Weeknight meals that are actually easy to make are hard to come by, but ones that are also budget friendly are even better. This vegan creamy tomato recipe is budget friendly, nut free, and ready in about fifteen minutes.
Creamy Vegan Tomato Pasta Ingredient Spotlight
Also known as white kidney beans, cannelini beans are a bean commonly found in European cuisines. Canellini beans are widely available in many grocery stores, either dried or canned, and have an excellent nutritional profile. Unlike some other beans, cannelini beans are very low in fats, but are filled with protein and fiber. These beans can be used in many different recipes, including our creamy lemon and asparagus pasta.
Not to be confused with a grape tomato, cherry tomatoes are a small breed of tomato that can come in a variety of colors, including red, yellow, and even black. Different varieties will provide different types of sweetness. Cherry tomatoes are perennial plants, however, the smaller size of the crop allows them to grow very easily in hydroponic conditions, making them available all year round in grocery stores or at home.
There are over 60 varieties of basil that exist, each one providing different flavors and regional flavors to a dish. However, in this recipe, we are using sweet basil, or Basil Genovese, which is the most common variety, and widely available fresh. The fresh variety provides many benefits like antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. However, in this recipe, it’s important to use fresh herbs to get the best flavor, because in my opinion, dried basil has a completely different flavor profile.
About this Creamy Vegan Tomato Pasta Recipe
While beans may be an unexpected ingredient in this recipe, there are many familiar ingredients in this creamy tomato pasta such as olive oil, tomatoes, tomato paste, and fresh basil. The cannelini beans provide a creamy sauce without needing to use raw cashews, coconut milk, or even vegan cheese.
Best of all, beans are one of the few simple ingredients in this recipe to create a delicious and simple week night meal. While creamy tomato pasta was intended to be a budget recipe, we have a few different types of ingredients that are optional, but if you have them in your pantry, I highly encourage using them. This recipe is also extremely scalable, so if you need to make more or less, the ratio of ingredients stays the same, so the nutrition does as well.
This creamy vegan tomato pasta delivers on all things nutrition, with 18g of protein per serving, and 8g of fiber. There’s also no added sugars in this recipe. If you choose, you can also use whole wheat pasta for additional protein and fiber.
I highly recommend an immersion blender to get the creamy consistency of the sauce, but if you don’t have one available, a blender or food processor will also suffice. If you don’t have one, you can use a potato masher or a fork, however, you will not have a smooth texture. Adding water during the blending or mashing process also helps with the texture. Using a large skillet instead of a sauce pan will also help to ensure the sauce is dispersed and evenly distributed for optimal flavor.
- Immersion Blender
- Potato Masher
Sustainable Tips & Tricks
If you are trying to incorporate more sustainable cooking practices into your everyday cooking, here are a few tips that you can use to make this recipe.
You'll need to use a plastic or a metal container to use your immersion blender. as tempting as it may be to reuse a glass jar here, it presents a safety risk here if there's too much stress on the glass. I recommend here to reuse a plastic take out container to blend your beans.
- Save your scraps!
When peeling your vegetables, such as your onion skins, make sure you save them and refrigerate them to make vegetable stock at a later date. It'll save you from having to purchase pre-packaged stock in the future. When you're done, you can compost the scraps - you can read about apartment composting in our article!
- As always, Save your leftovers!
Food waste is a huge environmental impact, learn more about fighting food waste here.
Creamy Vegan Tomato Pasta Recipe (Nut Free)
- Preparation Time
- Cooking Time
- 1 pint cherry Tomatoes
- 1 15 oz can Cannelini Beans
- 1 Onion, minced
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 1 box Pasta
- ¼ cup fresh Basil
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Start by boiling a pot of water to cook your pasta
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil in a pan
- Then add onions and cherry tomatoes whole
- Let cook for 5-15 minutes until the tomatoes blister and become tender
- About midway through cooking, add minced garlic
- Then with a masher or wooden spoon, mash the tomatoes
- Add tomatoe paste and let cook for a few more minutes
- In a separate container, add drained cannelini beans
- In the container, add water, salt, lemon juice, and olive oil
- With an immersion blender, blend until smooth
- Add the mixture into the tomato mixture
- Reserve some pasta water before draining
- Transfer your cooked pasta into the tomato mixture and blend
- Add fresh basil and optional nutritional yeast
- Serve and enjoy!
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