Vegan Spicy Sausage Pesto Pasta
This Vegan Spicy Sausage Pesto Pasta is perfectly creamy, slightly spicy and totally filling. Loaded with greens to make it a complete meal.
Pasta, vegan sausage, pesto, fresh greens…what is not to like about all of that in one meal? Even better, this comes together in just 30 minutes. That is what I call the ultimate weeknight dinner!
To keep this quick and easy, I used pre-made pesto from Trader Joe’s. You could also make your own. I have plenty of homemade pesto recipes you can check out here. But if you can find a good pre-made pesto, I recommend going that route if you are short on time.
For the vegan sausage, I used my favorite spicy Italian flavor from Beyond Meat. But you could swap that for your favorite brand. You could also omit it altogether and use chickpeas or a hearty veggie instead.
To make this pasta extra creamy, I added a little bit of vegan cream cheese. I usually go for Trader Joe’s or Kite Hill vegan cream cheese – if you are looking for a good brand.
Lastly add in plenty of fresh greens right before eating. I decided on spinach, but you could do kale or arugula. I love adding greens to pasta – more veggies is always a plus in my book.
So, now you know all of the different ways you can adapt this Vegan Spicy Sausage Pesto Pasta to fit your taste, hop to the kitchen and get cooking!
Vegan Spicy Sausage Pesto Pasta
- 3/4 lb pasta I used linguine
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz vegan sausage I used Beyond Meat Italian Sausage
- 1 shallot diced
- 3 cloves garlic diced
- 1 jalapeño diced, deseeded if you are sensitive to spice
- salt & pepper to taste
- red pepper flakes optional
- 8 oz vegan pesto I used pre-made pesto from Trader Joe's
- 4 oz vegan cream cheese
- 2 handfuls baby spinach can be swapped with kale or arugula
- fresh basil optional, for topping
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the vegan sausage and crumble with a wooden spoon. Cook until slightly browned (3-5 minutes). Remove the sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Place the pan back on the stove – there should still be some oil leftover in the pan. Add the shallot, garlic and jalapeño and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to the pan and continue to cook, stirring frequently until everything is tender (2-3 minutes).
- Add the cooked pasta, pesto, cream cheese and a splash of pasta water to the pan and toss until the cream cheese is smooth and everything is coated evenly. Add the cooked sausage and the spinach to the pan and toss until the spinach is wilted. Taste and adjust salt & pepper as needed. You may need to add more pasta water as you are tossing the pasta.
- Serve the pasta with more red pepper flakes and fresh basil.
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