During the summer months it can be difficult to know what to make for dinner. The heat can make the thought of any warm meal sound horrible even if it’s delicious. And let’s be honest, we can only eat so many salads for dinner. This is where this Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta comes in. It’s served either at room temperature or cold to avoid raising body temperatures while also giving you a bomb of flavor.
This recipe was super fun for me because the star ingredients were actually harvested from my garden. I love being able to use what I’ve grown to create yummy dinners and love even more that it doesn’t go to waste. For this recipe I harvested fresh basil and a big batch of cherry tomatoes. My basil plant was going crazy and flowering so it was great timing. I also couldn’t believe the size of my cherry tomatoes, they seem huge this year (although I’m not complaining in the least). It’s always a joy to head to the backyard instead of the grocery store for ingredients. I really need to get myself a producing lemon tree as that was one of the only items I had to purchase from the store for this recipe. That and avocados, but avocado trees take SO long to produce and I’m not sure how well it would do in our hot climate. I keep bugging the hubs to build me a greenhouse, but that probably won’t happen until at least the fall when it starts getting a little cooler.
I had some whole grain spaghetti on hand which I thought would be a great addition to this recipe. What’s great about it is that you basically throw everything in a blender or food processor while the pasta cooks and voila! Dinner is served. Simply mix whatever pasta you have on hand with your creamy pesto sauce, top with your favorite fresh veggies and your done. Seriously, it’s so fresh, so delicious and so easy it’s perfect for a summer evening meal. You could also use this with zoodles or other vegetable noodles for a low carb option, or mix it with some cooked quinoa for a protein punch.
I was fortunate enough yesterday to have time to make fresh bread for dinner to go with this pasta. I used my Easy French Bread recipe. It was perfect because I came home from work, started the dough, let it rise while I was at the gym and then was able to come back and finish it up. This pesto sauce is also delicious spread on bread and would be great for sandwiches or toast. I can’t wait for the weekend to have toast with a poached egg on top with this sauce, oh and of course some more tomatoes! I imagine this pesto would also do well on pizza, although I haven’t tried this avocado version like that yet (note to self, must try later). It should be mentioned that if you wanted to leave the avocado out for a lower fat option you totally could. However, keep in mind that the creaminess of this recipe does come from the avocado. If you were to leave it out it would still pack an intense pesto flavor it just would not have the same consistency. Overall, I really love this recipe and can’t wait for my basil plant to grow back so I can harvest more! I hope you enjoy it!
Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta
1 big bunch of basil leaves, washed and packed, about 2 cups
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Cherry tomatoes, quartered – I used about 20, you could also use large tomatoes for this or omit entirely if you don’t like tomatoes
Whole grain spaghetti – or whatever pasta you have on hand
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
- While pasta is cooking add all ingredients except cherry tomatoes and pasta to a blender or a food processor. Blend until smooth.
- Once pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse with cold water until you can handle the noodles without burning your hands.
- Add pasta to a large bowl and mix in pesto sauce gradually until you reach your desired consistency. Place remaining pesto sauce in a sealed container and place in the fridge for future use.
- At this point you can either add the tomatoes and stir them in like I did, or wait to top each individual serving with tomatoes.
- Serve with bread and vegan butter.
And there you have it! It’s literally one of the easiest dishes of the summer and tastes so fresh and delicious you’ll be craving it all year. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Until next time,