Vegan Pesto Pasta Primavera
This vegan pesto pasta primavera is easy to meal prep on Sunday for tasty lunches and dinners all week long!
I obviously love cooking. But like everyone else, I get burnt out during the week and frequently lack the motivation to make a nice dinner after a long day of work.
This is why meal prep is so important. On those nights when I don’t feel like cooking, it’s helpful to have ingredients ready to go that I can toss together for an easy meal.
This Vegan Pesto Pasta Primavera is one such meal.
On Sunday, I prep all of the ingredients.
I’ll make a big batch of my vegan pesto (usually about double the recipe below), to use for the pasta and for salads and sandwiches throughout the week.
This pesto is so easy to make. You just throw everything in a blender or food processor and give it a whirl. I’ve been enjoying using fresh basil from my herb garden to make it lately.
The recipe calls for nutritional yeast, which is a nutty seasoning used to add a cheesy flavor to vegan dishes. Depending on the brand, it’s often fortified with a bunch of vitamins and minerals too — which is great for those on a predominantly plant-based diet, who have to be conscious about getting their vitamin B12.
It’s optional though, so you can totally leave it out if you don’t have it or simply don’t like the taste.
After I’ve got the pesto made, I roast the veggies. I’ll also cook some sweet potatoes and beets while I’m at it to use in other meals during the week.
Lastly, I’ll cook the pasta. You can use any pasta you like for this, but using a bean-based pasta will add extra protein to the meal if you feel you need it. I’d recommend chickpea pasta or green lentil pasta.
Sometimes we’ll eat this for dinner on Sunday night, then save the remaining two portions for leftovers. Or, I’ll immediately package it up into four meals to use whenever I don’t feel like cooking.
Altogether, the whole thing only takes about 40 minutes.
This dish is easy to customize by swapping out your favorite vegetables for those listed here (although you may have to adjust the roasting time). You can also customize the recipe by adding different toppings like pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, or parmesan cheese.
- 2 cups basil, washed + destemmed
- ⅓ cup walnuts
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
- ¼-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil*
- Process all ingredients except the olive oil in a high-powered blender or food processor. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides as you go to make sure everything is incorporated.
- Slowly add the olive oil, streaming it in as you blend.
- Store pesto in an air-tight jar.
- 2 cups broccoli, chopped
- 2 cups bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 cups asparagus, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 box pasta, cooked according to package
- 1 cup vegan pesto
- pine nuts
- sun-dried tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Toss vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Place veggies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Roast for 30 minutes, tossing half-way through.
- While veggies cook, prepare your pesto and pasta.
- Toss pasta with pesto and top with roasted vegetables.
- Add optional additional toppings.
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Weigh in: Have you ever made homemade vegan pesto? Have you tried nutritional yeast?