These Pesto Butter Beans Are A Great High Protein Lunch

Packed full of plant-based fiber and protein, this will be your new favorite way to eat beans


3 Minutes Read

A bowl of vegan pesto butter beans next to some cutlery and bread These pesto butter beans taste as good as they look - Media Credit: Plant Baes

You will never guess how much protein is in these pesto butter beans – a staggering 35g per serving! Not to mention all the fiber and healthy fats too. Butter beans are a great way to fuel your body and keep you feeling full and satisfied throughout the day.

In a hurry? Well, this dish will be ready in just 15 minutes, making it the perfect high-protein lunch or snack.

Are butter beans high in protein?

Butter beans are an excellent source of high-quality protein, with approximately 8g of protein per 100g of butter beans. In fact, most beans are a great source of protein and they are effortless to incorporate into your favorite dishes.

One effective way to increase your protein intake is by combining butter beans with other high-protein ingredients like tofu. A perfect example is this vegan pesto butter beans recipe which utilizes silken tofu as a sauce to coat the beans.

Are tinned butter beans good for you?

Tinned butter beans are packed full of nutrients, fiber, and protein. Making them a convenient and healthy ingredient. Just make sure to pick a brand that contains low levels of salt.

If you’re looking to maximize the nutrient profile of the butter beans, you can prepare them at home by cooking them from their dried state. However, this process can be time-consuming. Alternatively, you can opt for jarred butter beans which are quite similar to home-cooked beans and much more convenient.

Recipe variations

This pesto butter beans recipe is versatile. You can substitute the majority of the ingredients within this dish to suit your needs.

  • Different beans: Most beans will work well here, we recommend trying cannellini beans or even chickpeas
  • Add vegetables: Boost your plant intake by mixing in chopped red peppers, spinach, or tomatoes
  • Make it soy-free: Substitute the tofu with extra cashews (but this will reduce the protein content)

More butter bean recipes

Butter beans are great to cook with. Not only are they a high-protein ingredient, but they are also really creamy and tasty. They can be mashed, blended, or eaten whole in soups and stews. The possibilities are endless with these delicious beans!

Pesto butter beans recipe

A quick 15-minute lunch with zesty lemon and creamy butter beans, packed with 35g of protein and 15g of fiber per serving. Enjoy with quinoa or toasted bread.
A bowl of vegan pesto butter beans next to some cutlery and bread
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Duration15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Prep Time5 mins
Servings2 people


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 leek diced
  • 2 cups butter beans cooked
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1.5 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • red chili flakes to taste
  • salt & pepper to taste
Creamy protein pesto
  • 300 g silken tofu
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • 6 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp cashews
  • 1 lemon juice and zest ~3 tbsp
  • 1 cup packed basil
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled


  • Add all sauce ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Prepare the leek and other ingredients.
  • In a pot on medium heat, cook the olive oil and leek covered for 7 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the butter beans and sauce, season with salt & pepper, and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, add baby spinach, stir, and let sit covered for 2 minutes until the greens are just wilted. Top with pine nuts and chili flakes, add salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

This recipe was created by Sarah Cobacho of Plant Baes. You can find the original recipe here.

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