Normally, when I make a piccata recipe, I like to start with lightly floured chicken and fry it, then serve it with a bright lemony suce. This Artichoke Pasta takes some queues from that classic version, but is completely vegetarian. The flavors are still excellent and the dish is plenty filling without the meat. 

To keep the prep time down on this dish, I like to use capellini pasta or thin spaghetti and then I fold inbig artichoke chunks, capers, lemon, and a garlic sauce. It was perfect and I actually thought it didn’t even need the protein.

Artichoke Pasta Ingredients

This Artichoke Pasta recipe doesn’t have a lot of ingredients and many of them can be found in good canned versions. No need to use fresh artichokes!

ingredients for Artichoke Pasta

Instead of meat, I thought white beans would be a good addition to add more vegetables to the recipe. They are smooth and creamy and not overpowering at all.

The only thing you really need to chop up is an onion, mince some garlic, and mince some parsley for garnish!

As far as pasta goes, I would definitely use something in the spaghetti family. Linguine might be a bit on the sturdy side. I would stick with just normal spaghetti or, my favorite, capellini pasta (or angel hair). It cooks really quickly and folds into the light sauce nicely.

Cooking the Artichoke Pasta Sauce

A little pesto really rounds out this sauce and you can make your own or just use a little prepared pesto from a jar. I’m not sure I would make pesto from scratch just for this dish since there are a lot of other flavors going on. If you have some made though, definitely use it.

Starting the artichoke sauce.
Starting the sauce.

Add a drizzle of oil to a medium pot over medium heat with the diced onion. Let that cook for a few minutes until the onions soften and then add in the pesto and some flour.

Stir this all together and let the flour cook down for a minute or so. Then pour in the stock! I used veggie stock to keep it vegetarian but you could use chicken broth also.

Once you add your stock, the mixture will be pretty thick and that’s okay. You can always thin it out later!

Then stir in the artichokes, beans, and capers. I used quartered artichoke hearts.

Cooking the Pasta

Not overcooking the pasta is the hardest part of this dish, especially if you are using really thin pasta. If you’re using capellini pasta, don’t start cooking the pasta until your sauce is completely done as the pasta will take just 2-3 minutes to cook. be sure to add a few tablespoons of kosher salt to your pasta water to season it well. 

Thin spaghetti for this recipe.
Normal spaghetti is fine too.

When the pasta is done, drain it and save a cup or two of the pasta water. If the sauce is really thick at this point, stir in the reserved pasta water to thin it out.

Adding pasta water to the sauce.
Key ingredient!

Then add the pasta to the pot with the sauce and toss everything together really well.

Beans in the pot.
Beans in the pot.

This Artichoke Pasta is best served in big bowls, topped with some Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and fresh parsley.

A big hunk of crusty bread is a good idea to soak up all that sauce.

The final pasta is light and refreshing, but still hearty enough for winter.

Tossing the pasta with the artichoke sauce.
All together now.

A few substitution Ideas

There are some easy substitutions or additions for this artichoke pasta recipe if you’re interested.

  • For a spinach artichoke pasta version, add a few cups of baby spinach to the sauce before adding the pasta. 
  • Change up the sauce by adding some fresh diced roma tomatoes and top with fresh basil.
  • Make the dish creamier by adding 1/2 cup of heavy cream to the sauce before serving.

Artichoke Pasta with White Beans and Lemon

3.57 from 39 votes
Author: Nick Evans
Servings: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Artichoke Piccata is a great vegetarian alternative to the classic Italian dish. Easy to make, delicious and on the table in minutes!


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 14-oz. can artichokes, drained
  • ¼ cup capers, drained
  • 1 15-oz can white beans, drained
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 ounces capellini pasta, cooked
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • Fresh parsley, garnish
  • Baguette, for serving


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer for pasta and set it aside for later.
  • In a second large skillet or pot, add olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
  • Add flour to the pot and stir and cook flour for 30 seconds. Then stir in veggie stock and pesto and stir to combine. Turn heat down to medium low.
  • Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente, probably 2-3 minutes if you’re using a thin pasta like capellini. Reserve 2 cups of pasta cooking water and drain pasta.
  • Add 1/2 cup of pasta water to pot with sauce and stir. Then stir in artichokes, capers, drained beans, lemon juice, and cooked pasta.
  • Stir together and add enough extra pasta water to form a sauce that just coats the pasta.
  • Divide pasta between bowls or plates and top with grated Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and parsley. Serve with toasted baguette!



Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 494kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 656mg | Potassium: 256mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 580IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Italian

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Homemade artichoke piccata. A great vegetarian version of the classic Italian dish and it takes just minutes to make!

Here are a few other great Italian recipes!

There are so many delicious Italian recipes on Macheesmo. It might be my most popular recipe category. For starters this recently posted Carrot Pasta Sauce is surprising and wonderful. For something more classic, try this Pesto Pasta with Sauce or even this Turkey Ragu. Mushroom Carbonara is another classic! Also, this Sun-Dried Tomato and Chicken Pasta from Julia’s Album looks amazing and worth a shot!