This Mexican bean pasta with hot honey pepitas is fresh and delicious! A wonderful vegetarian pasta dish made with pantry staples such as canned beans, pasta, and various spices. The pièce de résistance is the sweet, salty crunch from roasted hot honey pepitas…it brings the whole dish together!
This recipe was inspired by a chickpea pasta dish that Yotam Ottolenghi recently posted on instagram. The chef sautéed cooked chickpeas with middle eastern spices, softened onions, and lemon juice. He served the nutritious concoction with short pasta and it looked absolutely delicious!
This inspired by own version of beans and pasta but with a Mexican twist. I used a can of white beans and sauteed them with yellow onions and chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika. I swapped out Yotam’s parsley for cilantro and added a healthy dose of baby spinach.
With a squeeze of lime juice and sprinkling of salt, this dish was near perfect. To take the pasta over the edge, I added a special element; pepitas roasted with hot honey. The honey glazed pumpkin seeds are sweet, mildly hot, and crunchy; the perfect addition to this pasta. I stir in a big batch of the seeds so you get a crunchy surprise with every bite.
This recipe calls for 1 can of beans and only 1/2 an onion and 1/2 pound of pasta. My husband and I are the only ones eating my cooking so I try to cook smaller portions when possible. You can easily double this recipe to use 2 cans of beans and a whole pound of pasta. Just double all the other ingredients and enjoy!
This dish tastes delicious at room temperature so it travels well for a picnic or potluck. Since there’s not meat involved, you don’t have to worry about leaving the pasta at room temperature for a while. I think it makes the perfect side dish for your next BBQ!
I hope you make this easy, yummy recipe very soon. It’s probably the easiest pasta dish I’ve ever made!
1, 15.5ounce can white beans (or great northern beans), rinsed and drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 ounces raw baby spinach, finely chopped
½ pound short pasta like penne (I use gluten free brown rice pasta)
1 fresh lime
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Spread the raw pepitas over the baking sheet and spray with the avocado oil.
Drizzle the hot honey over the pepitas and toss with a spoon to coat all the pumpkin seeds.
Roast the pumpkin seeds until golden browned and fragrant, 10-12 minutes. Be sure to check the seeds every 3-5 minutes because the sugar and high fat content can burn very easily!
Remove the toasted pepitas from the oven and sprinkle with flaked salt. Set aside and let the seeds cool while you prepare the rest of the dish.
Combine the chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin and oregano in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and add the onion to the pan.
Cook the onion over medium heat until it slowly turns translucent and starts to brown, 9-12 minutes. If the onion is browning too quickly, be sure to lower the heat.
Add the white beans to the pan of onions and toss to combine.
Add the spice blend and garlic to the beans, cook and stir until combined and fragrant, 30-60 seconds.
Add the raw spinach to the beans, toss and cook until the spinach is wilted. Turn off the heat while you prepare the pasta.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook per package directions until the pasta is al dente. Dip a measuring cup into the pasta water to reserve some starchy water then drain the rest of the pasta.
Dump the drained pasta into the saute pan and stir to combine with the beans. Add the reserved pasta water, a little bit at a time, to help everything come together.
Squeeze the juice of ½ fresh lime over the pasta along with the chopped cilantro. Toss to combine.
Taste the pasta and add salt and more lime if necessary. We wait until the end to add salt because different brands of canned beans have various sodium levels and everyone salts their pasta water differently.
Stir in half of the hot honey pepitas, reserving the rest to sprinkle on top. Serve with a wedge of lime.