Effortless Vegan Pesto Pasta Delight

by Jan Vasil
Effortless Vegan Pesto Pasta Delight

Embrace the flavors of this delightful vegan pesto pasta recipe that’s not only satisfying for those carb desires but also ensures you’re treating your body right. When time is tight and ingredients are limited, this dish comes to the rescue.

This is my go-to recipe on those bustling days. From start to finish, it’ll only take you about 15 minutes and yields two hearty servings. If you’re on the lookout for a swift yet scrumptious meal, this pasta dish is the one for you. Bon appétit! 😊

P.S. Don’t miss out on trying my Vegan Banana Bread recipe!

Quick and easy vegan pasta salad with basil pesto.

Pesto, with its rich and fragrant flavor, has always been a favorite in many kitchens. Originating from Italy, this versatile sauce has been incorporated into various dishes around the world. But with its traditional recipe containing cheese, many vegans often find themselves asking, “Can we eat pesto too?” Thankfully, the culinary world has evolved, and vegan pesto is not only possible but incredibly delicious. Let’s delve deeper into the world of vegan pesto and how it can be the star ingredient in your next pasta dish.

Can vegans eat pesto?

The classic pesto recipe calls for Parmesan cheese, which is not vegan-friendly. However, with the rise in veganism and the demand for plant-based alternatives, several vegan pesto versions have been created.

So, yes, vegans can indeed enjoy pesto, provided it’s made without any animal-derived ingredients.

How to Make Vegan Pesto?

Making vegan pesto is as simple as substituting the non-vegan ingredients with plant-based alternatives. Here’s a basic recipe:


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup nuts (pine nuts, walnuts, or cashews work well)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (to replace Parmesan cheese)
  • Salt and lemon juice to taste


  1. In a food processor, combine basil, nuts, and garlic. Process until coarsely chopped.
  2. With the processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Add the nutritional yeast, salt, and lemon juice. Blend again until everything is well combined.

Vegan Pesto Pasta Recipes

  1. Classic Vegan Pesto Pasta: Cook your favorite pasta, toss in vegan pesto, and garnish with cherry tomatoes and toasted pine nuts.
  2. Creamy Pesto Pasta: Add a splash of coconut milk or almond milk to your vegan pesto for a creamier texture. Mix with pasta and add roasted vegetables for a hearty meal.
  3. Pesto Avocado Pasta: Blend ripe avocado into your vegan pesto for an ultra-creamy sauce. Combine with pasta and enjoy the richness of flavors.

Possible Ingredients for a Vegan Pesto Pasta

  1. Nuts: Pine nuts, cashews, almonds, and walnuts can add a crunchy texture and rich flavor.
  2. Greens: While basil is traditional, you can also use spinach, kale, or arugula for varied flavors.
  3. Veggies: Cherry tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, and olives complement the pesto flavor beautifully.
  4. Proteins: Tofu chunks, chickpeas, or lentils can make your pesto pasta more filling.
  5. Spices and Herbs: Red pepper flakes, black pepper, fresh parsley, or even a dash of vegan wine can elevate your dish.
  6. Vegan Cheese: Nutritional yeast provides a cheesy flavor, but there are also many vegan Parmesan brands available in the market for that added touch.

With these ingredients and recipes at your disposal, a delightful vegan pesto pasta dish is just minutes away. Enjoy your culinary journey in the vegan world of pesto!

Vegan Pesto Pasta recipe

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Jan Vasil Course: Lunches, Recipe book, VeGaN mealsCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Quick and easy vegan pasta salad with basil pesto.

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  • 200 g 200 pasta (spirals recommended)

  • 50 g 50 cherry tomatoes

  • 1 handful 1 Fresh basil leaves (a handful)

  • 2 tbsp 2 pine nuts

  • 2 tbsp 2 quick vegan parmesan ([recipe link])

  • 1 tbsp 1 Olive oil

  • 1 piece 1 garlic clove

  • 1 piece 1 lemon

  • 1 pinch 1 Salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook the pasta as per the package instructions, drain, and return to the pot.
  • In a blender or food processor, combine fresh basil leaves, 1 tbsp pine nuts, garlic clove, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Pulse until the basil is finely blended. Incorporate 2 tbsp of vegan parmesan and an extra tbsp of olive oil. Continue to blend for another minute. Add 2 tbsp of lemon juice, season with salt, and blend again. If the pesto feels too thick, thin it out with an additional tbsp of olive oil.
  • To the cooked pasta, add the freshly made pesto and halved cocktail tomatoes. Stir until well combined.
  • In a small pan, dry roast the remaining pine nuts without any oil.
  • Serve the pasta garnished with vegan parmesan and the toasted pine nuts.
  • Dive in and enjoy! 😊


  • To make the vegan basil pesto check out the recipe below.

Nutrition Facts

  • Serving Size: 2g
  • Calories: 422kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 60g
  • Protein: 13g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.8g
  • Sodium: 29mg
  • Fiber: 1.5g
  • Sugar: 1.1g
  • Calcium: 27mg
  • Iron: 4mg

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Quick and easy vegan pasta salad with basil pesto.
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Quick and easy vegan pasta salad with basil pesto.
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Quick and easy vegan pasta salad with basil pesto.
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Quick and easy vegan pasta salad with basil pesto.
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Dive into the rich tapestry of Central Eastern European culture with “Taste Is Yours,” a culinary journey that celebrates the region’s deep-rooted gastronomic traditions. From the hearty stews of Hungary to the iconic dumplings of Poland, our blog is a tribute to the authentic dishes that have graced family tables for generations.


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