A healthy vegetarian one pot white bean pasta recipe made with leeks, asparagus, lemon and gruyere. Ready in 30 minutes and only one pot to wash up!
One pot pasta is not only convenient, but infused with so much extra flavor! Our family favorites include one pot spinach and artichoke pasta as well as one pot black bean fajita pasta. This one pot white bean pasta is another delicious vegetarian option!
With leeks, asparagus and lemon, this pasta is definitely 'spring' in pasta form. As the pasta cooks with the vegetables and broth, it absorbs so much incredible flavor. There's no going back to traditional pasta!
Reasons why you'll ♡ one pot white bean pasta
- everything cooks together in one pot
- it can be assembled ahead and frozen
- leftovers keep well for lunches
How does one pot pasta work?
Just as the name suggests, one pot pasta involves cooking up the pasta with a sort of sauce. For this white bean pasta, we combine our dry pasta with vegetable stock, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, leeks, and asparagus. As the pasta cooks, it absorbs the sauce and thickens with its starches.
Adding lemon juice at the end brightens the flavors, and gruyere cheese is the final touch to thicken up the sauce!
Cooking the pasta up in the sauce will reduce the number of dishes you need to wash, but also helps the pasta absorb even more flavor as it cooks.
Types of pasta that work
I've experimented a lot with one pot pasta and have found a variety of pasta shapes to work including:
- bow tie
Avoid any large or bulky pasta shapes (like lasagna noodles or jumbo shells), and really small pasta shapes (like orzo or mini pasta shells).
I have also not tested gluten-free, chickpea or lentil pastas, so use them at your own risk.
Cleaning + prepping leeks
If you've never cooked with leeks before, there are a few things you need to know. First, we are going to be using the light green and white parts of the stalk, discarding the leafy green parts. Secondly, it's important to clean leeks well, as they can often have dirt or sand hiding in the stems.
How to clean leeks
After slicing off the leafy green portion of the top stem, make a cut lengthwise down the stem, leaving it connected at the bottom stem. Rotate the leek and repeat so you have cross-wise cuts in the stem. Run the stem under the tap, gently pulling back the leek so water runs right down the layers.
This is difficult to explain in writing, so here's a great visual!
How to chop the leeks
Once leeks have been cleaned, you can let them dry for a few minutes, or start chopping right away. Leaving the bottom stem on the leek so it remains intact, work your way along the leek starting at the top, making small cuts (¼ inch or closer apart).
Discard the fibrous white stem at the very bottom of the leek.
Meal prep options
One pot white bean pasta is a great meal prep recipe. You can use one of two strategies to meal prep it:
Unfortunately, asparagus must be blanched before freezing to avoid a bitter flavor and weird texture, so it's not a great candidate for freezer packs. Consider swapping for bell peppers or an extra leek.
To make freezer packs
- Combine the leeks, vegetable stock and spices in a sturdy freezer bag, meal prep container or reusable silicone bag.
- Freeze for up to three months.
- Thaw completely, then add to a pot with the pasta; cooking as directed.
Find my favorite freezer containers here
Alternatively, you can cook this recipe ahead, portion leftovers out into meal prep containers, and store in the fridge or freezer for easy reheat meals.
- store in the fridge for up to 4 days
- freeze for up to 3 months
More one pot dinners
- Easy Chicken Curry
- One Pot Sausage and Peppers Pasta
- Sun Dried Tomato Chickpea Pasta
- 40 Easy One Pot Meals
- Vegan Moroccan Chickpea Skillet
- Chili Lime Chicken and Sweet Potato Skillet
One Pot White Bean Pasta with Leeks and Asparagus
- 2 cups pasta see note 1
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 cups leeks chopped (1 large leek)
- 1 bunch asparagus ends trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 cup gruyere or swiss cheese; shredded
- 19 oz white beans drained and rinsed
- In a medium pot, add the dried pasta, stock, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, leeks and asparagus.
- Cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, and cook (covered), stirring every 2 or so minutes, for 10 minutes or until pasta is cooked through.
- Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, cheese and white beans. Stir until the cheese is melted through and serve.
- Assemble the stock, spices and leeks in a meal prep container, freezer bag or reusable silicone bag.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw completely before adding pasta and cooking as directed above.