This Tuscan-inspired butter beans recipe tosses canned butter beans in a rich and creamy sun dried tomato sauce. It’s incredibly comforting, healthy, and ready in just 20 minutes!

Transform more of the canned beans in your pantry with these Best Vegan Baked Beans, Easy Chickpea Curry, and White Bean Soup recipes!

sliced bread dipped in a batch of creamy butter beans.

You’ll never look at a can of butter beans the same way again after trying this rich and comforting butter beans recipe! It combines canned butter beans with a luxurious cashew cream, sun dried tomato, and Italian herb sauce that’s easy to make in a blender. Every bite tastes like it came from your favorite Italian restaurant, especially when scooped up with crusty bread!

There’s really no chopping at all required (except the optional slicing of baby spinach), so this is truly a ridiculously easy and incredible meal!

Why you’ll fall in love with this butter beans recipe

  • Marry Me Butter Beans – Ever heard of Marry Me Chicken? This recipe is a play on that indulgent, creamy, and crave-worthy meal but uses non-dairy substitutes and canned butter beans instead of meat.
  • Creamy and indulgent, but healthy – Every bite of this canned butter beans recipe is rich, creamy, and comforting. You won’t even notice that it’s loaded with plant-based protein and fiber!
  • Incredibly comforting – Make sure you have plenty of crusty bread (maybe my Dutch Oven Bread?) on the side because you’ll want to scoop up every last drop of this heavenly comfort food.
ingredients for a Tuscan cashew cream sauce in a blender.

How to make this vegan butter beans recipe

Find the complete recipe with measurements in the recipe card below.

First, quickly soak the cashews in boiling water for 5 minutes.

Afterward, drain the water and add the cashews to a high-powered blender along with the garlic, sun dried tomatoes, basil leaves, lemon juice, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and water. Blend until smooth and creamy.

a creamy orange Tuscan sauce in a blender.

Pour the sauce into a large skillet. Stir in the drained and rinsed butter beans, then heat over medium heat. Simmer the sun dried tomato sauce and beans, stirring often, until heated through.

For a thinner consistency, stir splashes of water into the sauce until it’s as thin as you like.

Lastly, stir the spinach and more sun dried tomatoes (optional) into the sauce. Cook until the spinach wilts, then serve the creamy butter beans in a bowl with crusty bread on the side for dipping. Enjoy!

For a truly impressive presentation, top the Tuscan butter beans with chopped fresh basil, a pinch of red pepper flakes, fresh parsley, and/or vegan parmesan cheese.

butter beans on top of a creamy Tuscan sun dried tomato sauce in a large black skillet.

Frequently asked questions

Are butter beans the same as lima beans?

Yes, butter beans and lima beans are the exact same thing! Depending on where you are in the world, the can of beans may be labeled “butter beans” or “lima beans”.

Can I make this with dry butter beans instead?

Sure. To cook dry butter beans, soak 1.5 cups of dried butter beans in water overnight and boil them in fresh water the next day until they’re tender.

I can’t find butter beans. What can I use instead?

You can swap the canned butter beans for 2 cans of another soft and creamy white bean, like cannellini beans, great northern beans, or navy beans. Even chickpeas work well!

What can I substitute for the cashews?

I haven’t tested it, but you should be fine to use blanched slivered almonds instead of cashews in the sauce. For a nut-free alternative, experiment with raw sunflower seeds or 1 can of full-fat coconut milk instead (don’t use as much water with this option, just add water as need to the pan).

How do you serve this easy butter beans recipe?

These creamy sun dried tomato butter beans are hearty enough to be served on their own, either by the spoonful or scooped up with fresh, crusty bread. I like it with a sliced baguette from the store or slices of my Dutch Oven Bread!

If you’d like to stretch the meal a bit further, spoon the beans over a bowl of pasta, cooked white or brown rice, or the whole grains of your choice. Include this Kale Caesar Salad on the side to round out every bite, and finish the meal with my Vegan Chocolate Cake for dessert!

How do you store leftover butter beans?

Once the beans and sauce are cooled to room temperature, transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the fridge for 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw the leftovers overnight in the fridge before reheating.

sliced bread dipped in a batch of creamy butter beans.
sliced bread dipped in a batch of creamy butter beans.
5 stars (6 ratings)

Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Butter Beans Recipe

This Tuscan-inspired butter beans recipe tosses canned butter beans in a rich and creamy sun dried tomato sauce. It’s incredibly comforting, healthy, and ready in just 20 minutes!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 5 servings

Ingredients 
 

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews*
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes plus more if desired
  • 7-8 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water + more as needed
  • (2) 15-ounce cans butter beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups baby spinach sliced
  • crusty bread for serving, optional

Instructions 

  • Soak the cashews: Bring 2-3 cups of water to a boil (I use my tea kettle). Pour the hot water over the cashews and let soak for 5 minutes or up to an hour.
  • Blend the sauce: Drain the cashews and add to a high powered blender, along with the garlic, sun dried tomatoes, basil leaves, lemon juice, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and water. Blend until creamy and smooth.
  • Cook sauce and beans: Pour the creamy sauce into a large skillet. Add the drained and rinsed beans and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring often. Add a little more water, if desired, for a thinner sauce.
  • Stir in spinach and finish: Stir in the spinach and more sun dried tomatoes, if desired. Cook until the spinach wilts and is bright green. Remove from heat and taste, adding salt or black pepper as needed. Serve with crusty bread.

Notes

  1. You can substitute sunflower seeds or raw slivered almonds for the cashews, if needed. Or use a can of full fat coconut milk and omit the water (or use more as needed to thin the sauce).
  2. If you can’t find butter beans, this recipe works well with any kind of white beans – great northern, navy or chickpeas.
  3. I love to serve it with crusty bread for dipping, but it’s good over rice, quinoa or another grain as well.
  4. This is a great meal prep recipe! Store the leftovers in covered containers for up to 4 days. Reheat and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 5 servings | Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 491mg | Potassium: 970mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1236IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian-inspired
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

  1. My husband has recently begun making sourdough bread—and doing a fantastic job. This recipe was a perfect dish to have with the bread. The only change I made was to add a couple of small bell peppers and chives I had on hand to the sauce. So delicious! I highly recommend this recipe, even without the homemade sourdough. Thanks for your great recipes Nora!

  2. Made this last night and it was super delicious! Very easy to make too. The only change I made was to add half a yellow and half a red capsicum to veg it up a bit more. Served it with brown rice and crusty bread. Definitely a keeper!

  3. My daughter and I made this last night and even though me messed up the recipe a little by putting the beans in the Vitamix we both loved it. We did add a third can of beans for the texture. We will be making this weekly for sure. Thank you for the very easy, quick, delicious and healthy meal.

  4. Hello I have enjoyed making some of your meals. Mac/cheese, lasagna, and peanut butter cookies. I was wondering what could I substitute for spinach?

    1. You could leave it out or use another leafy green, like kale, chard or more basil. Thanks for enjoying my recipes!

  5. This was so creamy and delicious! I didn’t have time to make rice to serve it with, so I sopped it up with a whole grain tortilla. I love how easy this was- it’s going on repeat!

    1. Hi Coby. Sounds wonderful with a tortilla! I’m so glad you love the recipe! Thanks for your awesome review!

  6. Love it! My husband went back for seconds and thirds! I put it over some brown rice and it was divine. Thank you for yet another wonderful recipe ☺️

    1. You are welcome! I love hearing all creative ways people are serving the beans! How fabulous that they were a hit! Thank you for sharing your fabulous review and feedback!

    1. I used oil-packed, but the dried ones are good, too. I actually prefer the dried ones usually, but I couldn’t find them this time. 🙂

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