This hemp & lemon pesto is an easy and nutrient dense weeknight meal that is deliciously dairy free! This vegan pesto pasta is sure to be a family favorite.
New day, new week, same old me loving on pasta. 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.
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. Sounds like a winner to me! Plus, it’s incredibly easy. 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.
Star ingredients in lemon pesto
For this recipe we’ll be using:
- 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,
A few notes on this lemon 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 with a salad on the side, some salmon, grilled 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 lemon pesto recipe will store in the fridge for about 3-5 days.
- 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.
If you like this vegan pesto pasta, try these other delicious pasta recipes next
- Life Changing Vegan Tomato Basil Cream Sauce
- Vegan Alfredo Sauce with Fettuccine
- Creamy Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- 16 ounces dry pasta of choice
- 1 1/2 cups hemp hearts
- Juice from 2 lemons (4 tbsp)
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 2 cups packed basil
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Optional: 1-2 handfuls kale
- 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 or blender.
- 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!
Keywords: pesto, pasta, dinner, healthy, basil, lemon, hemp, garlic