I might be getting ahead of myself here, but this just happens to be my new favourite pasta dish. This Vegan Basil Pesto is zesty, filled with extra greens, garlicky, and cheesy. The combination of the pesto ingredients is mouthwatering and covers a big bowl of pasta perfectly. I crave carb-comforting foods in the winter, especially when we are having a cold spell. So let this pasta dish bring a little extra warmth and a little extra comfort to you in these chilly days.
Although basil isn’t in season at this time of the year, it is still easily obtainable in grocery stores. But this comforting pesto bowl will be amazing in the summer when you have your own basil growing in your garden. I’m a big fan of all things basil, garlic and nutritional yeast and this recipe doesn’t deprive me of any of those ingredients. When I have a plethora of basil and garlic in the summer, this recipe will for sure still be a go-to (now I’m just dreaming about Summer…).
how to make vegan pesto sauce
Making dairy free pesto is actually quite simple. This pesto recipe includes pine nuts, garlic, nutritional yeast, oil, lemon juice, basil, spinach and miso paste. Blending the ingredients all together in a food processor they create a smooth, creamy and thin pasta sauce.
The vegan basil pesto is naturally gluten free. If you aren’t gluten free, you can sub any regular pasta to go with this dish and follow the package’s instructions. I used Barilla Gluten Free Fettuccine, as the pasta doesn’t get gooey or stick together. Cooking gluten free pasta can sometimes end in tears so Barilla is a brand I like to stick with. Or I love the Tru Roots blend of ancient grains. But this only comes in a penne shape at my local grocery store and I wanted a long noodle for this dish. Any type of pasta will work with this recipe, I just prefer a spaghetti or fettuccine noodle to go with the pesto.
here are a few reasons why I love this dairy free pesto, so listen up!
- It’s a 20-minute meal. You are welcome. It’s a 20-minute dinner that doesn’t skimp on flavour, texture, nutrients or heartiness. I timed myself making it and you should be able to do it no problem in 20 minutes. I love a good, quick meal in the middle of the week that isn’t just avocado toast. Don’t get me wrong. I love avocado toast, but sometimes we need a little more diversity in our life, and this vegan pesto pasta recipe definitely brings that.
- I love the addition of roasted broccoli and sautéd mushrooms. You could really sauté and roast whatever veggies you want with this dish. The vegan basil pesto already has a good handful of spinach in it, but the broccoli and mushrooms just add a little extra flavour and goodness to an already amazing bowl.
- But my favourite reason of all is that the Picky Husband said this was on the best pasta dishes he has ever had. So there is that.
I could truly eat this simple vegan pesto by the spoonful, it’s that magical. It’s loaded with the traditional flavours of pesto with a vegan twist on it. This sauce coats the pasta beautifully and complements the roasted broccoli and mushrooms quite nicely. But the real bonus of this meal is that it can be made in 20 minutes. It’s a great dinner for those workdays or when you are short on time. Take a big forkful of this pasta because the comforting taste of the vegan basil pesto will fill your belly with nutrients and love.
vegan basil pesto pasta
- 3 heads broccoli (chopped)
- 1 tsp avocado oil
- pinch of salt
dairy free pesto
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup olive/avocado oil
- 1/2 lemon (juiced) (~2 Tbsps)
- 1 tbsp brown rice miso paste
- 1 heaping cup basil
- 1 heaping cup spinach
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- pinch sea salt
- 3-4 tbsp pasta water (added at end, to thin sauce)
- 340 g fettuccine pasta of choice (I used GF Barilla brand)
- 1 cup cremini mushrooms (finely chopped into one cup)
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Chop the broccoli into small florets and toss in 1 tsp of oil and a pinch of sea salt. Place on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
- While the broccoli is roasting, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling add your desired amount of pasta.
- Heat a small saucepan over medium heat, add 1-2 tsp of oil. Finely chop the mushrooms and sauté until browned. Set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, the broccoli roasting and the mushrooms sautéing, prepare the pesto. Add all of the pesto ingredients, except the pasta water into a food processor. Blend until smooth. Scrape down the sides as you go.
- Once the pasta is done, add 3-4 tbsp of the pasta water to the pesto, to thin the sauce out. Pesto should be thin yet creamy.
- Drain the water from the noodles and add the noodles back to the pot. Add in the mushrooms and broccoli to the pasta and pour in the pesto sauce. Toss to combine.
- Add all ingredients together in a clean food processor. Blend until grainy texture (similar to real parmesan) has formed.
- Top pesto pasta with the parmesan. Pasta is best enjoyed when fresh.