Light Vegan Spinach Pesto

I love basil pesto, but basil's one of those things that can be at the farmer's market one week and gone the next. Spinach, on the other hand, is always around. This light tasting vegan spinach pesto is a great alternative for those times when basil eludes you. This dish also features zucchini and broccoli, as well as cannellini beans for a fiber boost. Since this pesto is light, cherry tomatoes and artichokes would be really nice additions as well. Take this pasta to the park and enjoy dining al fresco before summer ends.

Ingredients (4 servings):

  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Pasta noodles of choice
  • Vegetables of choice


  • Blend spinach with olive oil in food processor until smooth. (You can do it in two batches if necessary).
  • Add garlic, walnuts, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, salt, black pepper, and blend until smooth. Add more olive oil if desired.
  • Set pesto aside while you prepare rest of dish.
  • Cook pasta al dente.
  • Lightly cook vegetables on medium heat - for about 3 minutes.
  • Toss pasta with pesto, vegetables, and beans.
  • Optional: If adding cannellini beans, soak beans overnight, and cook on low for 3 hours prior to making pesto.

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