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Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta

Updated September 9, 2022
This vegan pesto pasta recipe is deliciously creamy, and can be made oil-free by replacing the oil with water.
Total Time 15 mins
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a bowl of pesto pasta topped with hazelnuts

This creamy vegan pesto is one of my go-to recipes when I’m feeling a little lazy. It comes together so quickly and is packed with nutrients!

Why you’ll love this recipe

I just know you’ll love this recipe! It’s:

  • Made with just 9 ingredients
  • Healthy and flavoursome
  • The perfect quick and easy dinner!

How to make vegan pesto

Toast pine nuts in a frying pan until golden, then blend with basil, spinach, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Simples!

a jar of green vegan pesto

Notes on this recipe

  • Make sure you gradually add the water to avoid the pesto becoming too runny.
  • If serving with pasta, reserve some pasta water before draining the pasta, to toss through the pasta and sauce.
  • Nut free? Swap the pine nuts for toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds!
a bowl of pasta and a jar of vegan pesto


Is pesto vegan?

Pesto isn’t normally vegan, and sometimes isn’t even vegetarian, as it contains Parmesan cheese made from animal products. This homemade vegan version is still perfectly creamy thanks to the help of nutritional yeast. 

What can I do with leftover pesto?

I love adding pesto to wraps and sandwiches, or even on top of avocado toast. Best of all, pesto is the perfect homemade pizza topping!

Can you only make pesto with basil?

Basil is a key ingredient in pesto and my recipe uses a combination of half basil, half spinach for optimum flavour and nutrition.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, please leave a rating + review below and share your photos on Instagram tagging #shivanilovesfood!

More healthy vegan dinner recipes to try:

a bowl of pesto pasta topped with hazelnuts
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Vegan Pesto Pasta

This vegan pesto pasta recipe is deliciously creamy, and can be made oil-free by replacing the oil with water.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, vegan
Servings: 2
Calories: 335kcal
Author: Shivani Raja


  • 1 handful Fresh Basil
  • 1 handful Spinach
  • 2 tablespoons Pine Nuts
  • ½ clove Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast optional, for cheesy flavour
  • ¼ Lemon juiced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 4 oz/ 110 grams Fusilli Pasta to serve


  • Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the fusilli pasta for 10 minutes until tender.
  • Add the pine nuts to a frying pan over medium-low heat and gently toast for a few minutes until golden.
  • Add the spinach, basil, toasted pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a blender or food processor. Begin to blend then gradually pour in the water until the pesto reaches your desired consistency.
  • Drain the pasta and toss with the pesto sauce. Serve hot.

Shivani’s Tips

  • You can make this oil-free by replacing the oil with water, or add more oil for extra richness.
  • Leftover pesto can be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 2 days. 


Serving size: 1/2 recipe
Calories: 337 kcal | Fat: 13.9g | Saturated Fat: 1.6g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 306mg | Carbohydrates: 45.7g | Fiber: 4.1g | Sugar: 1.9g | Protein: 11.3g 

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram @shivani.lovesfood and use the hashtag #shivanilovesfood!

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2 thoughts on “Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta”

  1. 5 stars
    Made your pesto and used on your pizza. I’m new to this vegan eating, but your recipes are such a huge help in eating healthy. My husband who must have his meat is enjoying some of your dishes. Thank you so much for sharing.

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