These 10-minute vegan butter beans are cooked in a garlicky tomato pesto sauce and served with crusty bread or pasta. This is the easy butter bean recipe that you have been looking for!

A skillet filled with sautéed cherry tomatoes, pesto, and butter beans.

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These cherry tomato butter beans are dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, and gluten-free so everyone can enjoy them!

Why make tomato basil butter beans

This recipe is perfect for those nights when you want something healthy and delicious, yet don’t want to fuss in the kitchen. You can eat the butter beans with a spoon like a stew, or use some toast or bread to sop up the creamy broth. You can even make it a heartier meal, by serving the tomato butter beans over pasta, rice, or quinoa.

This meal is based on my simple tomato-basil pasta recipe where I saute cherry tomatoes in olive oil and garlic until creamy, but in this recipe, I add butter beans instead of pasta. The result is a creamy, high-protein meal that’s bursting with flavor.

Butter beans with tomato and basil in a white bowl being served on toast.

You can even serve this dish as a dip. My husband actually calls this butter bean bruschetta, which may be a more accurate description when served on toast.

Ingredients and substitutions

  • Olive Oil – any good quality olive oil will work.  You can use light olive oil, but an extra virgin will have more flavor. You can reduce the amount of olive oil, but this is what gives the sauce a lot of its flavor and creaminess.
  • Garlic – for flavor.  Fresh minced garlic works best.
  • Fresh Tomatoes – cherry tomatoes are easy and usually taste good even when tomatoes aren’t in season, but you can use any ripe tomato. The riper the better.
  • Salt – for flavor.  You can use as much or as little as you like.
  • Vegan PestoYou can use homemade vegan pesto or any store-bought vegan pesto that you want. You can also swap it out for some fresh chopped basil for a lower-fat option.
  • Butter Beans – These are found in the canned bean section of most large grocery stores. You can also use butter beans that you have cooked from dry. (Butter beans are large white beans that are actually canned lima beans. If you can’t find them you can use navy beans, cannellini beans, or any white beans.)

Helpful tools

  • A large frying pan that’s big enough to hold at least 6 cups of liquid.

How to make tomato basil butter beans

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

Step 1 – Warm 4 cloves of minced garlic in 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet while you are washing and slicing cherry tomatoes.

Step 2 – Add 2 cups of halved cherry tomatoes, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of salt, and turn up the heat to medium-low.

Step 3 – Drain and rinse 2 cans of butter beans. Then add them to the tomatoes once they have started to wrinkle and release their juices.

Step 4 – Simmer the butter beans and tomatoes for 1-2 more minutes until the tomatoes break down, but don’t get totally mushy.

Step 5 – Drizzle with vegan pesto or chopped fresh basil leaves.

Step 6 – Serve with crusty bread or toast. (I like to slice a baguette, brush the slices with olive oil, and put them on a sheet pan under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until golden brown then serve in a bowl with the baguette slices.) You can also serve it as you would bruschetta or over pasta, rice, or quinoa.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh in-season cherry tomatoes when possible. The sweeter the tomatoes, the better your butter bean sauce will taste.
  • If your tomatoes are out of season, you may want to sprinkle them with a little sugar to bring out the flavor.
  • Only saute the tomato slices until they start to wrinkle so they don’t get too mushy.
Tomato pesto butter beans served in a shallow white bowl with toast on the side.

Storage and reheating

Refrigerate: These vegan butter beans keep well in the fridge for 3 – 5 days in an airtight container.

Freeze: The butter beans with tomatoes will freeze well and can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Reheating: Reheat the butter beans in the microwave for about 2 minutes or reheat it in a pan on the stovetop.

Someone dipping toast into a pan of tomato and pesto butter beans.

More vegan bean recipes

A blue cast iron pan filled with butter beans in a tomato pesto sauce with someone dipping toast in it.
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5 from 1 rating

Tomato Basil Butter Beans

A simple vegan butter bean recipe made with fresh cherry tomatoes and vegan pesto or fresh basil.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegan pesto, or fresh chopped basil
  • 2 cups butter beans, (2 cans drained and rinsed)

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Warm 4 cloves of minced garlic in 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet while you are washing and slicing cherry tomatoes.
  • Add 2 cups of halved cherry tomatoes, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of salt, and turn up the heat to medium-low.
  • Drain and rinse 2 cans of butter beans. Then add them to the tomatoes once they have started to wrinkle and release their juices.
  • Simmer the butter beans and tomatoes for 1-2 more minutes until the tomatoes break down, but don’t get totally mushy.
  • Drizzle with vegan pesto or chopped fresh basil leaves.
  • Serve with crusty bread or toast. (I like to slice a baguette, brush the slices with olive oil, and put them on a sheet pan under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until golden brown then serve in a bowl with the baguette slices.) You can also serve it as you would bruschetta or over pasta, rice, or quinoa.

Notes

  • Use fresh in-season cherry tomatoes when possible. The sweeter the tomatoes, the better your butter bean sauce will taste.
  • If your tomatoes are out of season, you may want to sprinkle them with a little sugar to bring out the flavor.
  • Only saute the tomato slices until they start to wrinkle so they don’t get too mushy.
Serving: 1.5cups, Calories: 338kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 18g, Sodium: 302mg, Potassium: 652mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 365IU, Vitamin C: 18mg, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 3mg
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