This vegetarian casserole combines hearty white beans, filling pasta and juicy cherry tomatoes in a warming dish that is perfect for a healthy, satisfying dinner.
You only need one pan to prepare this, as it’s very much a dump and bake recipe – once you’ve fried up the garlic in your casserole dish, you just pile the rest of the ingredients in the same dish.
What’s more, it’s super low effort – you can have it prepped and in the oven in only 5 minutes. After that, just put your feet up and wait for your delicious bean casserole to be ready!
We’ve also made sure this is a healthy vegetarian casserole recipe, with lots of protein, fibre and unsaturated fats.
Give it a go if you are trying to make sure your vegetarian diet is as healthy as possible, or if you are looking to lose weight in a safe and healthy way.
A wholly healthy vegetarian casserole
What’s so healthy about this vegetarian casserole recipe then?
Let’s start with the beans.
Our vegetarian casserole contains 1 cup of white beans, adding 17g protein to the dish. Protein is important because it helps to maintain muscle mass and keeps you full.
However, lots of vegetarians and vegans struggle to get enough protein in their diets, due to a lack of knowledge about vegetarian protein sources.
That’s why we are super keen on legume dishes – legumes are an amazing source of protein.
Beans do not only contain protein though! They are also an excellent source of fibre, which means that a recipe with beans in it is certain to be super filling.
The fact that this dish is so filling makes it perfect for weight loss, if that is what you are into. A portion of this will provide you with 512 calories of pure energy that will keep you going strong until your next meal!
If you want more recipes and information about how to optimise your vegetarian diet to achieve healthy weight loss, check out our vegetarian for weight loss course! We have a lot more where this comes from!
Beans also contain folate and antioxidants. Folate is important for many reasons, including making healthy red blood cells, and antioxidants help boost your immune system!
We’re on a casse-ROLL with all these health benefits!
Aside from beans, this vegetarian casserole is also super healthy for other reasons.
It contains only whole grain carbs, which are very fibrous, contain lots of nutrients and do not increase your cholesterol levels or lead to spikes in blood sugar in the way that processed ‘white’ carbs do.
Furthermore, the inclusion of kale packs a big punch of nutritional value. Kale is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet – a true superfood!
This dish contains 4oz of the stuff, meaning it is full of vitamin A, K and C, calcium, magnesium, potassium… the list of health benefits of spinach goes on!
Whew! That is one healthy casserole recipe!
Tasty tips for your pasta casserole
This is a pretty straight forward dump and bake recipe, but there are still a few things you could do to make sure your bean and pasta casserole comes out as delicious as possible.
Most importantly, you have to make sure that the pasta cooks the whole way through.
Because it goes in the oven, you can’t stir the pasta like you would do normally, so it is super important that you make sure that it is completely submerged in stock before you put it on to bake.
It’s also a good idea to take it out of the oven once to give it a mix and make sure everything is cooking evenly.
You can also use this vegetarian casserole recipe as a base to experiment with variations on this theme – how about using chickpeas instead of white beans? They would add a nuttier flavour and firmer texture.
Or different shapes of pasta? And if you’re gluten intolerant, make it gluten-free by switching out wholewheat pasta for a gluten-free alternative!
This is actually a vegan casserole, but if you eat dairy, a sprinkle of your favourite cheese would not go amiss!
As you can probably tell by now, we take vegetarian weight loss very seriously. In fact, we even wrote a book about it. And if you need a little extra help or accountability, we also run an eight week course for vegetarians who want to lose weight. Check the course out here.
Bean and Pasta Vegetarian Casserole
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4 oz whole wheat pasta (short, like farfalle)
- 1 cup white beans (canned)
- 1 ¼ cup vegetable broth (concentrated and seasoned)
- ½ tsp thyme, dried
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- 4 oz kale (torn into leaves)
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbsp parsley, fresh (finely chopped)
- 1 cup basil, fresh (torn into pieces)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 230C/ 450 F.
- In a stove top and oven proof medium sized casserole dish add the chopped garlic cloves and half the olive oil.
- Cook the garlic on the stove until it begins to turn golden brown around the edges. Take off the heat. If you don’t have a casserole dish to fry your garlic in, just use a small pan and transfer, when the garlic is ready.
- Add the white beans, whole wheat pasta, vegetable broth, kale, chili flakes, thyme and salt to the casserole dish. Mix everything together. Make sure the pasta is in contact with the broth.
- Spread out the cherry tomatoes into the mix.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes.
- Halfway through the bake mix the casserole with a spatula to ensure all of the ingredients have an equal bake. At the end the pasta should be soft and cooked, and the broth almost completely evaporated.
- Top casserole with parsley, basil and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Season with pepper and salt to taste and enjoy.