High Protein Pesto Butter Beans

Author: Sarah Cobacho

Published: August 23, 2023

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A bowl of vibrant green butter bean pesto with buckwheat bread on the side

Looking for a quick, high-protein, and nutritious lunch? This High Protein Pesto Butter Beans recipe might be the perfect one! With 35g of protein per serving and a delightful blend of zesty lemon and creamy butter beans, this meal comes together in just 15 minutes. I love to enjoy it with quinoa or some toasted bread to avoid making more dishes 😅 (make sure to check out our 1-ingredient buckwheat bread if you haven’t already!)

Each serving has 35g of protein, which mainly comes from silken tofu, beans, and nutritional yeast. The content of protein per tbsp in nutritional yeast varies between brands; this is mostly due to the size or fineness of the product, with some selling a finer powder and others offering larger yeast flakes. So if you’re tracking macros, you might want to log the exact brand you’re using. For reference, we used Bragg’s seasonings here, and it contains 3g per tbsp. This speedy meal is also a great source of fiber with 15g per serving, as well as iron, selenium, zinc, and vitamins B and C, making it a nutrient powerhouse. So make sure to add it to your next meal plan!

Why this recipe works

  • Quick and Easy: Ready in just 15 minutes.
  • Nutrient-Rich: Packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Versatile: Enjoy on its own, with quinoa, pasta or toasted bread.

Ingredient notes

  • Silken Tofu: Adds creaminess and protein. You can substitute it with 200 g firm tofu; you might need to adjust the vegetable stock volume to get to the desired consistency.
  • Nutritional Yeast: Provides a cheesy flavor and extra protein. Brand variations may affect protein content.
  • Butter Beans: The star ingredient, rich in fiber, minerals, and protein.

Step-by-step instructions

Combine all sauce ingredients and blend until smooth. Sauté the leek in olive oil, covered for 7 minutes until soft. Add the butter beans.

Add the sauce and 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. Serve.

Top with pine nuts and chili flakes, add salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

FAQ

  • Can I use other beans? Yes, chickpeas or cannellini beans work well.
  • Is this recipe vegan? Yes, it’s a plant-based, high-protein meal.
  • Can I store leftovers? Absolutely, refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Variations and Tips

  • Add More Veggies: Include tomatoes, mushrooms or bell peppers for extra flavor.
  • Adjust Spiciness: Modify chili flakes to taste.
  • Use Fresh Herbs: Fresh basil enhances the pesto flavor.

Why you love these High Protein Pesto Butter Beans

  • Protein-Packed
  • Fiber-Rich
  • Quick and Easy
  • Flavorful and Fresh
  • Versatile
  • & SO delicious!
A bowl of vibrant green butter bean pesto with buckwheat bread on the side

High Protein Pesto Butter Beans

4.9 from 15 votes
A quick 15-minute lunch with zesty lemon and creamy butter beans packed with 35 g of protein and 15 g of fiber per serving. Enjoy with quinoa or toasted bread.
Sarah Cobacho (plantbaes.com)
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes

Video

Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 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 small lemon (juice and zest ~2 tbsp)
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled)

Instructions

  • 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!

Per Serving

Calories 506kcalCarbohydrates 62gProtein 35gFat 15gSodium 393mgFiber 15gVitamin A 290IUVitamin C 45mgCalcium 194mgIron 10mg
COURSE Lunch
CUISINE Plant-Based
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6 Comments

    1. Hey Adele, this makes 2 servings, we usually list them just above the ingredient list 🙂 hope you love it!

    1. You could up the cashews to 1/4 cup, and blend with dairy free milk (soy or hemp would be great to keep the protein up). Maybe start with 0.5 cup of milk and up to get to your desired consistency, keeping in mind that the sauce will thicken with the cashews once heated 🙂 Let me know how you go 💚

4.87 from 15 votes (15 ratings without comment)

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