Puttanesca Chilli Pesto Beans (Vegan GF)

These Puttanesca Chilli Pesto Beans are delicious, tomatoey and packed with flavour and ready in just 15 minutes. Made with wholesome ingredients, they’re great on toast, in potatoes or as they are.

I am in such a bean phase at the minute, like a lot of us are, and butterbeans in particular are my favourite. These are extra juicy and plump butterbeans, so they look a little larger than the regular ones (they’re from Bold Bean Co and are amazing) but as a reminder, you can use any beans or chickpeas here as I want this recipe to be as simple and as accessible as possible while focusing on good-for-you and flavour-packed ingredients.

One and a half slices of Puttanesca Chilli Pesto Beans on toast
Puttanesca Chilli Pesto Beans

Why will I love these beans?

These beans are so delicious:

  • Saucy, tomatoey and rich
  • Lightly chilli spiced and smooth
  • Packed with good-for-you ingredients
  • Made with store cupboard staples
  • Naturally vegan, gluten-free and easily nut-free
  • Naturally high in protein and fibre
  • A source of vitamins, minerals and vegetables
  • Great to make ahead of time
  • Easy to prep and store in the fridge or freezer
  • Delicious for all the family
  • Ideal served on toast, potatoes or as they are

If you already love the sound of these beans, then skip ahead to the recipe card below. Or, first let’s discuss the recipe in more detail.

What ingredients do I need?

The ingredients are listed below and you can see my favourites in the “shop the recipe” section below.

For the beans:

  • Olive oil: I use an extra virgin olive oil for the beans and for drizzling over the toasts to add flavour and depth.
  • Red onion and garlic: these are classics for the base of any good sauce. You can also use white onion, shallots or spring onion.
  • Olives: I use pitted green olives but black will also work. These are very traditional in puttanesca dishes and adds so much salty richness.
  • Capers: these are so good for adding that puttanesca flavour and I like to chop them small so each bite has tons of flavour.
  • Butterbeans: I love how juicy and plump these are in this dish and I use the Bold Bean Co ones, but you can also use cannellini beans, chickpeas or other beans/legumes.
  • Bean water (from the tin/jar): this adds liquid to the pan and thickens the mix. If you have got rid of your bean water/aquafaba then you can add some regular water, instead.
  • Vegan chilli pesto: this is from Sacla’ and is so delicious. It has tons of flavour and is fully vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free. The texture is so smooth and is where most of this dish’s flavour comes from. It’s herby and rich like red pesto but with a little heat from the chilli.
  • Salt and pepper: for flavour.

To serve:

  • Your favourite sourdough or bread: I love a seedy or wholegrain/rye-based sourdough but any bread, bagel or crumpet will be great here.
  • Garlic: rubbing raw garlic over your toast adds tons of flavour.
  • Pine nuts and basil: these are optional extras to take this dish to the next level. I love the crunch of the golden toasted pine nuts and the freshness of the basil. You could swap this for other nuts or seeds and use oregano instead of basil.

Are these gluten-free and nut-free?

Yes these beans are gluten-free and nut-free but please check your pesto and bread and skip the pine nuts on top to avoid nuts.

How do I make them?

These beans are so easy to make, ready in 15 minutes:

  • Fry off the onion and garlic: until softened in a pan.
  • Add in the olives and capers: and stir to add flavour.
  • Pour in the beans, their water and the pesto: and stir well.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes: or until warmed through.
  • Toast the bread and rub with garlic: if you like.
  • Pour the beans over the toast: and add on some pine buts, basil and olive oil drizzle.

How long will they last?

These beans are great for meal prep as they’ll keep in the fridge in a sealed container for 2-3 days or in the freezer for 1 month. Allow to defrost and warm back up to eat.

Close up of two slices of Puttanesca Chilli Pesto Beans on toast on a plate
Puttanesca Chilli Pesto Beans

What else can I make?

If you are looking for more bean-y recipes, how about my:

Two slices of toast topped with Puttanesca Chilli Pesto Beans

Puttanesca Chilli Pesto Beans (Vegan GF)

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

These Puttanesca Chilli Pesto Beans are delicious, tomatoey and packed with flavour and ready in just 15 minutes. Made with wholesome ingredients, they’re great on toast, in potatoes or as they are.


For the Beans:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 50g olives, halved
  • 1 tbsp (20g) capers, chopped small
  • 240g butterbeans, drained
  • 45ml (3 tbsp) aquafaba (water from the tin of beans)
  • 3 large tbsp (60g) vegan chilli pesto
  • Salt and pepper

To Serve:

  • 2-4 slices bread
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • Fresh basil, optional


  1. For the beans: heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan and add the onion and garlic. Fry off for 5 minutes, until softening before adding in the chopped olives and capers. Fry off for another 2 minutes, until fragrant, before adding in the beans, the aquafaba and the pesto. Stir well and cook for 4-5 minutes, until warmed through and bubbling.
  2. For the bread: toast the bread and slice the garlic in half. Rub the garlic (with the cut-side) all over the toast.
  3. To serve: add the toast to two plates and top with the beans, some pine nuts and some fresh basil, if you like. Drizzle with olive oil and some black pepper.
  4. Enjoy straight away or keen the beans in a sealed container, once cool, in the fridge for 2-3 days or the freezer for 1 month. Allow to defrost before warming back up to eat.

Shop the recipe

Stay in touch

I look forward to hearing what you think of these Puttanesca Chilli Pesto Beans so please let me know in the comments below and leave a star review above. If you do make these, I’d love to see so please tag me, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With chilli pesto bean love x

p.s. this recipe was first made with Sacla’ and their delicious chilli pesto but this blog post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own.

  1. Kara says:

    Mmmhhh this looks yummy, I’ve just ordered the Sacla online so I can make it. Thanks Amy!

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