I couldn’t have said it better myself, so here’s the thing, paraphrasing from Cook’s Illustrated: Egg noodles are the starchy soul of comfort foods. They provide a chewy bite and seem easier not to overcook than your standard dried pasta noodle. We keep them in the Dinner in Minutes Pantry for goulash, kugel and chicken soup.

And this week’s recipe represents another reason we like them: They cook quickly, absorbing all the flavor this inexpensive, one-pan, meatless dish has to offer. Cannellini beans cling to the noodles and add to the creaminess of the sauce, which is relatively low-fat.

You can keep things simple, or if you happen to have zucchini on hand, cut it into thin rounds or half-moon slices and cook it along with the onion. Toss in fresh tomatoes, or leftover grilled vegetables or chicken.

Serve with a salad of peppery greens.


1 medium onion

2 cloves garlic (optional)

1 large lemon

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

One 14.5- to 15.5-ounce can no-salt-added cannellini beans

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

Kosher salt

12 ounces dried wide egg noodles

2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups vegetable broth, preferably no-salt-added

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 packed cup fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish


Step 1

Cut the onion into 1/2-inch dice. Smash, peel and mince the garlic, if using. Use a Microplane or box grater to zest the lemon, yielding at least 2 teaspoons of zest.

Step 2

Heat the oil in a large nonstick saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and the garlic, if using; cook for 3 minutes, or until just softened.

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Step 3

Rinse and drain the cannellini beans, then add them along with the whole-grain mustard; cook for 3 minutes or until heated through, then use a wide fork to mash about half of them, right in the pan. Season lightly with salt.

Step 4

Add the noodles to the pan, breaking them up with your fingers as you go, as needed. Stir to incorporate; cook for a few minutes, then pour in 2 1/2 cups of the broth. Increase the heat to medium-high; cook for about 6 minutes, stirring a few times; the noodles should be almost cooked through.

Step 5

Reduce the heat to medium-low; add the lemon zest and black pepper, stirring gently to incorporate. If the noodles seem too firm or not quite done, stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of broth. Cook for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Step 6

Cut the lemon in half; squeeze in about 2 tablespoons of juice, then cut the remaining lemon half into wedges. The noodles should be soft, and coated with a creamy mixture of beans. Taste, and add more salt, as needed.

Step 7

Stack, roll and cut half the larger basil leaves into thin ribbons. Toss them into the pan.

Step 8

Divide among individual wide, shallow bowls. Drizzle each portion with a little oil, then garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Step 9

Serve warm or at room temperature, with the lemon wedges.

Based on a recipe at BettyCrocker.com.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

Click here for a printable version of the Dinner in Minutes Pantry list.

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For a printer-friendly and scalable version of this recipe, view it here.


Servings Per Container: 4; Calories: 520; Total Fat: 15 g; Saturated Fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 70 mg; Sodium: 140 mg; Carbohydrates: 80 g; Dietary Fiber: 7 g; Sugars: 5 g; Protein: 17 g.