Summer calls for fresh and flavorful dishes, and my Pesto Pasta Salad is the perfect way to celebrate basil season while impressing your taste buds with the best damn pesto you’ve ever had – all while being vegan and dairy-free, but trust me, you won’t even notice!
And the secret ingredient that takes this pesto to the next level? Miso paste – the umami-rich seasoning that replaces the traditional Parmesan cheese and gives this dish a depth of flavor that will leave you craving more. For those who may be unfamiliar, umami is the fifth basic taste – alongside sweet, sour, bitter, and salty – and is often described as a savory or meaty flavor that adds depth and complexity to dishes.
It’s your year to be the pasta salad queen, and with my Pesto Pasta Salad recipe, you’ll be crowned the ruler of summer gatherings.
Summer lovin pesto pasta saladCourse: DinnerCuisine: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan
1 box of lentil pasta, cooked**
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Fresh cherry tomatoes, chopped
Fresh Arugula, handful
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 cups of packed basil
1 cup of kale or spinach, stemmed
2 tablespoons of almonds
2 tablespoons of walnuts
1 tablespoon miso paste
½ cup olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil + cook pasta according to the package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water and toss with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to keep it from sticking.
You’ll notice there are no vegetable measurements in this recipe. That is because this dish is up to you, maybe you’re making it pasta heavy, maybe you’re making it veggie heavy, toss in what feels good to you. There are no wrong answers.
- Make pesto
- Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed. Blend pesto until your desired texture is reached.
- Add cooked pasta, chickpeas, tomatoes, olives, cucumber and arugula to the bowl. Toss with pesto until coated and delicious. Add some Salt & pepper to taste. Top with pine nuts.
- **** I love lentil pasta as a grain free, gluten free alternative that packs a protein boosting punch to the meal! But use your pasta of choice. I wouldn’t recommend chickpea pasta for this dish as it can make it very dry and crumbly.