These creamy garlicky butter beans take just 15 minutes to make with a dairy free cashew tomato cream sauce, sun dried tomatoes, and fresh or frozen spinach! Serve with some fresh bread or roasted sweet potatoes for the perfect healthy and quick weeknight dinner recipe!

creamy garlicky butter beans in a saucepan

Your new favorite quick & healthy weeknight dinner recipe:

If you’re looking for a new and exciting yet quick and delicious weeknight dinner recipe that’s also healthy (and vegan!), then you need to try these creamy garlicky tomato & spinach butter beans.

Butter beans (or lima beans- but honestly, I appreciate the rebrand 😉 ) are a fantastic source of plant-based protein (containing 12 grams of protein per 1 cup cooked!).

Which just goes to show that vegan protein is not all tofu (though I do love some good crispy tofu, which you could absolutely stir into this!).

And when cooked in a creamy yet dairy free tomato sauce that’s packed with veggies, I mean, this dinner is a nutrient overload (in the best way). It almost reminds me of a thicker version of my vegan lasagna soup.

close up of creamy garlicky butter beans

What’s more, this recipe is super beginner-friendly to the new plant-based chef. It’s all ready in 15 minutes and made with pantry-staple ingredients (and yes, you can use frozen veggies too!).

Because we LOVE a weeknight dinner that doesn’t take a lot of thinking but is still exciting. AND, these creamy butter beans are also naturally gluten free and soy free, so if you have allergies to either, rest assured, you’re in the clear!

bowl of creamy garlicky butter beans

My husband and I like to make these quick garlicky butter beans with fresh spinach and serve them with a hefty slice of homemade focaccia (to sop up that extra sauce!), but honestly, this creamy vegan dinner recipe is great over roasted veggies or even as a dip for chips.

I also love to serve it as a thicker pasta sauce, and stir in some homemade pillowy vegan gnocchi or fresh vegan pappardelle pasta! These beans really can do it all. So let’s make them!

Ingredients overview:

  • Cashew cream: This is our vegan “heavy cream” substitute. It’s my absolute favorite in cooking because it makes sauces and soups super creamy while being dairy free. You can substitute in coconut cream, though, if you’re nut-free!
  • Butter beans: Also known as lima beans, they’re buttery and soft, which is where they get the name! You can also use cannellini beans, borlotti beans, chickpeas, or kidney beans. Whichever is your preference for canned beans, feel free to use them here!
  • Tomato paste & Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Water or vegetable broth – whichever you have on hand!
  • White wine vinegar: The best cooking tip I have learned thus far is to add acid to fat. It creates such a rich flavor and mouth feel that leaves you actually feeling satisfied. If you don’t have vinegar, you can also use another acid, like lemon juice or lime juice even.
  • Herbs: I like to use dried or fresh parsley, then top with some fresh basil.
  • Spinach: You can use fresh or frozen! You can even stir in some kale too if it’s more in season.
creamy butter beans ingredients on marble

Visual overview: How to make creamy garlicky butter beans:

What to serve with dairy free creamy butter beans:

creamy garlicky butter beans in a sauce pan

More beginner-friendly vegan dinner recipes:

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

Creamy Garlicky Tomato & Spinach Butter Beans pinterest pin

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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creamy garlicky butter beans in a saucepan

Creamy Garlicky Tomato & Spinach Butter Beans

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 12
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These creamy garlicky butter beans take just 15 minutes to make with a dairy free cashew tomato cream sauce, sun dried tomatoes, and fresh or frozen spinach! Serve with some fresh bread or roasted sweet potatoes for the perfect healthy and quick weeknight dinner recipe!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cashew cream
  • 3/4 cup filtered water or vegetable broth 
  • 2 heaping tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh or dried parsley
  • 1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • Fresh black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 16-ounce can butter beans, rinsed
  • 3 cups fresh spinach*
  • Optional garnish: more cashew cream, red pepper flakes, chopped basil, olive oil

Instructions

  1. Prep: Make sure to prep the cashew cream. Make sure that the garlic is minced and the sun-dried tomatoes are chopped. Rinse the butter beans.
  2. Heat: In a large skillet or saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add in the minced garlic and chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and cook until the garlic is lightly browned.
  3. Stir: Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add in the cashew cream, filtered water, tomato paste, parsley, sea salt and pepper, and white wine vinegar. Stir to mix in the tomato paste to the cashew cream until it’s completely mixed in. Then add in the butter beans, and mix to evenly distribute throughout the cream sauce.
  4. Cook: Cover the pan, and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook the beans for 5 minutes.
  5. Add in the spinach: Add in the fresh spinach and mix into the bean mixture. This will help the spinach cook and wilt down.
  6. Cook: Cover the pan again and cook for 2-3 more minutes at a simmer heat. You can add more water and salt if the mixture is thickening too much to your personal preference!
  7. Serve and enjoy! Serve the beans warm and top with chopped basil, a drizzle of cashew cream and/or olive oil, and red pepper flakes. Enjoy! Store any leftovers in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

Spinach: You can use fresh or frozen spinach. You can also swap in kale if you’d prefer!

Nut-free: Swap in coconut cream or oat milk instead of cashew cream.

Cashew cream ratio: Use the ratio of 1:1 cashews to water in the recipe.