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Vegan pesto pasta on a white plate with cherry tomatoes

Vegan Pesto Pasta

This vegan Pesto Pasta is tossed with sautéed summer squash, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes for a light and refreshing dinner that can be enjoyed all summer long.
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 447kcal
Author: Sarah McMinn


Pesto Pasta

  • 1/2 lb fusilli pasta
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4" rounds
  • 1 medium summer squash, sliced into 1/4" rounds
  • 1 heaping cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, optional

Basil Pesto


  • Bring 2 quarts of water to boil and add fusilli pasta. Cook, uncovered, for 7-9 minutes until pasta is al dente. Remove from heat, strain through a colander, and set aside. 
  • While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, reduce heat to medium and add summer squash, zucchini, and tomatoes. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until zucchini and squash have cooked all the way through and tomatoes have begun to burst open. Remove from heat.  
  • While vegetables are sautéing, place all the ingredients for the basil pesto EXCEPT the olive oil, in a food processor and blend until smooth. With motor running, slowly add the olive oil until it's completely incorporated.  
  • With the vegetables still in the skillet, add pasta and pesto and stir together.  Serve immediately with toasted pine nuts and fresh basil (optional). 


Serving and Storing - Serve the pasta immediately with fresh basil and roasted pinenuts. Store leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, gently reheat the pasta over the stove with 1-2 tablespoons of water. Store leftover pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. You can also freeze pesto for up to six months. To freeze pesto, freeze it in ice cube trays. Once the pesto is frozen solid, transfer the cubes to a ziplock bag. When ready to use, just add the pesto to your pasta or vegetables to heat.
Recipe Tips 
  1. Strain the noodles when they are al dente. That means they still have a subtle bite to them. If the noodles are too soft, they will fall apart when mixed with the remaining ingredients.
  2. It is best to toss the pasta in the oil as soon as the noodles are strained and rinsed in cold water. The oil prevents the pasta from clumping together as it cools. 
Variations - Feel free to make this pasta recipe gluten-free. Just swap out the fusilli for any gluten-free pasta. This is my favorite brand of gluten-free pasta.


Calories: 447kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 299mg | Potassium: 504mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 260IU | Vitamin C: 17.8mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 3.2mg