Home » Recipes » Main Dish » Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta Recipe

Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta Recipe

February 27, 2018
This vegan pesto pasta recipe is deliciously creamy, and can be made oil-free by replacing the oil with water. Best of all, it's ready in 15 minutes!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Jump to Recipe Print Recipe
overhead shot of pesto pasta with hazelnuts

One of my favourite kitchen tools is my blender. I find myself reaching for the beloved kitchen gadget almost daily to prepare fruity smoothie bowlstasty vegan pancakes and perfectly creamy hummus. And today, friends, I would like to share with you my latest blender recipe: this creamy vegan pesto pasta. (Food processors are also permitted. But blenders > food processors and you know it.)

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 + dairy-free version is still perfectly creamy thanks to the help of nutritional yeast. 

overhead shot of vegan pesto pasta with basil and pesto jar

You know I love nutritional yeast. These deactivated yeast flakes have a subtle cheesy, nutty flavour whilst being healthy and nutritious. I mean, it is in the name 🙂

side-view of vegan pesto in a jar

Things to make with pesto:

A good idea is to prepare a double batch of this creamy pesto and use it in various dishes throughout the week. For example:

  1. Toss it through some pasta and serve hot for dinner or cold for packed lunches.
  2. Add it to your sandwiches and wraps! This adds extra flavour to your lunch without the need for shop-bought condiments which can be high in salt and saturated fats. Extra tasty points if you make your sandwich into a toastie.
  3. Use it as a pizza topping! Pesto pizza > tomato pizza.
  4. Put it on your avocado toast. This might sound a little out-there but trust me, it is super tasty. And super green – YAY!

Can you only make pesto with basil?

A variety of greens work well in pesto! Some of my favourite choices are spinach, kale, and of course basil. I prefer to use a 50/50 mix of spinach and basil in this recipe. The basil adds a gorgeous aroma and that classic pesto-flavour, whilst spinach makes the pesto a gorgeously bright green.

overhead shot of vegan pesto in a jar

Spinach is a nutritionally dense leaf. This green is high in iron, which is an important constituent of the protein haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen in the bloodstream to feed respiring cells with this vital gas. In summary, eat spinach and your cells will be very happy 🙂

I do hope you make this super quick and easy recipe (not to mention tasty!) If you, do tag me on Instagram @shivanilf – I love seeing creations! Also keep updated on the latest vegan recipes by following along on Pinterest and Facebook – I look forward to seeing you there!

More healthy vegan dinner recipes to try:

overhead shot of pesto pasta with hazelnuts
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Vegan Pesto Pasta

This vegan pesto pasta recipe is deliciously creamy, and can be made oil-free by replacing the oil with water. Best of all, it’s ready in 15 minutes!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, vegan
Servings: 2
Calories: 259kcal
Author: Shivani Raja


  • 2 handfuls Greens I used half basil, half spinach
  • 2 tablespoons Hazelnuts or pine nuts/walnuts
  • 1/2 clove Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast optional, for cheesy flavour
  • 1/4 Lemon juiced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 100 grams Fusilli Pasta to serve


  • Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta for 10 minutes until tender.
  • Meanwhile, add the greens, hazelnuts, garlic, olive oil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a blender or food processor along with 2 tablespoons of water. Blend until creamy and thick.
  • 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.
  • I like to blend my pesto until its creamy and almost-smooth, but if you like a chunkier texture blend it a little less. Double check for no large lumps of garlic!
  • Any leftover pesto can be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for a few days.
  • Life hack: make a DOUBLE batch of this pesto pasta on the weekend and pack the leftovers for lunch!

Did you make this recipe?

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

Pin for Later:

overhead shot of pesto pasta with hazelnuts
Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2018 Shivani Raja

Let's get social!

Follow me to keep updated with all things SLF!

Subscribe for more

2 thoughts on “Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta Recipe”

  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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Free Smoothie eBook!


Subscribe to download your free smoothie ebook featuring a recipe for every day of the week!