What do you do when you’re craving a rich and creamy pasta with a particular summer-like sensation? It’s really a no-brainer. You make a beautiful green batch of our walnut pesto pasta, pronto! Fantastically fresh, vibrant, and as enjoyable for the eyes as it is for the stomach.
The combination of fragrant, shiny basil leaves with crumbly, nutty walnuts makes for an incredibly flavorful pesto sauce that’s out of this world! Pour in a half of a cup of smooth, golden olive oil and a pound of your favorite pasta and you’ve got yourself a truly mouthwatering meal. You’ll not only impress your guests, but your taste buds as well!
Do you know why we think this pesto pasta recipe is so perfect for a luscious lunch or delightful dinner? Keep reading to find out more!
You might be skeptical about this recipe because it’s made with walnuts instead of pine nuts (which are traditionally used in pesto). We chose walnuts because they’re much less expensive than pine nuts (which can cost 4x or 5x more than other nuts). But guess what? This pesto tastes almost exactly the same as pesto made with pine nuts.
Don’t believe us? Just give it a try. We’ve served this to many pesto lovers and many non-vegans and it always gets rave reviews. Many people have shared that they actually like it better than their favorite pesto.
Walnuts not only resemble a human brain in shape and texture (have you ever noticed this?), but they also provide our bodies with so many much-needed essential nutrients such as:
They also promote healthy bacteria growth in your gut, which can help with reducing inflammation and heart disease risk. Plus, they taste absolutely yummy with their buttery, nutty flavor and are a super portable, satisfying snack. Now you have even more reason to try this walnut pesto pasta recipe!
Basil is one of the best herbs for a beginner because it’s easy to grow and also bursting with antioxidants such as lutein, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin. All of these are amazing for eye health and reducing oxidative stress.
The bright green, rounded leaves have a strong, attractive scent and are grown with more than 60 unique varieties. Did you know that basil is actually native to India, Asia, and Africa, but it mostly associated with Italian and Thai-inspired dishes?
Five most common varieties of basil (with the Latin name of Ocimum basilicum) are Sweet Basil (with a slight licorice-clove flavor), Greek Basil (strong scent, but mild taste), Thai Basil (used in Thai cuisine with an anise-licorice profile), Cinnamon Basil (native to Mexico and wonderful with legumes or spicy veggies), and Lettuce Basil (again having a licorice flavor, but also large, soft wrinkly leaves).
Now that you know all the good things about walnuts and pesto, let’s dive in and see how easy it is to make!
Place all of the walnut pesto ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. That’s it!
Pasta meals are usually pretty pleasant on their own, but there are ways to plump up the portions or pump up the already amazing flavor. Here are some of our favorite tips:
Any pasta leftovers can be placed in a covered container and placed in the refrigerator. They should last for up to 5 days. When re-heating, add a tablespoon of water (or, better yet, more pesto sauce) to the mix, stir well, and cook until heated through. Either 1-2 minutes in the microwave or about 5 minutes over medium/low on the stovetop would work. Sprinkle on a few more chopped walnuts, if you wish.
Leftovers can also be frozen for up to 2 weeks if placed in an airtight, freezer-safe container. You can store them in glass containers or you can even use a Stasher bag for this––the mega bag size is so handy and you can reheat right in the bag itself!
If you try this Walnut Pesto Pasta recipe, let us know what you think by leaving a comment and rating below! Be sure to follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Fa
Walnut Pesto Pasta recipe Michelle Cehn & Toni Okamoto shared from The Friendly Vegan Cookbook. Photos by Zhoro Apostolov. Article written by Gina House and edited by Amanda Meth. Please note that this article contains affiliate links to help support our work at World of Vegan!