: 11.13g
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Overhead view of the skillet full of tuscan white bean pasta with a wooden pasta fork in the side, garlic and Parmesan near the skillet

How to Make Tuscan White Bean Pasta – Step By Step Photos

Sautéed Garlic in the skillet
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add 8 oz. fettuccine or linguine and cook according to the package directions. Drain the pasta in a colander. As the water is heating, mince 3 cloves of garlic. Add the minced garlic to a large skillet along with 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter. Sauté over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic is soft and fragrant.

Blistered Tomatoes in the skillet
Add 1 pint grape tomatoes, 1/2 tsp dried basil, some freshly cracked pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt. Continue to sauté until the tomatoes pop open and begin to break down. The juices will begin to create a thick, almost jam-like sauce. The garlic will caramelize and turn a bit brown, just make sure the heat is not so high that it begins to burn before the tomatoes begin to pop open and release their juices.

Wilted Spinach in the skillet with tomatoes and garlic
Add 4 oz. fresh spinach and sauté for a couple of minutes, or until it’s mostly wilted.

Drained beans added to the skillet
Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of cannellini beans and add them to the skillet. Continue to sauté until they are heated through. Taste the mixture at this point and add a bit of salt if needed. You want it to be slightly on the salty side in order to flavor all the pasta.

Cooked and drained pasta added to the skillet
Add the cooked and drained pasta, then toss until everything is coated in the tomato juices.

Pasta topped with freshly grated Parmesan
Top with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Tuscan White Bean Pasta in a bowl, topped with Parmesan, a black fork on the side

This Tuscan White Bean Pasta is hearty enough to stand alone as a one dish meal, or you can pair it with some grilled chicken and maybe some homemade garlic bread. Enjoy!

See this recipe in my weekly meal prep! 

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  1. Very good recipe.  Added a few red pepper flakes to give it a bit of zip.  

  2. This was an absolutely delicious recipe! We loved it so much! I doubled the garlic!

  3. This is one of my new favorite recipes of all time! So few ingredients and not expensive to make at all! Delicious! 

  4. Very tasty, we ended up doing this with frozen spinach and tinned toms, and as a store cupboard dish …. YUM!!

  5. I thought this was excellent.  Being a committed carnivore, I added slices of a sweet Italian sausage and some onion with the garlic.  

    My husband and I found it delicious, satisfying and interesting despite the fact that I had to resort to thoroughly squeezed out frozen spinach.  .

  6. Very good. Didn’t have basil but I’d frozen some parsley from the summer and it was delicious. 
    Thanks 

  7. I gave this five stars because it is a recipe that I will keep using.  It was plenty moist due to the addition of a bit of tumble full of pasta water.  The texture was creamy and a little bit cheesy.  Easy and economical.

  8. I just made this and it tastes amazing! So simple but the flavours taste so great together. Will definitely be making regularly!

  9. Love this dish! I only had canned diced tomatoes and frozen spinach on hand. Still turned out fantastic, my toddler, 6 yr old, and I all loved it. Definitely a keeper for a quick meal this winter!

  10. The recipe lists 1/2 tsp dried basil and 1/2 tsp of salt but the directions never say when to add it. Thanks!

    1. It’s step three, with the tomatoes. :) “3. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and basil.”

  11. This is great. I doubled the garlic, as I always do, and the pasta, and used kale. I hate it when people comment that they changed the recipe and and here I go. But I just used more of things and I had some kale. Anyway, this is great and I will make it all the time.