Pinto bean cannelloni with bechamel sauce

Apologies for the lack of posts lately- the ups and downs of life had their role to play.

I bought some fancy quality cannelloni pasta shells awhile ago and instead of making the usual spinach and “ricotta” dish, I decided to do a spicy pinto bean sauce as well as an oatmilk bechamel. All dairy-free, seed-free and soy-free (not that there is anything wrong with them).

My husband and I love tomato-based legume dishes and usually add a good glug of habanero hot sauce to the pot while it’s bubbling away. Of course, this is optional! Please also keep in mind that this bean dish makes enough to feed a small country but don’t worry, they freeze and reheat exceptionally well for easy future meals.

The bechamel sauce was so easy to whisk up (pun intended). I simply fried off some chickpea flour, a pinch of turmeric for colour anda pinch of salt in some vegan butter to make a roux before adding a heaping of nutritional yeast and oat milk. The amount in the recipe didn’t completely cover the dish so if you like your bechamel sauce then maybe double the recipe or add more milk.


10 cannelloni shells

1 TBSP olive oil

Half red onion, sliced

1 carrot, cubed

3 garlic cloves, crushed

4 portobello mushrooms, sliced

1 TSPN cumin seeds

2 TSPN smoked chipotle powder

1 jar organic basil passata

1 cup vegetable stock

4 cups cooked pinto beans (approx. 1.5 cups dry)

1 tin BPA-free, organic crushed tomatoes

Fresh parsley to season

Bechamel sauce

1 TBSP vegan butter- I used Nuttelex

2 TBSP chickpea flour

Pinch of salt

Pinch of turmeric

Pepper to season

1 cup oat milk

1. Fry off the garlic, onion, mushrooms and carrot in olive oil until softened.

2. Add the cumin seeds and smoked chipotle powder and stir until fragrant.

3. Add the pinto beans, vegetable stock and tomato pasta. Season with salt and pepper and cover the pot with a lid before simmering for 30 minutes.

To make the roux:

4. Melt the vegan butter and add the chickpea flour, turmeric and salt. Mix well until combined.

5. Add the oat milk and nutritional yeast and whisk well to prevent any clumps. Keep whisking until thickened.

6. Pour the tin of crushed tomatoes into an ovenproof dish. To assemble, stuff the cannelloni tubes with the bean mix and line evenly in the dish.

7. Once the cannelloni tubes are stuffed, pour he bechamel sauce over the top. Sprinkle with a little fresh parsley.

8. Cover the dish with alfoil. Bake at 190C for 35 minutes. Season with more fresh parsley.

This dish is so comforting and is a healthy take on a traditional dish that some of us grew up with. I hope you enjoy.

Much love,

Di ♡

“We may give without loving, but we cannot love without giving.”- Bernard Meltzer.

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