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Pasta with White Beans, Tomatoes, and Basil

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Pasta with White Beans, Tomatoes, and Basil

Pasta with White Beans, Tomatoes, and Basil

Jessica Braider
Scramble member Hillary Bratton of Portola Valley, California, shared her family’s favorite weeknight pasta recipe. We love how the white beans break down into the sauce while it’s cooking, making it thicker, richer, and healthier!
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings


  • 16 oz. large pasta shells
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced, about 2 tsp.
  • 15 oz. cannellini beans (or use 1 1/2 cups home-cooked beans for every 15 oz. can), drained and rinsed
  • 28 oz. diced tomatoes or use 6 – 8 fresh tomatoes coarsely chopped, if using fresh tomatoes
  • 10 fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese or to taste


  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions until it is al dente.
  • Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the garlic and stir it for about 30 seconds until it is very fragrant.
  • Stir in the beans for about 1 minute.
  • Add the tomatoes, basil, and crushed red pepper flakes, bring it to a boil, and simmer it for about 20 minutes, or until the pasta is done, breaking up the tomatoes and beans a bit with the back of a wooden spoon while it cooks.
  • Drain the shells and combine them with the sauce. Season it with salt and pepper to taste. Serve it immediately, topped with the Parmesan cheese and drizzled with olive oil, or refrigerate it for up to 3 days.

Slow Cooker Directions:

  • Combine the garlic, beans, tomatoes, basil, and crushed pepper flakes in the slow cooker and cook on low for 5 - 6 hours or on high for 2 - 3 hours. Combine it with the cooked and drained pasta, topped with the cheese and 1 Tbsp. oil. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)


Do Ahead or Delegate: Cook the pasta and store it tossed with a little oil to prevent sticking, peel the garlic, cook the beans if using dried, chop the tomatoes if using fresh, grate the Parmesan cheese if necessary and refrigerate, or fully prepare and refrigerate the dish.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Double the crushed red pepper flakes and use freshly grated aged Parmesan cheese.
Tip: When adding dry spices to a recipe, do not hold a bottle over a boiling pot as the moisture from the pot may affect the color and flavor of the remainder of the bottle.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 305, Total Fat: 6g, 8.5%; Saturated Fat: 1g, 5%; Cholesterol: 2mg, 0.5%; Sodium: 53mg, 2.5%; Total Carbohydrate: 53g, 18%; Dietary Fiber: 5g, 20%; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 11g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword 30 Minutes (or less) Meals, All, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fall, High Fiber, Kid-Friendly, Kosher, Low Fat, Low Sodium, Lunch, Main Dish, Make-Ahead, Nut-Free, Slow Cooker, Spring, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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