This Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta is loaded with roasted red peppers, kale, fresh basil and lemon zest. A one-pot vegan dinner that is ready in 30 minutes!
It might be January. And we might all be on a healthier track. But sometimes you just need a bowl of pasta. Luckily this pasta is loaded with kale and roasted peppers so you get plenty of veggies in while also getting in some comfort food. Make your life even easier by using a pre-made vegan pesto. This will come together in just 30 minutes!
How to prep Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta
The prep for this pasta is beyond simple. Boil some water and cook the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, prep the remaining ingredients. That way everything will come together super quickly once the pasta is done.
To make your life easier, you can used jarred roasted red peppers and pre-made vegan pesto. Most stores carry vegan pesto these days – I like the one from Trader Joe’s. But if you want to make the pesto from scratch I have lots of pesto recipes. Check them out here, here & here.
How to finish Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta
Once you have everything combined in the pot, you can finish off this pasta with a few ingredients that will elevate this dinner from simple to fab.
I added the zest of one lemon, fresh basil and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. None of these things are 100% necessary, but I highly recommend all of the them. The zest gives the pasta some zing, the basil gives it some freshness and the paprika gives it some smokiness.
This really is a whole meal in one. You’ve got veggies, pasta and sauce. But you can also make this even more hearty by adding vegan chicken, roasted chickpeas or crispy cauliflower.
Need more recipe inspo? Check these out:
Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta
- 12 oz bow tie pasta
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot diced
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- salt & pepper to taste
- red pepper flakes optional
- 1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers sliced in strips
- 1/4 cup broth or pasta water
- 2 cups kale diced
- 1/4-1/2 cup vegan pesto
- 1/2-3/4 cup non-dairy half & half or non-dairy milk
- fresh basil
- lemon zest
- smoked paprika optional
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta (reserving some of the pasta water) and place the empty pot back on the stove over medium heat.
- Add the olive oil, shallot, garlic and a pinch of salt, pepper & red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the roasted red peppers and the broth (or pasta water). Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the kale and toss until it begins to wilt.
- Pour the hot pasta back in the pot along with the pesto and half & half. Toss to combine – adding more pesto and half & half to taste. Taste and add more salt & pepper as needed.
- To finish the pasta add the lemon zest, fresh basil and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.
- Serve with more fresh basil and red pepper flakes.
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