This flavourful vegan parsley walnut pesto is simple to make and full of fresh nutritious greens and contains omega 3. This recipe also includes a 4 serving pasta measurement to make a quick and nutritious weekday dinner. Makes approximately 1 ½ cups of pesto.
Parsley: more than a garnish
Several years ago I nurtured a second hand parsley plant which didn't fair so well after transplanting. It eventually went to seed and became mulch.Â The following year, several volunteer parsley plants were popping up higgledy-piggledy in my gardens.
My gardens are now full of volunteer Italian parsley plants each year. This is a good thing because parsley is both flavourful and nutritious (and apparently quite easy to grow).
Parsley is a plant native to the Mediterranean which has become naturalized to herb gardens and windowsills around the world. Italian flat leaf and French curly are the two most popular and widely consumed varieties with the latter being my personal favourite.
This versatile flowering herb is high in Vitamin A, C, K, and contains folate and potassium. Bottom line, parsley deserves more than 'garnish status'.
Not all Pesto Needs Basil
I love to prominently feature parsley in salads, smoothies and, in this case, pesto slathered over rigatoni noodles (my favourite). This recipe for vegan parsley walnut pesto also contains spinach for additional nutrition.
Traditional pesto is made from basil, pine nuts (or pignoles), Parmesan cheese and olive oil. However, a quick search will tell you that pesto can be made any number of ways.
This pesto is the most beautiful shade of green thanks to spinach and parsley. Parmesan cheese is replaced with nutritional yeast for that classic pesto flavour without dairy. Overall this recipe makes a flavourful, nutritious, dairy-free and versatile pesto youâ€™ll love, especially if youâ€™re not such a fan of traditional basil pesto like myself.
This recipe is
- Easy and quick to make
- Flavorful and nutritious
What you'll need
The ingredient list is simple and contains 7 fairly easy to find items.
- fresh parsley
- fresh spinach
- raw unsalted walnut halves
- sea salt
- olive oil
- nutritional yeast
- dried pasta of choice (if you want to make this a meal)
You will also need the following equipment
- 6 cup food processor or high speed blender
How to make this recipe
This recipe comes together very quickly. Simply add all the ingredients to the bowl of a 6 cup food processor and blend until the mixture is fairly smooth. I prefer my pesto not entirely smooth, however, blend it to your liking.
It's important to make sure all your parsley and spinach are washed in clean running water, especially if they are purchased from your local grocer- often times spinach and parsley are grown in sandy soils which can cause grit to make its way onto the leaves and stems of their plants. You want to make sure any grit is washed away!
Vegan parsley walnut pesto is great on cooked pasta (obviously) and i've included measurements for that below. This recipe is also wonderful on toast, mixed into chickpeas or white beans, or added to soups or salads or on pizza.
- The pesto is gluten free, however use gluten free pasta if need be.
- Avocado oil, grape seed oil or any neutral flavoured liquid oil can be used in exchange for olive oil.
- Almonds can be used in equal measure instead of walnuts, just be sure to blend it a little longer to ensure there are no large pieces of almonds.
- If you prefer your pesto thinner, add a few extra tablespoons of oil while blending- adjust it to your liking.
- Spinach can be replaced with baby kale in equal measure, although this will make it more "green" tasting.
Make-ahead and Storage
This pesto will last covered in the fridge for 3-4 days, however it is best fresh. Moreover, it can be doubled and frozen in freezer safe containers in small batches for up to 1-2 months. Defrost any portions covered in the fridge prior to use, or toss it frozen into hot pasta with a bit of the pasta water and stir until it is melted and coats the pasta evenly.
Note that the bright green colour made dull slightly after a few days in the fridge.
More recipes like this
If you love my parsley walnut pesto, be sure to check out these recipes!
Green Goddess Sandwich with Creamy Herb 'Mayo'
Smoky Chickpea Tuna Salad [vegan & gluten-free]
Crunchy Apple Kale Slaw with Balsamic Tahini Dressing & Almond 'Parmesan'
Spring Pesto Pizza With Spelt Flour Dough from Baked the Blog
Vegan Parsley Walnut Pesto Pasta
An easy, fresh and flavourful pesto made with parsley, spinach and walnuts! This vegan parsley walnut pesto can be slathered on rigatoni noodles (or your favourite pasta), or used on toast, chickpeas or however you like to use pesto. Makes ~1 ½ cups of pesto.
- 2 cups (75g) fresh parsley washed
- 1 cup (40g) fresh spinach washed
- Heaping ⅓ cup (50g) raw walnut halves unsalted
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 clove garlic peeled
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 350 g rigatoni pasta uncooked (or pasta of choice)
In a food processor, or high speed blender, combine all ingredients except the pasta, and blend on high until well combined and the mixture reaches a fairly smooth puree. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides to ensure everything is incorporated evenly.
Cook pasta as per package directions, drain and then place back in the cooking pot. Stir in the pesto and serve.
The pesto will last covered in the fridge for 3-4 days. This recipe can also be doubled and frozen in freezer safe containers in small batches for up to 1-2 months.
You can make this for me anytime xo
Heidi Richter says
This is exactly the kind of pasta bowl I could fall in love with. Simple and beautiful!
Heidi Richter says
I'm so glad you like it, Karen 🙂 Let me know if you give it a try!
Oh my word. This is so delicious! I am enjoying it at this very moment. Thank you!
Heidi Richter says
Ah, you are so welcome! I'm so happy to hear that you love it, Amy 🙂
This awesome recipe was chosen to be featured on my blog with your permission--I loved your recipe for Rigatoni with Parsley Walnut Pesto! Stay tuned for publishing info!
Heidi Richter says
Thank you so much, Heidy!
Fashion Styles says
great recipe altogether, you simply gained a brand new reader.