Arugula pesto is easy and tastes great with pasta and tons of other green veggies. Serve this vegan dish at room temperature or hot. Either way, you'll love this vegan arugula pesto pasta meal prep!
Just look at this pasta dish. It's glowing with the promise good health! Admittedly, we don't do a whole ton around here with pasta, but this one, we can get behind big time. Can you even count how many different veggies are in there? No, because they're all green! We've done the counting for you for this healthy meal prep, so don't worry. Broccoli, zucchini, peas to start. You can fill in the rest for this vegan pasta meal prep.
What is Pesto?
Pesto is basically a sauce and it's traditionally made with basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and olive oil, but you can make pesto with any kind of green. Here we use arugula for a peppery bite, but you can also make pesto with carrot greens, parsley, or spinach. To make this vegan pesto, we use nutritional yeast for its nutty taste, to substittue the Parmesan, and walnuts add nutrition and are far less expensive than pine nuts for making pesto.
Vegan Arugula Pesto Pasta Meal Prep Ingredients
For the pasta . . .
- 8 oz pasta of choice
- 2 tsp. avocado oil, or oil of choice
- 2 cups sliced zucchini, halves or quarters
- 2 cups frozen green peas
- 4 cups broccoli florets, steamed or roasted
- 8 tbps. arugula pesto, or more to taste
For the arugula pesto . . .
- 1 cup lightly toasted walnuts
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 cups baby arugula
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
How to Make Vegan Arugula Pesto Pasta Meal Prep
All those ingredients for the pesto combine in the bowl of a food processor. Combine them and process until smooth. You cook the pasta according to package directions, save a little of the water to thin out the pesto if needed, and then cook the veggies, too in a skillet while the pasta cooks.
Substitutions and Alterations
Use whatever kind of pasta you like but we are partial to short and stubby types, such as this rotini. Penne, ziti, or campanelle would work. The short pasta is especially good if you decide to serve this as a cold or room temperature pasta salad. It's versatile.
Feel free to use any kind of plant-based gluten-free pasta here instead, such as a chickpea or quinoa based pasta.
How to Serve Arugula Pesto Pasta
Meal prep this for the week and it's good for 4 to 5 days. You can certainly reheat this healthy meal prep in the microwave, just keep an eye on it. The stovetop works well too. Either way, add a bit of water to the pasta (or olive oil) to make sure it does not dry out (microwave) or stick to the pan (stovetop).
You can freeze any leftover pesto. We love to use ice cube trays for this task, and then once the pesto is frozen into cubes, pop them out of the tray. Transfer to a zip-close plastic bag and label it with the contents and date. Then, when it's time to use it again, just take it out of the freezer and pop it right into the pot with cooked pasta. The heat from the pasta will defrost the pesto; just keep stirring until it's combined.
Tips for Vegan Arugula Pesto Pasta Meal Prep
You can make the pesto a day ahead of when you want to cook this meal and prep it for the week (or for immediate consumption!).
READ MORE: More Pasta! 20-Minute Chicken Lemon Broccoli Pasta Skillet!