Hearty Pesto Cannellini Bean Pasta Salad

This makes a great lunch or side dish to serve at a BBQ – who doesn’t love pesto?!

A few tips to ‘zero waste’ this dish:

  • Grow your own basil OR shop for ingredients at a local farmer’s market and ask them to package it without plastic
  • Take your produce bags to your local grocer or supermarket so you aren’t tempted to buy the leafy greens in a bag!
  • Most bulk food stores will stock all of the dry goods for this dish
  • If you’re struggling to find package free pasta, try to at least find a product in a cardboard box that you can compost

Makes approx. 8 hearty portions, or serves 12 as a side dish

For the pesto:

  • 1 bunch basil, picked and washed
  • 2.5 Tbs pine nuts, toasted lightly
  • 4 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 large clove garlic (or more to your taste)
  • ½ C water
  • Salt and pepper to tasteFor the pasta and beans:
    • 350g dried pasta, cooked in salted boiling water until tender
    • 400g cannellini beans – soaked for 8 hours or overnight, then cooked in a pressure cooker for 12 mins (low pressure), or for approx. 90 minutes on a saucepan
    • 5 cups baby spinach
    • 300g green beans, top, tailed, blanched, halved (or 1 zucchini)
    • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
    • 1 spanish onion, finely diced


For the pesto:

Combine all ingredients for pesto in a food processor – it should be thick but ‘saucy’.  Add more water if necessary.  Season to taste – depending on the size of the lemons it may need more!

To serve:

Combine the pesto with pasta and cannellini beans.  Sprinkle in baby spinach, salt, pepper and stir until combined.

In a separate bowl add the green beans, onion, vinegar and olive oil together.

Serve on a plate together.


Nutrition Facts

5 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  • Calories366.3
  • Total Fat3.8 g
  • Saturated Fat0.2 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat1.2 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat0.7 g
  • Cholesterol0.0 mg
  • Sodium158.6 mg
  • Potassium293.9 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate77.0 g
  • Dietary Fiber15.1 g
  • Sugars4.1 g
  • Protein16.5 g
  • Vitamin A54.2 %
  • Vitamin B-1232.0 %
  • Vitamin B-6115.1 %
  • Vitamin C40.5 %
  • Vitamin D0.0 %
  • Vitamin E1.9 %
  • Calcium9.6 %
  • Copper4.9 %
  • Folate48.5 %
  • Iron33.5 %
  • Magnesium6.5 %
  • Manganese23.5 %
  • Niacin87.2 %
  • Pantothenic Acid24.9 %
  • Phosphorus4.5 %
  • Riboflavin153.3 %
  • Selenium8.7 %
  • Thiamin197.5 %
  • Zinc7.4 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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