Gluten-Free Fusilli Winter Pasta with Chard, Mushrooms, and Walnut White Bean Sauce

Fusilli Pasta with Chard, Mushrooms, Walnut Sauce – Healthy, Gluten-Free, Plant-Based, Oil-Free Recipe

Medium  |  Servings: 4  |  Ready In: 30 minutes |  Yield: about 12 cups, 4 cups of the sauce

A rich toasted walnut sauce, hearty mushrooms, and beautiful red chard come together for simple Italian flavor in this plant-based winter pasta. Gluten-Free chickpea fusilli noodles have healthy vegan protein. Enjoy this satisfying oil-free entrée when you crave satisfying comfort food.  Serve with Grilled Asparagus Kalamata Olive Meyer Lemon SaladLacinato Kale Waldorf Salad with Apples, Walnuts, Raisins, or Italian Red Quinoa Fennel Citrus Winter Salad.


For the Gluten-Free Chickpea Fusilli pasta:

For the Toasted Walnut White Bean Sauce:

  • 1 cup (4 ounces) Walnuts
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 cups of the pasta-cooking liquid

How it’s Done

Preheat your oven to 350F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

For the Toasted Walnut Sauce: Place the walnuts in a baking pan and toast in the 350F oven until golden brown, about 7-8 minutes. Remove and let cool.

While the walnuts toast, prepare the pasta and chard mixture. Heat a wide sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and spread into a single layer. Let them cook until brown, about 8-10 minutes. Stir only once or twice while the mushrooms brown – the more contact they have with the pan, the faster they’ll cook.

While the mushrooms brown, strip the chard leaves away from the stems. Place the leaves aside, and chop the stems into bite-sized pieces. Once the mushrooms have started to brown, add the chard stems. Saute 2-3 minutes, until the stems have softened. This is a good time to drop the pasta into the boiling water.

Cook the pasta “al dente”, according to the package directions (usually about 8 to 10 minutes). If the pasta is done before everything else, reserve 2 cups of the boiling water, drain the remaining water, and set aside until everything else is ready.

While the pasta cooks, finish the chard and mushroom mixture. Add the chard leaves to the pan with the mushrooms. Stir well and sauté until the chard leaves are tender, about 5 minutes.

To finish the Toasted Walnut Sauce: Transfer the toasted walnuts to a blender. Add the cannellini beans, nutritional yeast, balsamic vinegar, pepper, salt, and 2 cups of the pasta boiling water. Puree until creamy. Taste to adjust seasoning.

To finish the Fusilli with Winter Pasta with Chard, Mushrooms, and Toasted Walnut Sauce: When the chard is tender, add the cooked pasta and toasted walnut sauce to the pan. Cook over medium heat 2 minutes, stirring well, until everything is combined and steaming hot. Taste to adjust seasoning.

Serve immediately.

Fusilli Pasta with Chard, Mushrooms, Walnut Sauce – Healthy, Gluten-Free, Plant-Based, Oil-Free Recipe

Chef Katies Tips:

Other Whole Grain Pastas: You can use any whole grain fusilli pasta for this recipe. Whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and lentil pasta all work well.

Why Fusilli? Fusilli, aka “corkscrew” pasta has lots of nooks and crannies to pick up the bits of chard and hold the creamy walnut sauce. Shells and orecchiette (“little ears”) would also work well. Avoid using spaghetti or capellini as these long, skinny varieties don’t go well with the chunks of mushrooms and chard.

Extra Sauce: Make extra Toasted Walnut White Bean Sauce and freeze extras. You can use for future pasta dinners, layer with noodles for vegan lasagna, or pour over roasted vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 445
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23 g 35 %
Saturated Fat 2 g 10 %
Monounsaturated Fat 3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 14 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 579 mg 24 %
Potassium 344 mg 10 %
Total Carbohydrate 48 g 16 %
Dietary Fiber 16 g 65 %
Sugars 7 g
Protein 25 g 51 %
Vitamin A 66 %
Vitamin C 30 %
Calcium 11 %
Iron 43 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Shopping List

  • Banza Chickpea Penne Pasta, 8 Ounce (Pack of 2)
  • Nature’s Eats Walnuts, 16 Ounce
  • NOW Nutritional Yeast Flakes,10-Ounce