April 15, 2024

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Eat Without Food

Spoon resting in an empty space of a pan of cheesy vegan pizza beans

Cheesy Vegan Pizza Beans – Minimalist Baker Recipes

Spoon resting in an empty space of a pan of cheesy vegan pizza beans

Friends! We’re SO excited about this one. This dish is inspired by a recipe from the talented Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen. We’ve simplified and veganized her delicious recipe for the ultimate “cheesy” and saucy plant-based entrée!

This zippy and savory meal takes all the things you love about pizza and pasta and pairs them with fiber- and protein-rich beans! And (if you can believe it) it requires just 10 ingredients and 30 minutes. Yep, that’s including the homemade cheese sauce! Let us show you how it’s done!

Cashews, tomatoes, white beans, tapioca starch, olive oil, maple syrup, lemon, nutritional yeast, dried Italian herbs, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes

How to Make Vegan Pizza Beans

With a name like pizza beans, there are a few essential ingredients that we must include. First, garlic and red pepper flakes sauté in olive oil for a slightly spicy and super savory base.

Sautéing garlic and red pepper flakes in a cast iron pan

Next, we add more potent pizza-ness with crushed tomatoes and dried Italian herbs. Maple syrup adds an optional touch of sweetness and balance. Then we add the white beans, toss it all together, and let it simmer to soften the beans and meld the flavors!

Stirring cannellini beans into an Italian-seasoned tomato mixture

While the beans are getting saucy, it’s time to blend up our “cheese” sauce! We blend raw cashews with water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, tapioca starch, and salt. The result is a milky mixture that gets poured over the beans. This is the time to trust the process, friends! The “cheese” firms up by covering with a lid and steaming.

Pouring a creamy vegan sauce over a tomato bean mixture

Then after (optionally) broiling, the “cheese” becomes deliciously browned on top and perfectly creamy underneath. Yep, it’s pretty life changing!

Fresh basil leaves sprinkled on a pan of vegan pizza beans

We hope you LOVE these vegan pizza beans! They’re:

& SO easy!

They make a delicious dinner alongside salads, garlic bread, sautéed greens, or roasted vegetables. After that, the leftovers keep well in the refrigerator or freezer. Who doesn’t love meal-prepped pizza?! Count us in.

Love Beans? Try These Recipes Next:

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Slice of vegan garlic bread in a pan of pizza beans

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Servings 4 (Servings)

Course Entrée or Side

Cuisine Gluten-Free, Italian-Inspired, Vegan

Freezer Friendly 1 month

Does it keep? 3-4 Days


  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 ½ Tbsp nutritional yeast (for cheesiness)
  • 2 Tbsp tapioca starch (for stretchiness // also called tapioca flour)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp dried Italian herbs*
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans white beans, drained and rinsed (we used cannellini // or ~3 ½ cups cooked homemade beans)
  • CHEESE SAUCE: Add cashews to a heatproof bowl and cover with hot water by at least 1-2 inches. Let them soak while you get started on the beans.

  • BEANS: Heat a large stainless steel or enameled cast iron skillet (or other oven-safe skillet) over medium-low heat. Once hot, add olive oil and garlic and sauté until fragrant — about 1 minute. Add red pepper flakes (optional) and stir to infuse flavor. Turn down heat if cooking too quickly.

  • Add the crushed tomatoes, 1/4 cup (60 ml) water, Italian herbs, maple syrup (optional), and salt. Stir to combine, then add the white beans and mix to evenly distribute. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, cover, and let cook for 15-20 minutes until the beans are tender and the sauce is bubbly.

  • CHEESE SAUCE: While the beans simmer, make your cheese sauce. Drain the cashews and add them to a high-speed blender along with 2/3 cup (160 ml) water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, tapioca starch, and salt. Blend on high until very smooth and milky in texture, about 1 minute. Set aside.
  • Once the beans are tender, reduce the heat to low and carefully pour the cheese sauce over the beans in an even layer. Cover and steam for 2-3 minutes to encourage the cheese to firm up, then transfer to the oven to broil (optional) for another 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is darkened in spots and dry to the touch. Optionally, garnish with fresh basil.

  • Serve warm with vegan garlic bread, sautéed greens, roasted vegetables, or alongside a salad. Leftovers keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator or 1 month in the freezer.
  • Reheat leftovers in oven or microwave until warmed through.

*If you don’t have an Italian herb blend, you can substitute 2 tsp dried basil, 3/4 tsp dried oregano, and 1/4 tsp dried thyme.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 387 Carbohydrates: 47.5 g Protein: 17.5 g Fat: 16.1 g Saturated Fat: 2.3 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 8.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 853 mg Potassium: 958 mg Fiber: 12.3 g Sugar: 7.5 g Vitamin A: 307 IU Vitamin C: 12 mg Calcium: 131 mg Iron: 6 mg