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Pesto pasta with tomatoes, peas, and basil in a white bowl, surrounded by tomatoes and arugala.
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4.34 from 15 votes

Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad

A Mediterranean diet inspired vegan pesto pasta salad that is loaded with veggies and tossed in a dairy-free walnut pesto sauce. The perfect dish to bring to summer parties and cookouts! 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time27 mins
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: vegan pesto pasta
Servings: 16
Calories: 195kcal

Ingredients

Vegan Walnut Pesto

  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt more to taste
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts

Pasta Salad

  • 1 pound rotini pasta I used GF brown rice + quinoa pasta
  • 1 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh baby arugula
  • 1/4 cup walnuts toasted and chopped
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil optional

Instructions

  • Make pesto sauce by adding arugula, basil, oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt in the bowl of a food processor and processing until smooth. Add the walnuts and pulse until the walnuts are ground to desired consistency. Set aside.
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Rinse with cool water and drain. Let pasta cool for about 5-10 minutes. Add pasta to a large salad bowl and toss with thawed peas, tomatoes, arugula toasted walnuts and olive oil. Add pesto, starting with ½ cup. Taste and add more pesto if you’d like. I like my noodles coated so I used all the pesto. Taste and season liberally with salt and pepper. Pasta salad can be served immediately, cold or at room temperature.

Notes

  • I wanted to keep the recipe dairy-free but if you’re a cheese lover (like my husband) this pasta salad is delicious with a little feta added.

Nutrition

Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g