A quick, delicious, Easy Gluten-Free Vegan Pesto Pasta recipe that can be ready and on the table in 10 minutes! A healthier dairy-free pesto with the rich flavors of olive oil, walnuts, fresh herbs, and spices will have you saying “good-bye” to boring pasta dinners!
One way to turn a box of pasta into a delicious meal…whip up some pesto! There are a ton of different ways to make a mean pesto. Essentially you just need some fresh herbs, oil, nuts, and cheese. The basic, iconic Italian pesto (of Genoa origin) is a blended mixture of basil, pine nuts, olive oil, and a hard parmesan cheese. I’m breaking tradition and swapping out ingredients to make this a delicious easy vegan (dairy-free) pesto we can all enjoy (over some gluten-free pasta, of course!)
Let’s start with the pine nuts, which are WAY expensive. They’re not only stupidly expensive, but they have a tendency to go rancid quickly. Since most people aren’t using pine nuts day in and day out (not a common nut, except for in pesto!), they get neglected and you end up wasting all the money you scrounged up for them. I decided some WALNUTS would be a great substitute. They are always soft and easy to blend up, plus they go great in a plethora of recipes of just for some healthy snacking. I’m also always trying to find more ways to “like” them, since they’re my lowest ranking favorite nut.
Second, we have that whole cheese dilemma…which is never actually a dilemma, is it? Not when we have ALL the nooch at our hands! You only need 2 tablespoons in this entire recipe too as all the flavors just build off each other and a little goes a long way. Nuts always have their own “cheesy” flavor, so with the addition of some nutritional yeast, you’re all set in that flavor department.
Then you need a quality olive oil. Something fresh and with depth. You can not make pesto with out a good quality extra virgin olive oil…don’t try. This is one recipe that NEEDS oil. The mix of the oils from the walnuts and the actual olive oil are just what you need. They help this fresh parsley and basil, I used, blend up to create the perfect aromatic vegan pesto, which literally took all of 2 minutes.
Of course, throwing in some minced garlic, lemon zest and juice, a nice shake of pepper, and some pasta water pulls everything together. A lighter, healthier pesto to dress your bland gluten-free pasta. I never ate much pesto pasta in my pasta eating years of younger times, so I don’t know exactly what I was missing when it comes to gluten-filled pasta and dairy-full pesto, but I don’t think I missed much! A little surprising though, as I grew up in an Italian family…regardless, I found a perfect solution for the here and now! No FOMO, right?
Easy Gluten-Free Vegan Pesto Pasta
- 1 8oz Box Gluten-Free Pasta (I used Rotini)
- Vegan Pesto:
- ½ Cup Tightly Packed Chopped Fresh Parsley
- 2 TB Chopped Fresh Basil
- ¼ Cup Chopped Walnuts
- ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 TB Pasta Water (reserved from cooking pasta)
- 2 TB Nutritional Yeast
- 1 TB Lemon Juice
- 1 Tsp Minced Garlic
- ½ Tsp Lemon Zest
- ¼ Tsp Black Pepper
- Cook the pasta according to box directions (about 8 minutes), drain (saving 3 tablespoons of the hot cooking water), and add the pasta back to the pot.
- To make the pesto, simply blend up all the ingredients until relatively smooth and saucy.
- Pour the pesto over the pasta in the pot and mix well to combine.
Super quick, easy, and delicious! What more could you ask for? As long as you can boil water and press a button on a food processor, you’re in business! This gluten-free vegan pesto pasta would make a great light dinner, side dish, or date night meal! Fancy without the hassle? Easy and fool-proof? Healthy and delicious? Check, check, and CHECK!
So tell me:
+ What’s your favorite way to use pesto? Pesto bread, perhaps?
+ What do you like to include in your pesto? Arugula is fabulous to add in too!
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