Pesto Coated Cannellini Beans & Gluten Free Vegan Gravy – two simple sauces for when you’re in a hurry

No, you don’t eat these together silly;)

Actually, these are just two recipes I’ve made in the last week that were particularly memorable, so I thought I’d share them with you.

The pesto coated cannellini beans were made for a quick lunch, which I served alongside a simple bulgar wheat salad consisting of cubed cucumber, peeled broad beans, spring onions, raisins and chopped parsley. I squeezed in some lemon juice, olive oil and seasoned generously with salt and pepper. Oh, and I almost forgot, I added a little cumin, cinnamon and chilli powder to the bulgar wheat before soaking it in freshly boiled water – I find bulgar wheat can be a little bland if spices and herbs aren’t added at this stage.

Right then. The pesto. I heart it.

Traditional pesto is, of course, made with the inclusion of parmesan cheese, so when I first became vegan I thought my pesto days were over and that was a difficult pill to swallow. As my knowledge of veganism grew I soon learned that pesto need not be off limits and really and truly the parmesan isn’t as crucial as you might be led to believe.

Since then I’ve made a bucket load of the stuff and used it in all manner of dishes. It’s such a great standby sauce that can be whipped up in seconds, so I use it frequently and liberally.

Ditto gravy. Love it, love it, love it.

Coming into these colder months (it’s happening already – ugh) I plan on making a lot gravies and wholesome, hearty meals – perfect for warming those cockles on a blustery autumn evening.

This gluten free gravy was simply outrageous and so incredibly easy – I’m talking a few effortless minutes and et voila, you have a lusciously smooth flavourful sauce that is ideal for use in a multitude of meals. I just so happened to have a couple of vegan schnitzel’s in the freezer and I thought some mashed tatties and boiled cabbage (I’m a sucker for boiled cabbage – don’t judge!) would go nicely – and it did. Oh my goodness, was this tasty. Tas.ty.

Bonus that it happens to be a b12 fest! Nutritional yeast flakes and yeast extract – essential ingredients for your vegan cupboard and lifestyle. Don’t be skimping on that b12 intake, ya hear?!

So, if you’re stuck for time but still want something a bit special, both of these recipes are the perfect way to bring a little pizzazz to lunch or dinner.

pesto coated cannellini beans


2 tablespoons pine nuts (you could also use walnuts)

1/4 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves

1 garlic clove

juice 1/2 lemon

3 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper

1 1/2 cups of cooked cannellini beans

Drain and rinse the cannellini beans and set aside.

Place all the pesto ingredients (pine nuts, basil leaves, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt & pepper) into a hand blender and blitz until fully combined – it shouldn’t be completely smooth.

Transfer the cannellini beans to a bowl and season with a little salt and pepper – this will make a difference. Then stir through the pesto ensuring the beans are completely coated. Set in fridge to allow the flavours to amalgamate or eat immediately. I had enough for two lunches.

gluten free vegan gravy

1 heaped tsp vegan vegetable granules or 1 stock cube

2 tbsp gluten free flour (gluten free mix or rice flour)

1 tbsp soy sauce (or shoyu/tamari)

1 tbsp vegan Worcester sauce

1 tbsp marmite or other nutritional yeast extract

1 tbsp agave or other vegan sweetener (except maple syrup)

2/3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes

2 cups water

Place everything into a shallow pan – I actually used a deep frying pan/skillet – and whisk all the ingredients together.

Bring to a gentle boil and keep whisking until there are no lumps. Turn down the heat and allow the sauce to simmer and thicken – this take between five to ten minutes. Stir frequently – whisking if it becomes to thick and clumpy.

The gravy should be ready to serve in 15-20 minutes. If it isn’t thickening how you’d hope then add another tablespoon of flour and whisk vigorously to incorporate. Likewise, if it is too thick for your taste, thin it out with a little water.

Can be used in a range of dishes but especially good with mashed potato!




10 responses to “Pesto Coated Cannellini Beans & Gluten Free Vegan Gravy – two simple sauces for when you’re in a hurry”

  1. Caitlin says:

    your pesto coated cannellini beans look gorgeous and delicious! i must make this!

    • peasoupeats says:

      Thanks Caitlin! Pesto is so versatile, I could put it on anything and it would make it taste good:) Let me know if you get around to making them.

  2. Mihl says:

    You can never go wrong with pesto and beans.

  3. Sneaky Vegan says:

    Your photos are so dreamy!! This looks divine =)

    • peasoupeats says:

      Awww, thanks – that makes me really happy. The light is usually so good in my flat but lately the sky has been so grey, which really doesn’t help when taking photos. I’m hoping autumn will bring brighter skies!

  4. Pk says:

    Sneaky Vegan posted a link to your site on her blog. I’ve been flitting around to some of your recipes and really enjoying your blog.


  5. Jen says:

    ooooh those pesto beans look amazing!!

  6. […] Stir through pasta, spread in sandwiches, on bruschetta, use as a dip or coating for cannellini beans. […]

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