Vegan Pesto Pasta is my go-to dinner dish on busy nights. It comes together in a matter of minutes, and it's easy to customize your liking. This easy recipe is dairy-free with a gluten-free option.
Vegan Pesto Pasta
I know I've admitted this before, but I think it bears repeating. Sometimes even food bloggers don't want to cook. And sometimes we don't know what to cook when we head into the kitchen.
On days like those, I tend to reach for pasta. Because a), it's super easy to make, and b) it doesn't require much thought. I also like to keep pesto in my freezer for these occasions, so it's ready to go when I'm feeling uninspired.
I just heat up whatever veggies I have on hand and toss them into the pasta, and et voila, dinner is ready.
How to Make Vegan Pesto Pasta
This dish is so easy to make that sharing this recipe almost seems like cheating!
- First you cook the pasta according to the package instructions and then strain it. You toss the pasta with the pesto and set it aside.
- While the pasta is boiling, cook the onion in the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Then you add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for about 5 more minutes, until the mushrooms are soft and brown.
- Next you add the beans and sun-dried tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, until they're heated throughout.
- Finally, you combine the pasta and mushroom mixture and then top it with the sliced olives.
Cooking pasta is as easy as boiling water, but here are a few things to keep in mind.
- You should always salt your water. It adds a lot of extra flavor to your meal.
- If your pasta is wheat based, there's no need to rinse it. Rinsing will wash away some of the starches, and you want them to help the sauce cling to the noodles.
- If your pasta is gluten-free, you should rinse it to prevent the noodles from continuing to cook after it's been drained.
How to Customize your Pasta and Pesto
- I like to use my homemade arugula pesto in this recipe because it adds extra nutrients to the dish. If arugula isn't your thing, you can use spinach pesto, or store-bought dairy-free pesto. I like Gotham Greens Vegan Pesto.
- If you follow gluten-free diet, make sure your pasta is gluten-free.
- Pretty much any vegetable can be used in the place of mushrooms. I also like to use broccoli. Zucchini would be tasty, too.
- If you don't like sun-dried tomatoes, you can use sliced cherry tomatoes.
- Chickpeas can be used instead of of cannellini beans.
- Olives not your thing? Skip them!
- If you're feeling cheesy, top your pasta with walnut parmesan or cashew ricotta. (Or both!)
Pasta and Pesto
For the Pasta
- 8 ounces pasta
- 1 cup Arugula Pesto Spinach Pesto, or store-bought non-dairy pesto
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 8 ounces mushrooms sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes sliced
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- ⅓ cup kalamata olives sliced
- Cook pasta according to instructions, strain, toss with pesto and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat and cook the onions for about 5 minutes, until they begin to brown.
- Add the mushrooms, garlic, and a pinch of sea salt. Continue cooking the mushrooms until they’ve browned, about 5 to 7 more minutes.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes and beans and cook until they’re headed throughout, about another minute or two.
- Toss the mushroom mixture into the pasta. Top with the olives.