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Vegan Pesto Pasta

This Vegan Pesto Pasta is a symphony of flavors - fresh basil, peppery arugula, tangy sun dried tomatoes and sweet, buttery pine nuts. As a bonus, you can make this impressive meal in just 30 minutes from start to finish!
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 520kcal
Author: Sarah McMinn


Arugula Pesto



  • Fill a large pot with at least 6 cups of salted water and place over medium-high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir in pasta. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally until pasta is cooked all the way through. Strain through a colander and set aside.
  • While pasta is cooking, make the arugula pesto. Combine basil, arugula, macadamia nuts, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and garlic cloves in a food processor and pulse for a minute, scraping down the sides as needed. With the motor running, slowly add in the olive oil. Blend well. Salt to taste.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add tomatoes, garlic, and pine nuts, stirring frequently until garlic is fragrant and pine nuts have begun to brown. Remove from heat and stir in pasta and pesto, until the pasta is evenly coated. Stir in fresh arugula and serve immediately.


Serving & Storing - For best results, serve the pasta immediately after tossing with pesto and arugula. Any assembled pasta leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. When you reheat the pasta, toss in an extra handful of arugula to recreate a bit of the brightness! If you have any leftover pesto, cover with a thin layer of olive oil and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
Recipe Tips
  1. Salt your pasta water! You only get one chance to make sure your pasta is seasoned, so make sure to take the opportunity. Pasta cooking water should taste about as salty as sea water for best results.
  2. If you plan on having leftovers, save a handful of arugula. When you reheat the leftovers, I find that you can replicate the look and taste of the first bite if you have freshly wilted arugula woven throughout.
  3. Have leftover pesto? Cover it with a thin layer of olive oil before popping it in the fridge. The oil will prevent air from touching the pesto, which will help to keep the basil from oxidizing and turning brown. Refrigerated pesto covered with oil in this manner should last between 1-3 weeks in the refrigerator.
  4. You can also easily freeze leftover pesto to keep for up to 4 months! I highly suggest freezing it into ice cubes to make it easy to grab only what you need.


Calories: 520kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 56mg | Potassium: 1032mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 401IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 4mg