This easy vegan pesto pasta with cranberries comes together in just 15 minutes. The red and green together make it festive in the winter; however, it’s great all year round!
Whether you are looking for a quick dinner for yourself or a dish to take to a party, this easy vegan pesto pasta with cranberries is the perfect dish!
One of the hardest parts about being vegan or dairy (Insert other allergen or way of eating here) is that you can’t enjoy some of the same things you did before making the switch.
This vegan pesto recipe hits every note of deliciousness that you love in a pesto while also being a completely dairy free and vegan pesto sauce.
Our vegan spinach and walnut pesto pasta with cranberries recipe has just 10 ingredients in it and comes together in just 15 minutes.
We do use a food processor for this recipe but you could also use a high powdered blender, but no other fancy type of equipment is needed.
Honestly, if you had a bunch of time on your hands you could even just make this with a mortar and pestle. But I’m sure most prefer the 5 minute way though.
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WHAT INGREDIENTS DO YOU NEED TO MAKE VEGAN PESTO PASTA WITH CRANBERRIES?
In order to make a dairy free pesto pasta recipe, you only need 10 ingredients.
While a traditional pesto recipe uses basil and pine nuts, we truly love this spinach and walnut pesto recipe.
Walnuts and spinach are a great alternative to pine nuts and basil, mainly because of the cost.
The ingredients that you need are:
- Dairy Free Parmesan Cheese (click link for our homemade version or use store bought)
- Olive Oil
- Lemon Juice
- Pasta Noodles
- Dried Cranberries
HOW DO YOU MAKE VEGAN PESTO PASTA WITH CRANBERRIES?
You may or may not think that making a dairy free pesto is going to be hard or that you don’t have enough time. I’m here to tell you that you it’s not hard and you do have time to do it.
If you are looking for a really quick and simple dinner idea, this one can be made in under 15 minutes. Truth.
Start by bringing a pot of salted water to boiling. Once boiling add your pasta. We used rigatoni in the photos, but any pasta will work. Choose your favorite.
Add all your ingredients into a food processor, except the dried cranberries and blend well, scrapping down as necessary.
When your pasta is cooked, drain it.
Stir in the pesto sauce until well combined and then add in the dried cranberries. Top with more vegan parmesan if desired. Serve.
*Note: If you truly want a smooth texture, you may be better off using a high powdered blender as it gets much more smooth and creamy.
Can I prep this vegan pesto pasta with cranberries ahead of time?
This recipe only takes 15 minutes total to come together, but you may want to prep it ahead.
Cooked pasta is always best fresh, so our recommendation would be to prep ahead the pesto and store in an air-tight container for up to 5 days before serving. Then, the day you want to serve just make your pasta and serve.
Can you reheat vegan pesto pasta?
Yes you can. Sometimes it dries out a little bit and our recommendation would be to drizzle a little olive oil over it before heating, then stir together.
Can this vegan pesto pasta be Top 8 Allergen Free?
While this is a dairy free and vegan pesto sauce, it is not nut free, because of the walnuts, therefore we can’t classify this as a Top 8 allergen friendly recipes.
If you do have a nut allergy, you could sub the walnuts for sunflower seeds, altogether this would be a different taste.
Make sure to use GF pasta to make gluten free!
What other ways could I use this vegan pesto sauce?
When we posted our original vegan pesto post it wasn’t even to make as a pasta. There are so many ways to use beyond just pasta.
Other ways you could use pesto is:
- Spread it on toast as serve with any type of other pasta dish
- Use it in place of marinara sauce on your next dairy free pizza
- Enjoy as the condiment on your next deli sandwich
- Add a bit more olive oil and turn it into a salad dressing
- Use it as a dip with chips
Pin this vegan pesto pasta with cranberries for later:
Vegan Pesto Pasta with Cranberries
- 1 lb pasta (we used rigatoni in the photos, any will work)
- 2 cups spinach
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese (click link for homemade or use store bought)
- 3 tbsp olive oil (more if needed 1 tsp at a time)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries (more as desired)
- Optional: More Vegan Parmesan for topping
- Start by bringing a pot of salted water to boiling. Once boiling add pasta and cook according to instructions.
- Add all remaining ingredients, except dried cranberries, into a food processor or high powdered blender.
- Blend, scraping down as necessary, until desired consistency.
- When pasta is cooked, drain it.
- Stir in the pesto sauce until well combined and then add in the dried cranberries.
- Top with more vegan parmesan if desired. Serve.