Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad

This pesto pesto salad is full of flavor and very simple and easy to make. This pasta salad can be enjoyed hot or cold and stores well as leftovers.

Looking for a picnic lunch or the perfect side dish? I got you. This vegan pesto pasta salad is ready in less than 20 minutes, contains few ingredients, and is oh so delicious.

vegan pesto pasta salad

If you couldn’t already tell by the countless pasta recipes on my blog, I love pasta. The number of pasta recipes are endless and I love getting creative with them, but simple dishes like a pesto tug at my heart strings.

This recipe is extremely simple and easy to make. It only requires 8 easy-to-find ingredients and less than 20 minutes of your time.

This pesto can be thrown together with some pasta noodles (such as with this dish), spread on toast or a sandwich, mixed into a dressing, and so much more.

vegan pesto pasta salad

How to Make Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad:

This is a simple, fuss-free recipe.

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, toast walnuts until fragrant and light golden brown.
  2. Add toasted walnuts to a food processor along with fresh basil, lemon juice and zest, nutritional yeast, garlic, and salt. Blitz until a coarse paste forms. Turn the food processor on to the low setting while slowly pouring in the olive oil. Process until the pesto is smooth and oil is incorporated.
  3. Transfer pesto to an airtight jar and store in the fridge.
  4. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water. Drain and add back to the cooking pot. For every 8 oz. pasta add 1/2 cup pesto and 2-3 tbsp of pasta water to break up the pesto into the sauce. Add more pesto as desired. Stir in cherry tomatoes.
  5. Serve pesto with freshly cracked black pepper.
vegan pesto pasta salad
vegan pesto pasta salad

Your ‘Pesto Pasta Salad‘ Questions Answered:

What are some common substitutions in this recipe?

Walnuts can be subbed for other nuts, such as cashews, pinenuts, pistachios, and almonds. For a nut-free version, try subbing sunflower or pumpkin seeds.

Unfortunately, I do not suggest an oil-free version for this recipe. Olive oil is what gives this pesto a rich flavor and creamy texture.

For a gluten-free version, sub pasta for a gluten-free pasta. My favorites are Banza (+ it has added protein) and Jovial.

What type of pasta should I use for this recipe?

My top favorite is bowtie or farfalle. Other favorites are penne and macaroni.

How do I store leftover pesto and pasta salad?

Store leftover pesto in an airtight jar, such as a mason jar. Store in the fridge for up to a week. Alternatively, you can freeze leftover pesto for up to 6 months.

Store leftover pasta salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

If you’re looking for more summer-friendly desserts, you’ll also love this Roasted Vegetable Penne Pasta, Creamy Avocado Pasta, and this Spicy Italian Chickpea Pasta.

Also, if you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram don’t forget to tag me @healthienut + #healthienut! I love seeing your mouthwatering recreations!


5 from 1 vote
vegan pesto pasta salad
Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad
Prep Time
8 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

This pesto pesto salad is full of flavor and very simple and easy to make. This pasta salad can be enjoyed hot or cold and stores well as leftovers.

Course: Main Course
Keyword: easy vegan dinner recipe, healthy pasta recipe, vegan pesto pasta salad
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Taavi Moore
Ingredients
Vegan Pesto
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 cups fresh basil, packed
  • Juice from 1 medium lemon
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
Pasta Salad
  • 8 oz. farfalle
  • ½ cup Vegan Pesto
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, toast walnuts until fragrant and light golden brown. 

  2. Add toasted walnuts to a food processor along with fresh basil, lemon juice and zest, nutritional yeast, garlic, and salt. Blitz until a coarse paste forms. Turn on the low setting on the food processor and slowly pour in the olive oil. Process until the pesto is smooth and oil is incorporated. 

  3. Transfer pesto to an airtight jar and store in the fridge. 

  4. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ¼ cup pasta water. Drain and add back to the cooking pot. For every 8 oz. pasta add ½ cup pesto and 2-3 tbsp of pasta water to break up the pesto into the sauce. Add more pesto as desired. Stir in cherry tomatoes. 

  5. Serve pesto with freshly cracked black pepper. 

Recipe Notes

Storage:

Store leftover pesto in an airtight jar, such as a mason jar. Store in the fridge for up to a week. Alternatively, you can freeze leftover pesto for up to 6 months.

 

Store leftover pasta salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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2 Comments

  1. August 30, 2021 / 6:00 am

    5 stars
    Thanks For Sharing this Amazing Recipe. My Family Loved It. I will be sharing this Recipe with my Friends. Hope They will like it.

    • healthienut
      Author
      September 2, 2021 / 9:51 pm

      I am so glad to hear you and your family enjoyed it. Thanks Helan!

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