Pesto is possibly the king of simple sauces. Usually containing only 4-5 ingredients blended together, no cooking required, and good on everything, pesto deserves its popular status! Unfortunately, in order to achieve the creamy, comforting style pesto that we sometimes want, it requires a LOT of oil and a LOT of cream!
This recipe is inspired by my stepmother-in-law! She served this incredible pesto pasta and then shocked me with the news that despite being creamy and seemingly cheesy, it was completely vegan!
I couldn’t remember half of the recipe that she gave me, so I improvised and added my own spin! This round, I decided to make a non-vegan variation because I wanted to add a complete protein, but I’ll definitely be trying this again without meat. You can also choose to use parmesan cheese instead of nutritional yeast if you aren’t vegan and prefer it!
For those on 80 day, this meal comes with the bonus of having creamy avocado AND an option to have that cheesy flavour. You also don’t have to worry about limiting how much pesto you use as there is only 1 tsp of oil per serving! YUM!
Alternative options for toppings include roasted red peppers, mushrooms, shrimp, cottage cheese, peas or chickpeas (for vegan protein), or turkey bacon. Enjoy!!
Sun-Dried Tomato Kale Pesto Pasta
Whether you make this vegan or not, this is a perfect comfort food!
- 8 oz whole wheat spaghetti cooked, 1/2 cup water reserved
- 1 avocado pitted and peeled
- 2-4 tbsp fresh basil leaves
- 2 cups kale fresh or frozen
- 3 garlic cloves peeled
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp nutritional yeast to taste (or 3 tbsp parmesan cheese)
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes or less if you prefer
- pinch salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup grape tomatoes sliced lengthwise
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes chopped
- 3 cups diced chicken breast 1-2 breasts depending on size (optional)
- paprika salt, and pepper to taste
- 2 tsp olive oil