white bean or tofu creamy basil pesto sauce

Remember the marinara sauce I blended with tofu a few months ago?  And how I went on + on + on about how I couldn’t stop shoveling it into my mouth with a spoon?  And then I waited for you to call me crazy but you did just the opposite.  You couldn’t get the spoon out of your mouth either! 

I’m hoping that is what happens with this recipe as well.

If the avocado didn’t make the pesto creamy enough, adding a block of tofu sure will.  If the thought of a cube of tofu still freaks you out, you can add white beans instead.  Not quite as silky + smooth but just as tasty.

This adds protein, fiber, and other nutrients to the meal without adding much work at all.  No grilling, or baking, or broiling.  Just blending.  And it keeps that luscious, rich quality of the original pesto without having a pile of protein to chew through.  Sometimes it’s all about the noodles and the sauce!

Maybe a little kale, too.  Which I just realized [when referring back to the marinara post] that I also added kale to that bowl of pasta.  I love kale pasta apparently!

Adding tofu or beans dulls the flavor so there are a few other ingredients you’ll need to add. 

Print this!

White Bean or Tofu Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce 

vegan, gluten-free // yields ~3 cups

  • ~8 servings of pasta (gluten-free if needed)
  • 1 complete batch of Creamy Avocado Basil Pesto Sauce
  • 1 block extra firm tofu or 2 cups of cannellini [white] beans
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed basil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup cooking liquid from pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  1. Cook desired amount of pasta according to package directions.
  2. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water, reserving the cooking liquid.
  3. Drain the liquid from the tofu or beans.  If using tofu gently squeeze some of the liquid out with a kitchen towel.  If using beans rinse + drain them.
  4. In a blender [or food processor] add the pesto sauce, tofu or beans, basil, oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt + pepper.
  5. Blend until smooth adding in the cooking liquid until the desired consistency is met.  I used 1/2 cup.
  6. Over medium-low heat add your noodles and stir in the desired amount of cream sauce.  Add more cooking liquid if desired for a thinner consistency. 
  7. Stir in sautéed or grilled veggies if desired.  To keep things really simple add in raw spinach and stir gently until it has wilted.
  8. Top with salt, pepper, fresh tomatoes, and a squeeze of lemon.  Add mozzarella or parmesan cheese if desired.

And if pasta is not your thing, grill up a bunch of veggies and dunk them in a bowl of this creamy basil goodness.


iPhone capture