Vegan pesto pasta is a healthy and super satisfying dinner. The pesto is totally oil and nut free, and so rich and creamy!
Growing up in a family that’s part Asian, we always ate a lot of rice, and I absolutely loved it. To this day it’s the grain that totally takes me back to childhood, in the best way. We literally had it for dinner almost every night. Now I’m much more of a quinoa or lentil girl, but rice makes an appearance on special occasions. And if I’m feeling super fancy? Pasta.
There’s something about pasta that just feels special, more indulgent, and so satisfying. Maybe that’s because growing up we rarely went out to dinner, but when we did I always got pasta. But those pastas were nothing like the one you see in this little bowl!
The difference is, this pasta is made from lentils. Yep. LENTILS! And they make some with beans, too. I love lentils and beans so I hope you can sense my excitement that actual companies exist whose sole purpose is to make satisfying, hearty, pasta noodles completely from super healthy, fiber rich legumes.
This penne is made with red lentils, and you can find it in the pasta aisle at most big grocery stores. I feel like a lot of people overthink it when it comes to eating “healthy,” confused or overwhelmed by what or how to eat. This pasta is one of the most simple swaps you could ever make, because it cooks exactly the same as regular pasta, but it’s totally gluten free and full of countless health benefits from the legumes it’s based on. “Regular” pasta is a completely empty calorie, but no worries, pasta lovers. You can now enjoy your favorite little noodles with many health benefits, PLUS you can drown it in this nut free, oil free pesto!
I loooove pesto. The color, the flavor, consistency, everything. What I don’t love? Oil. Because it’s the most calorie-dense, nutrient-stripped food out there. Don’t even get me started on people preaching the health benefits of olive oil – just stop. Anyway, I wanted to make a rich, creamy pesto that’s totally nut and oil free! I have nothing against nuts, they’re a great healthy base for pesto, I just didn’t have any on hand and I’d been wanting to try a bean-based pesto for awhile.
The pesto is made of white beans for an ultra creamy, luxurious texture, fresh basil for color and flavor, nutritional yeast for a slightly cheesy flavor, lemon juice, and spices, to your taste. Chuck it all in the food processor and blend until super smooth and rich and amazing.
Feel free to make it your own when it comes to the amounts, here. You can add more or less nooch, lemon juice, and spices, all to your taste.
Cook up your pasta (I HIGHLY recommend a bean/lentil based noodle), mix in your pesto or just plop it on top, and you’re ready for a super satisfying, healthy dinner. I couldn’t get over the rich, creamy texture of the pesto, and the flavors of basil and cheesy nutritional yeast are pretty addictive. Perfect for a special, love-focused day coming up, perhaps? Just sayin.
Have a happy, healthy day, friends!
If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes/what you think! Take a picture and tag me @beamingbanana on Instagram. Happy baking!