Black Bean Pesto Crackers

These Black Bean Pesto Crackers used up items I had around the house and ended up being a tasty and healthy snack. Win-Win!

Black Bean Pesto Crackers

Especially great this time of year when we are all trying to eat healthier to offset the damage we did to our waistlines over the holidays. Or maybe it is just me that needs to do that.

These can be made gluten-free (I used a gluten-free flour blend) and vegan (use vegan cheese or eliminate it and increase the fat a bit). Plus if you use no salt added black beans they are low-sodium, low-fat and high in fiber.

And despite all of that, they are still delicious.

My basil was very sad after the snow we got last week.  I know you folks in the north and east are thinking “Who grows basil outside in January?”.

Here in typically sunny Southern California we can pretty much grow it year round. Unless we are hit by a once in 10 years snow storm!

snow in Southern California backyard

Beautiful, isn’t it? That photo was actually chosen as one of the featured photos in the FMS Photo a Day Facebook Group for the prompt “best bit of 2014”. Woohoo! (I do get a lucky shot once in awhile).

As lovely and fun as the snow was, I don’t think this is the best way to freeze vegetables.

frozen vegetables

Actually, I think all will survive except the basil. Yes, even the lettuce looks okay now.

Being a Mommy and a Food Blogger I had to make Vanilla Snow Ice Cream for J.

Vanilla Snow Ice Cream

What a fun treat! But no one told me about the Maple Syrup Snow Cones! Sigh, maybe next time.

But what does this have to do with the crackers?! OOPS! Sorry, the snow was such a rare thing we are all still excited about it a week later. On to the crackers…

I had to use up the basil and of course I immediately thought “Pesto”. Isn’t that your first thought when you have lots of basil? And I needed to make something square shaped because the prompt for today’s FMS Photo a Day is “square”.

Black Bean Pesto Crackers

My #FMSPhotoaDay for the prompt “square”.


So, after a quick glance in the cupboard this recipe was born!

A few tips if you have never made crackers before:

  • yes, you need some fat in it. You can reduce it like I did, but the cheese and nuts will not provide enough and you will end up with a crumbly hard mess. If you want to reduce the fat content further, use fewer or no nuts.
  • do not add too much flour. same as above, you will end up with a dry crumbly mess. add just enough to be able to roll the dough out.
  • do not over mix the flour in the dough, especially if using all purpose flour. You will end up with a tough cracker.
  • experiment with other cheeses, flavors and seasonings. I used basil because I needed to.

I hope you give these a try and enjoy them as much as I did.

Black Bean Pesto Crackers

Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer
These Black Bean Pesto Crackers are a healthy snack made from canned black beans and pesto. Gluten Free crackers, vegan crackers. Low sodium and high fiber.


  • 1 can 15 ounce no salt added black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2oz parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (or more!)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (or your favorite nuts or seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons fat (butter, shortening, coconut oil, olive oil)
  • 3/4 -1 cups flour (all-purpose or gluten free)
  • salt to taste


  • cooking spray
  • seasoning (seasoned salt, sea salt, garlic powder, salt free seasoning, etc.)


This recipe makes approximately 50 two inch square crackers rolled to about 1/8" thick.


Preheat oven to 375. Drain and rinse the black beans.
Put parmesan, basil and garlic in the food processor and pulse until chunky.
pesto ingredients in food processor
Add black beans, nuts/seeds and fat. Blend until a smooth consistency. This can take several minutes. Add salt to taste.
black bean pesto cracker dough before flour
Add 1/2 cup of flour and mix by hand just until blended. If dough seems too moist add more flour a small amount at a time. It should be firm enough to roll and cut, but not so much flour that it is crumbly. Roll dough to about 1/8" thick (thinner is better) and cut into desired shapes.
Black bean pesto crackers rolled out
Place on baking sheet, spray with cooking spray and a sprinkle of seasoning.
black bean pesto crackers ready for the oven
Bake 15-20 minutes until starting to crisp. remove from oven and let cool a few minutes. Test a cracker for crispness and return to the oven if too soft.
Black Bean Pesto Crackers

Until next time, happy eating!

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  1. Jamie

    Those look good and good for you – love those kind!! 🙂

  2. Maureen

    This looks like a great snack to have around the house and seems easy to make (I’m not a good baker!) Thank you for sharing.

  3. Miranda Gonzalez

    I have never made crackers before, but I think I will have to try these. My kids love snacking on crackers, and these look like they are a lot healthier than the store bought ones they usually eat. Maybe I can even get some beans into my picky eater this way! I’m pinning for later.

  4. Kara

    Great recipe! Totally pinning this and sharing with my sister as she’s gluten free!

  5. Crystal Green

    I have never made crackers before either. However, I think this would be something worth trying to make since my husband does like black beans a lot.

  6. Kelly

    I’m excited to give these a try! I love the black bean chips they have in the health food section. This would be even healthier! Pinning!

  7. Alli

    I always have black beans in my pantry – always! I’m a bean lover and black beans are my personal favorite. I can make a quick vegan chili and I’m going to try those black bean brownies one of these days, but I’ve never thought about making crackers with black beans. They look so good! Thanks!

    You talk about that rare snowstorm all you want. We rarely get a big snow here in SC (it was 72 a few days ago), so when we do, it’s big news. Your snow pic is beautiful.

  8. Jessy @ The Life Jolie

    This is a really fantastic idea (I wish I could think of great ideas like this!). I love black beans- I’ll definitely be pinning this!

  9. Jenna @ A Savory Feast

    I would have never thought of this recipe! I do like black beans, though, so it would be worth a try. It sounds really healthy! Thanks for joining us for Hump Day Happenings.

  10. Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai

    I have never made crackers before–always thought they’d be hard to make. This looks really simple. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty 🙂

    Life With Lorelai

  11. Kristina @ My Own Home Blog

    These would be so good with some hummus!
    Thanks for linking up at Talented Tuesday link party!

  12. Jen

    Ooooh these look really tasty! I’ve made vegan pesto with walnuts and just omitted the cheese in favor of olive oil and I’d do the same with this recipe. I love that it’s versatile enough to suit different dietary needs. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Jen @ The Halfway Homemaker

    Looks delicious. Thanks for sharing with Tasty Tuesdays!

  14. Cat @ therusticwillow

    These look so interesting! I could definitely see these being delicious with hummus. And thanks for linking up at On Display Thursday–we hope to see you back there tomorrow morning!

  15. elaine

    Looks yummy. Thanks for sharing on the Healthy Living Link Party

    1. Audrey

      Thanks Elaine, they are quite tasty.

  16. Ann

    It looks like a fun treat, alright! For some reason, my gluten free always ended up as a fail! #homematters

    1. Audrey

      Been there done that.

  17. Wendy @ Living Almost Naturally

    These look really yummy! Thanks for sharing! #HomeMattersParty

  18. Vicki

    these are not vegan if they have parm cheese and butter in them. Vegan means no animal products.

    1. Audrey

      You are absolutely right, Vicki. I mention to use vegan cheese (or nutritional yeast) and a vegan fat in the blog post itself. Maybe I should add that as a note in the recipe too to avoid confusion.

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