My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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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.

White Bean or Tofu Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce | Edible Perspective

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!

White Bean or Tofu Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce | Edible Perspective

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

White Bean or Tofu Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce _ Edible Perspective-9

Print this!

White Bean or Tofu Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce [yields ~3 cups]

  • ~8 servings of pasta
  • 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 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp 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.

White Bean or Tofu Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce | Edible Perspective

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

photo (31)

Reader Comments (10)

Think I could dunk a block of chocolate in there too? Because it sounds good enough to eat with anything!

Ashley--> hahaha, let me know how that works out for you. ;)
July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
This looks amazing! The basil in my garden has been growing like crazy lately, so this is the perfect way to use it up!
I'm with Heather up there. I could slather this on a slice of french bread (or my arm) and call it a day! :)
July 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCait's Plate
YUM. I'm a huge fan of avocado on pasta and using pureed white beans to beef up a marinara, so I'm thinking this definitely sounds amazing.
July 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
Your pictures are always absolutely amazing, but switching up your background really did something for these pictures! I LOVE them! The 1st and 4th are my favorites. Oh yeah - and the pasta dish sounds delicious :)

Ashley--> Thanks, Andrea. I was getting a little tired of the charcoal background. Time for a change!
July 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
I'm pretty impressed that you took a recipe that already sounded great, and just amped it up to amazing!
This pesto looks FABulous!! I just came back from a trip to the farmers market and have everything to make it! YUM :)
This pasta looks amazing! I love the idea of adding the tofu to the sauce. Thanks for the reminder about the marinara version - I still need to try that one too!

Ashley--> Definitely try both! :)
July 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKerry
This recipe looks SO good! I love how you added the tofu for a protein punch. Definitely keeping this in mind!
July 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSara @ sarasmiles
Recently became Vegan and this was such a treat!! I skipped the cheese and use quinoa pasta and was still to die for!! Thank you SO very much.

Ashley--> I ate it cheese-less as well! I also love quinoa pasta. This time I used Jovial Brown Rice pasta which was surprisingly good. It didn't get gummy like other brown rice pastas I've cooked with. So glad to hear you liked it!
July 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

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