Easy Dinner Recipes: Sneaking Beans into Pasta

White Beans, Pasta, and Chicken
I received this easy dinner recipe from Better Homes and Gardens and thought it was brilliant. Instead of using a heavy, calorie laden white sauce, the trick is to use the white beans instead, adding protein and fiber and my kids didn't even notice!

White Beans, Pasta and Chicken

  • 8 ounces dried cavatappi, fusilli, rotini, ditaloni, or other short pasta tubes
  • 1 15- to 19-ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 12 ounces cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional - I usually skip it)
  • Olive oil (optional - but I recommend at least a little for moisture)


1. In a large saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions; drain well and set aside.

2. In a blender or food processor, combine 3/4 cup of the beans and the chicken broth. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Place bean puree in pan used for cooking the pasta; bring to boiling. Return pasta to pan.

3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook garlic in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil for 1 minute. Add tomatoes; cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining beans, shredded chicken, snipped parsley, pepper and salt. Heat through.

4. Add the tomato mixture to hot pasta; toss to cost. Top with parsley sprigs and additional olive oil. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.