Although pesto is often assumed to contain cheese as well as oil, my pesto doesn’t have either. Instead, I made a healthy vegan pesto pasta recipe loaded with vegetables in an oil-free, nut-free sauce.
When I think about comfort food, I automatically think of creamy pasta. But, just because it’s creamy, doesn’t mean it has to be fattening.
My family loves pasta, however, I try to prepare pasta with more vegetables than pasta, and a sauce that also is vegetable-based. Yes, I also make a pesto with nuts, but when I am trying to balance my diet, I try to make it as healthy as possible. And, if I can make a tasty sauce that doesn’t include nuts, I’m all about it!
WHAT IS IN OIL-FREE, NUT-FREE PESTO?
Of course, fresh basil is essential in a pesto sauce, but in this vegan pesto pasta recipe, the beans provide the creaminess. The nutritional yeast, for example, provides the cheesiness.
- 1 1/2 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves. The more the merrier.
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 15 ounces can navy/cannellini beans (1.5 cups); rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- the juice of 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
Then, it is just a matter of using a high-speed blender to blend all the ingredients together. As a matter of fact, making vegan pesto sauce takes 5 minutes from start to finish.
- Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender.
- Blend until smooth
- Pour the pesto over the hot pasta
- Then, serve in bowls and add sauteed vegetables
- Add basil as a garnish
- Sprinkle with vegan parmesan (optional)
SAUTEED OR ROASTED VEGETABLES FOR VEGAN PESTO PASTA
In order to get perfectly cooked vegetables, I prefer to saute my vegetables in stages, so I do not overcook the vegetables. For instance, I chose:
Even though I chose these vegetables for my pesto pasta, any of your favorite vegetables work for this dish. I do, however, suggest you cook the vegetables based on their density. For instance, I saute the garlic, onions, and mushrooms together first.
Then, I add my more hearty vegetables, which take longer to cook such as broccoli and carrots.
Last but certainly not least, I add the zucchini, because it is delicate and cooks quickly. As a result, the zucchini cooks al dente versus being soggy and mushy. Who likes mushy zucchini? Yuck!
ROASTED VEGETABLE OPTION FOR VEGAN PESTO PASTA RECIPE
If you don’t have the time to stand over the stove, by all means, roast your vegetables.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat
- Make a single layer of mixed vegetables on the baking sheet
- Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes
SERVING VEGAN PESTO PASTA
Once the noodles are cooked and drained, I suggest adding the sauce to the noodles and stir well, coating the noodles. Next, I spoon the vegan pesto pasta into individual bowls before I add the vegetables. Because I love the taste of the fresh vegetables, I prefer to have the light taste of sauce from the pasta mixed with the fresh vegetables.
Of course, you can choose to mix it all together in one pan and serve together. As an added bonus, I made my Vegan Parmesan Cheese to sprinkle on top of the pasta.
LOVE EASY PASTA DISHES? CHECK OUT THESE DELICIOUS VEGAN PASTA RECIPES!
- Oil-Free Vegan 20 Minute One-Pot Wonder Pasta
- Garlic Noodles
- Vietnamese Noodles
- Yum Yum Noodles
- Vegan Spicy Thai Drunken Noodles with Seared Tofu
- Vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Vegan Kale Pasta Caesar Salad
- Veggie Stuffed Shells
- Vegan Stuffed Shells Recipe
- Vegan Lasagna
- Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo
- Vegan Hungarian Goulash
- Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff