Cannellini Beans with Kale Pesto

Cannellini Beans with Kale & Almond Pesto - Eat Simple Food Print

Cannellini Beans with Kale Pesto

This cannellini bean recipe with kale & almond pesto is light and satisfying.  It’s a “go to” dish for health as well as taste and can be served room temperature, cold, or warm.  Spice it up with crushed red pepper flakes.  Serve as is or over penne pasta, wild rice, or quinoa.

  • Author: beckie
  • Prep Time: 40 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 2 medium heads of kale, de-stemmed & roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup (~2.5 ounces) sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup (~ 2-3 lemons) fresh lemon juice
  • 3 + Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 28 oz can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 cups (~ 2 medium) tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 Cup water (optional as needed)
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated


  • Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and toast sliced almond 5-7 minutes or until fragrant and beginning to brown.
  • Make Pesto:  Destem, rinse, and roughly chop kale.  Into food processor add: kale, toasted sliced almonds, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (optional).  Pulse until it’s finely chopped.  You do not want it pulverized – you should still be able to see pieces of kale.
  • Cook it or just combine it all together – this dish can be served cool or warm!  Bring a large pan to medium high heat, add olive oil to lightly coat the pan, and add cannellini beans, kale pesto, and tomatoes.  Add 1/2 cup water if you want a thinner consistency.  Cover & cook ~ 5-7 minutes or until warm.
  • Add olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt to taste.  Top with Parmesan cheese.  Happy eating!  Beckie


TIP:  Don’t want to use canned beans?  Check out my blog post on dry beans.

Things In My Kitchen:

  • Salad Spinner – Remember to clean your kale.  Lots of stuff can get hidden in there.
  • Zester / Grater – Good for shredding / grating Parmesan finely.
  • 8 Cup Food Processor – Affordable workhorse food processor for pulsing the kale.

For more kitchen items I love/use: please visit my shop page.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting my blog & love of cooking.

Keywords: Beans, Cannellini Beans, Kale, Tomatoes, Can Be Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Pesto, Kale Pesto, Side Dish, Can Be Vegan, Almonds

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Cannellini Beans with Kale Pesto

2 Replies

Jane @ Cottage at the Crossroads

Hi Beckie,
I am FB friends of Holly and Paul. I received your message and I hopped over here to check out your blog. This recipe looks awesome and I will have to give it a try. My husband and I used to live in Mt. Pleasant, and now we live about 2 hours away. We have a blog called Cottage at the Crossroads where we post about renovating our old house, gardening, and cooking. So nice to meet you and I look forward to more recipes.


Hi Jane – Nice to meet you! Just checked out your website and your recipes (yummmm!).

I adore this recipe, and you can also add chicken if you want more protein. Don’t be shy with olive oil and Parmesan 🙂 Please let me know how you like it if you end up giving it a shot.


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