Home » Pesto Pasta Recipe (Delicious & Vegan)

Pesto Pasta Recipe (Delicious & Vegan)

Pasta plated and garnished on grey plates on a wooden underground

Pasta pesto can be just the best. If you aren’t in the mood for extensive cooking action, this simple recipe makes a delicious meal in minutes. It is so simple and quick to bring together, making it a staple dish for many people for a good reason. Sometimes, it’s all I crave as well. A delicious pesto pasta will satisfy you in minutes.

Like with many of these simple recipes, there are levels to pesto pasta. Today, I like to recommend a few little twists to bring this dish to the next level! For this, I am using a homemade herb pesto, which I made with fresh herbs from my grandparents’ garden. While it is more work to go with homemade pesto, it gives you so many opportunities for customization. I still had a big glass of pesto in my fridge, so this was a quick and spontaneous cook, just like pesto pasta is supposed to be!  

Ingredients for Pesto Pasta: 

Ingredients for pasta pesto in little ceramic bowls, with spaghettis lying next to them
  • Pasta of choice (I used spaghetti)
  • Pesto of choice (see instructions on how to make delicious herb pesto here) 
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

You can make this dish with only pasta and pesto, but I find that including just a few more ingredients makes the difference. For vegan pesto pasta, adding some nutritional yeast can emulate parmesan flavor, giving the dish some fantastic extra depth. Depending on your pesto, it can be nice to add a sip more olive oil. It will make the dish creamier and give a delicious kick when used for plating. For pasta, I went with classic spaghetti today, but other kinds are great as well. For example, you could also use fusilli to give the pesto more surface to stick to. Regarding the pesto, I went with my delicious homemade herb pesto today. You can see how to make it here: Mixed herb pesto recipe

Finished mixed herb pesto in a jar, with herbs for decoration

Pesto Pasta Recipe: 

Making pesto pasta is super simple. We need to cook the pasta to shy of al dente and finish it in a quick sauce with the pesto in the pan. It will taste way better than simply cooking the pasta and mixing it with pesto! 

Firstly, cook your pasta according to the package instructions. Salt the water and cook the pasta in boiling water. I like to use a bit less water than recommended to cook my pasta today: I find that extra starchy pasta water helps to make the most delicious, creamy sauce later! 

Once the pasta is just shy of reaching al dente, add 1-2 ladlefuls of the pasta water to a pan, and dissolve your pesto. Transfer the pasta to the sauce, and finish cooking it in the pan. You can add some more pasta water when needed. 

Finished pesto pasta with a creamy sauce in a stainless steel pan

When the pasta is al dente, check for seasoning, and add salt and pepper as needed. For more depth and creaminess, add some of the nutritional yeast and olive oil and incorporate it into the sauce.  

You should now have a deliciously creamy, saucy pasta. That’s a huge difference compared when the pesto is just mixed with the pasta. 

To plate the dish, add some pasta to a plate. Add a few additional spoonfuls of sauce, and dress the pasta with it. You can use some of the reserved olive oil, nutritional yeast, black pepper, and sea salt to finish the dish! Using some fresh herbs to garnish can be a nice touch as well. 

This pasta never gets boring to me, if prepared like this. Now, there is nothing left to do but enjoy this delicious dish! 

Some more Recipe Inspirations you might Enjoy: 

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Pasta plated and garnished on grey plates on a wooden underground

Pesto Pasta Recipe (Delicious & Vegan)

Check out this recipe on how to make the most delicious pesto pasta. With a few techniques tricks, you can take this quick budget recipe to the next level!

  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale

100g pesto

200g pasta

6 tbsp olive oil (optional)

3 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Salt & pepper to season

Instructions

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Salt the water and cook the pasta in boiling water.

Once the pasta is just shy of reaching al dente, add 1-2 ladlefuls of the pasta water to a pan, and dissolve your pesto. Transfer the pasta to the sauce, and finish cooking it in the pan. You can add some more pasta water when needed. 

When the pasta is al dente, check for seasoning, and add salt and pepper as needed. For more depth and creaminess, add some of the nutritional yeast and olive oil and incorporate it into the sauce.  

To plate the dish, add some pasta to a plate. Add a few additional spoonfuls of sauce, and dress the pasta with it. You can use some of the reserved olive oil, nutritional yeast, black pepper, and sea salt to finish the dish! Using some fresh herbs to garnish can be a nice touch as well. 

Notes

The final outcome of the dish depends a lot on what pesto you use. I made this dish with delicious homemade mixed herb pesto!

I like to cook the pasta with a bit less water than usual, to have starchier pasta water. This helps to make the sauce extra creamy. 

  • Author: Ivo
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Main, Dinner
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Pesto Pasta, Pasta Pesto, Vegan Pesto Pasta

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