Nutty Vegan Pesto Zucchini Pasta

September 17, 2020
Just in time for the end of the zucchini season, these pesto zucchini noodles are a satisfying and vegan alternative to typical pesto pasta dishes. Using fresh basil and a variety of nuts, the sauce is savory and satisfying and pairs well with a crisp zucchini.

Instead of parmesan cheese in traditional pesto recipes, this recipe calls for nutritional yeast as a plant-based alternative. It has a similar palate and consistency to cheese, especially when blended with nuts, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Pesto is also fairly smooth, and the cashew butter here helps make the paste creamy and balances out the bitterness from the basil.

Pre-spiralized zucchini noodles are fairly easy to find at the store, both fresh and frozen, but I find taking a few minutes to grate them yourself is worth the fresh taste. You can eat the zucchini noodles raw for a more al dente consistency, but I prefer to give them a quick cook in the pan to soften them so the whole dish melts in your mouth while the extra topping of almonds contrasts with a nice crunch.
vegan pesto zucchini pasta in a white bowl

Nutty Vegan Pesto Zucchini Pasta

Recipe Type: Detox Hearty Entrees
utensils YIELDS 1 serving
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  • 2 cups fresh basil with stems removed
  • 2 tbsp walnuts
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp smooth cashew butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp water
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 1.5 cups zucchini, spiralized
  • slivered almonds
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1. Add basil, walnuts, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, cashew butter, olive oil, water, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to a food processor or blender until a paste forms.

2. Using a spiralizer or peeler, grate zucchini into desired noodle shape.

3. Sauté noodles over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until they are softened and warmed through.

4. Let cool for 10 minutes, stir in preferred amount of pesto, and top with almonds.

Also by Addie: One-Bowl Vegan Carrot Pecan Bread

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Photo: Addie Zoller

Addie Zoller
An East Coast girl living in Los Angeles, Addie works in lifestyle and design PR. She enjoys hiking, swimming in the ocean, and rethinking her favorite recipes for ethical, sustainable, laid-back living. Keep up with her on Instagram @addiezoller.


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