Pesto Quinoa & White Bean Bake with Spring Vegetables

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 11 votes

Pesto quinoa and white bean bake with spring veg is a light (but still hearty) main course that's naturally vegan and gluten-free.

Overhead shot of pesto quinoa white bean bake in an enamelware tray.

I will be real with you: this is a casserole! It’s cute to call savoury things like this a “bake,” but it is recognizably, undoubtedly a casserole. The spring weather in my area has been a bit of a joke (there were whiteout conditions last weekend!), so the coziness of a warm casserole feels just right. This pesto quinoa one is hearty, but still light and spring-y with the asparagus and herbs. A good dish for a sloooow transition to Spring ;)

You could make the quinoa and white bean base and top this with whatever roasted vegetables you’re enjoying in the moment. I think this would be particularly good with some slow-roasted tomatoes and eggplant on top at the height of summer. The beauty of this dish is that it’s pretty minimal on the ingredients front, and once you have the quinoa cooked, you’re 20 minutes away from dinner time. While the bake… bakes (haha), you can fix up a little salad or something to serve along with. I put a very hearty pinch of ground chili in ours because we cannot get enough of the spice, but honestly the pesto and shallots provide a lot of savoury and comforting flavour here.

While we wait for warmer days, may the coziness of this pesto quinoa bake keep you satisfied. I hope that everyone is staying well out there. We are grateful to be healthy and safe at home as this global event goes on. Sending you love and light this week. Thanks for being here :)

Up close shot of pesto quinoa white bean bake with roasted spring vegetables. Someone is scooping a serving.
An individual serving of pesto quinoa white bean bake with roasted spring vegetables.

Pesto Quinoa and White Bean Bake with Spring Vegetables

Pesto quinoa and white bean bake with spring veg is a light (but still hearty) main course that's naturally vegan and gluten-free.
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4 -6

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus extra, divided
  • 1 medium shallot, small dice
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 ¾ cups cooked white beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • ½ cup vegan pesto
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • pinch of chili flakes (optional)
  • ¾ lb asparagus, tough ends trimmed
  • 3-4 radishes
  • chopped fresh dill, parsley, or chives (or a combination), for serving
  • vegan “parmesan” sprinkle (optional)

Notes

  • This serves 4 as a main and 6 as a side
  • You can make your own pesto or buy it for total convenience! No judgement from me. Classic basil pesto would be great, but my kale pesto would also be delicious here. For my fellow Ontarians, I buy the Sunflower Kitchen pestos often. They’re great (and nut-free)!
  • I prefer a more rich plant-based milk in this recipe. Unsweetened cashew or soy would be my picks.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease an 8×8 (or an 11×7) baking dish with olive oil and set aside. Set an additional small baking sheet nearby.
  • In a large saucepan, heat 1 ½ teaspoons of the olive oil. Add the diced shallot and saute until beginning to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the quinoa to the saucepan and stir to coat in the oil. Add the vegetable stock and stir. Bring the quinoa to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer until almost all of the liquid is absorbed, about 13-15 minutes.
  • Take the quinoa off the heat and stir in the white beans, non-dairy milk, pesto, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and the chili flakes (if using). Once combined, transfer the quinoa mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until slightly browned on the edges and slightly firm.
  • While the pesto quinoa is baking, cut the asparagus into 2-inch lengths. Place the chopped asparagus on the separate small baking sheet. Toss the asparagus with the remaining olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake the asparagus alongside the pesto quinoa bake for about 15 minutes, or until just-tender.
  • While asparagus is baking, thinly slice the radishes and chop some herbs for garnish.
  • Serve the pesto quinoa and white beans bake with the roasted asparagus on top, sliced radishes, and chopped herbs. Enjoy immediately!
13/05/2020 (Last Updated 18/03/2024)
Posted in: creamy, earthy, gluten free, main course, nut free, refined sugar-free, roasted, salty, side dish, spring, summer, vegan, white beans

18 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Anna Cate

    5 stars
    This was very tasty and super hearty! I don’t follow a plant-based diet but am trying to incorporate more meatless meals into my weeks, and I have to say, this was just as filling as any meat-based meal I cook, if not more so! For most people, I’d say this is definitely 6 servings, not 4. 
    I prefer cooked radishes to raw, so I cut my radishes into small wedges and threw them in the oven. They take a little longer to cook than asparagus, so I put them at the same time as the quinoa, then added the asparagus to the pan after 5 minutes.
    Excited to have a delicious and satisfying plant-based meal that I can put on rotation! Thanks for the recipe.

  • Jessdaiger

    5 stars
    Hello how do you store this after and for how long can you store it? Also what sides do you serve this with? Thank you for everything! I LOVE all your content; thank you!

    • Laura

      Hi there,

      I would simply cover the casserole with foil after cooking and cooling and store it in the fridge for a maximum of 3 days. Since this meat has grains, beans and vegetables all in one, I’d recommend a simple green salad to go with it.
      -L

      • Jana

        Hi Laura, can I freeze this recipe? 
        Thank you, 
        Jana 

  • paul

    5 stars
    Great idea! I chose to roast the veggies until almost done and then put them on top for the last 10 minutes of baking to get a bit of crispy goodness. This works great with eggplant. Also nice to top with melted vegan cheese or nutritional yeast. Thanks for giving me this new base for a new go-to improvisational healthy dinner!

  • Liz

    Hi Laura! Thank you for all you do :) Would rice sub the quinoa well here? Maybe a mix of brown and wild? 

    • Laura

      Hi Liz,
      I think a mix of brown and wild rice could work with this recipe, since the grains are cooked ahead of time anyway. Please let us know how the recipe turns out if you try it!
      -L

  • Julie K

    I make this all the time now. It uses up the extra half cup of my homemade pesto from another recipe and works with all kinds of veggies. The shaved radishes always make it so pretty. A new favorite.

  • Bernadette Morrissey

    Absolutely delicious!!!!

    Even my husband, always leery when there are beans in a dish, loved it!!!

    Adding to my Favorites file … will definitely make again!

    Also … very easy to make!

  • Sabrina

    love all of these ingredients together, the white beans too, this works really well for me, thank you!

  • Cynthia

    Your going to think I’m crazy but my guys don’t like pesto ( real men don’t eat pesto????) . In lieu of pesto I just added more garlic and roasted cherry tomatoes. It was delicious!! Next time I’m making a batch for myself with the pesto. Thanks for a yummy dish!

  • Carol Smith

    We made this for the first time tonight, and it has been added to our favorite recipe pile (your recipes make up 80% of our favorites!). I didn’t have time to make pesto so we used store bought artichoke pesto and it was delicious. We’re looking forward to making your pesto next time. Thank you!!

  • Marysa

    This sounds like an amazing dish! I love pesto and this looks like a delicious combination of flavors.

  • Samantha

    Okkuurrr! I made this for dinner last night and my oh my …. WINNER! It’s been rainy and cold in Calgary all week so this casserole was the perfect touch of coziness to bring to the table.
    I opted to make homemade pesto as I wasn’t thrilled with any jarred varieties I looked at. The whole dish came together simply and resulted in a lovely meal we’ll be enjoying leftovers from. Also, highly recommend adding some chili flakes, it kicks up the flavor just perfectly!

  • Stella Weinert

    Made this tonight- was delicious! Added steamed broccoli and roasted tomatoes and Ripple pea milk-creamy. Was fast to put together too- will definitely make this again, thanks!

  • Sadie Laurenti-Whitley

    What a delightful treat this recipe is. I had to change a few ingredients to go with what I had at home, and it still tasted delicious. Thank you.

  • Marcy youker

    love your recipes I tried a few, thank you for sharing

  • KB

    I appreciate your photos so, so much! They are gorgeous! I also love how you use seasonal produce in elegant and unexpected ways.