This easy vegan pesto pasta with veggies is a healthy dinner recipe that is ready in under 30 minutes. It’s full of flavor, packed with vegetables and even kid friendly!
This vegan pesto pasta is made with very simple ingredients you most likely have on hand. All you need is 30 minutes for this delicious recipe.
It’s packed with veggies, healthy fats, and can be high in protein by using a chickpea based pasta or serving it alongside my lemon pepper salmon!
Pine Nuts. I love using pine nuts as the base of pesto sauce because they have a subtly nutty flavor, but you can really use any kind of nut here. Almonds, cashews etc. are all delicious.
Basil. You need a generous two cups of basil for the sauce which will give it lots of flavor!
Arugula. We’ll be adding arugula right into the sauce, which will get blended in with the other ingredients and I promise you won’t even notice it’s there. You can sub for kale if you prefer, but I love the flavor of arugula!
Cashew Parmesan. This will keep the pesto vegan and dairy free. If you are not vegan, regular parmesan will work just fine!
Lemon. Some fresh lemon juice helps to balance out the salty and savory flavors in the sauce.
Garlic. I’m a big fan of garlic and it’s absolutely essential in pesto!
How to make vegan pesto
Step 1: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
Step 2: Meanwhile, add the 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet and add in the chopped asparagus. Saute for about 5-7 minutes or until fork tender. Stir in the peas and let cook until defrosted. Set aside.
Step 3: Add all pesto ingredients to a food processor or blender and process until completely smooth. Taste and adjust flavor as desired.
Step 4: When the pasta is done cooking, add in the sauce and toss to combine.
Step 5: Toss in the veggies and mix well. Serve with more parmesan and fresh chopped basil. Enjoy!
What noodles are best?
I love using rotini or fusilli for pesto because it clings to the sauce really well, but anything will work! Spaghetti, penne etc.
I used brown rice pasta to keep it gluten free, but whatever you like works great. Using a bean or legume based pasta will up the protein content a bit as well.
Other veggies to add
I used asparagus and peas in this recipe, but I also love adding sauteed zucchini, broccoli, tomatoes, bell peppers or any combination of the above. Feel free to get creative here!
Frequently asked questions
Does it keep?
Yes! Once prepared, this vegan pesto pasta will keep for about 3-5 days in the fridge. The sauce can turn a bit more brown as it sits, but the lemon juice should act as a natural preservative.
Is pesto vegan?
Most pesto sauces are not vegan since they have parmesan cheese in them, but this recipe uses cashew parmesan instead to make it completely dairy free!
Can I make oil free pesto?
I do not recommend that as olive oil is a key ingredients for the overall flavor and texture of the sauce.
You can sub half of the oil for water or vegetable broth if you prefer, but I do not recommend leaving it out or subbing entirely.
Try these next!
Vegan Pesto Pasta with Veggies
by: claire cary
- 12 ounces pasta of choice I used gluten free
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 cup peas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 2 cups arugula
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 cup pine nuts
- 2-3 large cloves garlic
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ⅓ cup cashew parmesan click for recipe
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, add the 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet and add in the chopped asparagus. Saute for about 5-7 minutes or until fork tender. Stir in the peas and let cook until defrosted. Set aside.
- Add all pesto ingredients to a food processor or blender and process until completely smooth. Taste and adjust flavor as desired.
- When the pasta is done cooking, add in the sauce and toss to combine.
- Toss in the veggies and mix well.
- Serve with more parmesan and fresh chopped basil. Enjoy!