This vegan pesto pasta is an easy and nutrient dense weeknight meal that is deliciously dairy free! This recipe is sure to be a family favorite, is nut free, and only takes 20 minutes to make!
Someone recently asked me what my favorite pasta dish is. Picking a favorite pasta recipe would be like picking my favorite child (if I had kids that is), but this vegan pesto pasta is definitely up there on my list!! Sprinkle on a generous dose of cashew parmesan and you have yourself a drool worthy meal!
But then again I LOVE this dairy free pesto pasta made with kale and pine nuts, so how is a girl ever to choose?!
The world’s healthiest pesto pasta
Seriously. If you’re looking for an extremely healthful and nutritious pesto pasta recipe, this is it. The sauce itself is packed with protein, fiber, omega 3’s, healthy fats, iron, and several B vitamins thanks to the hemp hearts (source). Sounds like a winner to me! Plus, it’s nut free, dairy free, and gluten free for anyone with food sensitivities or allergies.
Did I mention it’s incredibly easy as well?! To make this sauce, all you have to do is add all ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor and process until smooth. You can leave a few chunks in there if you don’t like your pesto super creamy.
What is pesto made of?
Pesto can be made with a host of ingredients, but most will contain basil and olive oil at the very least. For this recipe we’ll be using a few key ingredients to make a creamy, flavorful, and healthy recipe!
- Hemp hearts – to add texture and creaminess to the recipe
- Basil – because it wouldn’t be pesto without basil!
- Lemon – for a little bit of tang and extra flavor
- Garlic – for lots of flavor and a touch of spice
- Olive oil – this adds lot of flavor and makes the sauce extra creamy. If you are oil free, you can try subbing with veggie broth or water
- Salt & pepper – because they make everything better
Most pesto uses cheese of some kind, but to keep this dairy free I just left it out. You can add some nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor, or even use your favorite non-dairy parmesan, or my homemade cashew parmesan!
A few notes on this vegan pesto pasta
- With lots of healthy fats and protein from the sauce, this pesto pasta can be a complete meal on it’s own. However, it would also be delicious served with a salad on the side, some salmon, grilled chicken, asparagus, the options are endless!
- To keep this dish gluten free, I used brown rice pasta, but you can use regular pasta, chickpea pasta etc. In the last five years I feel like the food industry has turned everything into pasta? Anyone else?! I’m definitely not complaining though.
- This vegan pesto pasta recipe will store in the fridge for about 3-5 days. It may brown slightly, but the lemon acts as a natural preservative to keep it fresh for longer.
- I like the sauce pretty thick, but if you prefer a thinner consistency you can add extra olive oil or a splash of veggie broth.
- I prefer using rotini pasta for pesto because the spirals trap the sauce really well. However, in my opinion there is no one pasta that is best for pesto. No pasta discrimination around here 🙂
If you like this recipe, try these other pasta recipes next!
- Life Changing Vegan Tomato Basil Cream Sauce
- Vegan Alfredo Sauce with Fettuccine
- Creamy Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
This hemp seed vegan pesto pasta is easy, lemony, and ready in 20 minutes!
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions.
- While the pasta is cooking, add all of the sauce ingredients to a food processor.
- Process until smooth, or leave a few chunks if desired.
- Toss the sauce and pasta together, add more salt or pepper if desired and enjoy!
This recipe will store in the fridge for 3-5 days in an air tight container.
The sauce will be pretty thick if made as written, to thin it out add more olive oil, water, or vegetable broth.
Don’t be afraid to really pack the basil in there, this is where much of the flavor is coming from!
- Serving Size: 6 servings
- Calories: 414
- Fat: 30.2g
- Carbohydrates: 29.8
- Fiber: 3.2
- Protein: 15.8g
Keywords: pesto pasta, vegan pesto, lemon pesto, vegan pesto pasta