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Mushroom and Kidney Bean Koftas with herby pesto

Mushroom and kidney bean koftas with a pesto drizzle and couscous – these easy and super tasty vegetarian koftas are vegan and gluten-free!

Kidney bean koftas in a bowl with couscous and sauteed greens, drizzled with pesto.

After the success of my carrot and red lentil koftas a while back (last April!! Blimey), I thought I’d give a bean version a try. Really, the only similarity between my previous lentil koftas and these mushroom and kidney bean koftas is the word ‘kofta’ (which, to be honest, probably isn’t the right word anyway. I’m using a little artistic licence here).

Oh, and the fact that they’re delicious. So. Stinkin’. Delicious.

… and there ends the similarity.

A portion of vegan koftas with couscous and greens in a bowl.

Rather than serving these kidney bean koftas with a curry sauce like I did last time, we had them with couscous and sautéed veggies, and drizzled a herby pesto on top. The pesto is part of the recipe, so don’t skip it – it adds loads of lovely fresh flavour (or if you absolutely must skip it, add some of the fresh herbs into the kofta mixture instead). The combination is really lovely – the rich and crispy bean koftas with the fresh, herby pesto. The fluffy couscous goes really nicely too, I’d recommend that!

Vegetarian bean koftas in a bowl with couscous and greens.

Now that it’s officially the summer and it’s fairly warm (not dry, mind! Just warm), I’m trying to cook a bit healthier, and these mushroom and bean koftas are ideal. They’re really easy to make, they have a good amount of protein, and they’re great served alongside lots of veggies.

I really enjoyed serving my bean koftas in this way, but next time I might try serving them in flatbread with hummus, falafel-style! Yum yum.

A fork cutting a vegetarian bean kofta in half.

Mushroom and kidney bean koftas with herby pesto

Mushroom and kidney bean koftas with a pesto drizzle and couscous – these easy and super tasty vegetarian koftas are vegan and gluten-free!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main meal
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 336kcal
Author: Becca Heyes


For the mushroom and bean koftas:

  • 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 160 g mushrooms, diced fairly small (~ 2 cups when diced)
  • 400 g tin kidney beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Spray oil

For the herb pesto:

  • 2 tbsp nuts (I used pistachios)
  • 1 handful fresh herbs (I used basil and coriander / cilantro)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 4 / 350°F).
  • Heat a little oil in a frying pan, and add the finely diced onion. Cook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes, until slightly soft. Add the garlic and diced mushrooms, and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft and any excess liquid has evaporated.
  • In a large bowl, combine the drained kidney beans, spices, and a very generous pinch of salt and pepper. Mash thoroughly with a potato masher or fork – it’s okay to leave some texture, but you don’t want any full beans remaining.
  • Add the mushrooms to the mashed beans, and mix well.
  • Lightly grease a baking tray. Use clean hands to form the bean mixture into balls – I made 8 in total. Place the koftas on the tray, and spray again with oil. Bake for around 45 mins – 1 hour, or until the koftas are firm and crispy.
  • Meanwhile, add the pesto ingredients to a mini food processor, and blitz until fairly smooth.
  • When the koftas are cooked, serve them with the pesto and your choice of sides.


These koftas can be served in all sorts of different ways – see the blog post for some ideas.
Nutrition Facts
Mushroom and kidney bean koftas with herby pesto
Amount Per Serving (1 portion)
Calories 336 Calories from Fat 183
% Daily Value*
Fat 20.3g31%
Saturated Fat 2.8g14%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 188mg8%
Carbohydrates 30.9g10%
Fiber 7.9g32%
Sugar 3.7g4%
Protein 12.4g25%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/2 the batch, and includes pesto, but not other sides.

Got another tin of kidney beans handy? You must try my vegetarian chilli mac – made in one pan!

One pot vegetarian chilli mac
Peppadew Panzanella
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