Vegan Creamy Pesto Pasta


I have been on a vegan kick lately! I’m not vegan but I find the recipes to be so creative, healthy and delicious. For instance, in this recipe the creaminess comes from pureed beans rather than gobs of cheese.

I recently started a meal service for my clients, so I’ve been super busy in the kitchen! I cooked this dish for a longtime client of mine who loves hearty foods but is trying to lose weight. As satisfying as this pasta tastes, it is extremely healthy and very low in fat and calories!

The casserole turned out beautifully and tasted extremely delicious! I was very happy to serve this low-calorie dish to my client.


Vegan Creamy Pesto Pasta

Yields 8 servings // Prep time 40 min // Cook time 50 -60 min

Pesto Ingredients: (You can also use store-bought pesto)

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 3 Tbsp walnuts
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Casserole Ingredients:

  • ½ package whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for 1 hour in water
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp white wine
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 19-oz can white kidney beans
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup roasted red bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • ½ cup grated vegan mozza cheese
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Additional salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine the garlic, nuts, salt, pepper and basil. Pulse until finely chopped.  With the food processor running, add the oil, water and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Place pesto in a covered bowl or container in the fridge until needed. You can also use store bought pesto instead.
  3. Cook pasta until al dente. Rinse with cold water and drain, set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, combine the cashews, milk, broth, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, wine and 1 cup of white beans. Blend until smooth.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the remaining beans, tomatoes, red pepper, spinach, milk mixture, pasta and pesto; toss to coat.
  6. Transfer to an oiled 8×8 inch baking dish. Smooth top and sprinkle with cheese, than evenly sprinkle the breadcrumbs and salt and pepper; drizzle with olive oil. Bake the casserole for 40 to 45 minutes or until the topping turns golden brown.
  7. Let cool for 10 to 20 minutes before serving.



  1. eatpraybake on April 30, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Everything from the pasta looks and sounds amazing! I am also drawn to vegan recipes because of the creativr aspect involved :) Wish i could take a bite.

    • April Murray on May 5, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      You will have to try this one out! It is fairly easy to make and it makes wonderful leftovers!

  2. Hannah (BitterSweet) on April 30, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Between the herbaceous, creamy sauce and wide variety of veggies, this recipe sounds like a real winner! It’s the perfect balance between healthy and hearty.

    • April Murray on May 5, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      Thank you Hannah! I was very happy with the results!

  3. deliciousinadash on May 1, 2014 at 5:34 am

    Yum! This looks so good – I can’t believe it’s vegan! I also love pureeing white beans to get a creamy sauce (although, I also love cheese) :)

  4. frankiesfeast on May 1, 2014 at 6:01 am

    This looks fantastic!! I love trying vegan and vegetarian recipes out to test my skills in the kitchen. Looks like this turned out beautifully!

    • April Murray on May 5, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      It did, thank you for your positive feedback! Much appreciate :)

  5. ripe red berries on May 1, 2014 at 8:53 am

    This looks amazing! I’m always on the lookout for new casserole recipes (especially ones with pasta) and this is a definite try! Plus, it’s vegan, not that I’m a vegan (vegetarian), but I do have a few vegan friends – great dinner party idea! Thanks for sharing!

  6. It's just my way on May 1, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Looks yammy. Thanks for the recipe. I’ll try to do this.

  7. LovesToFly on May 6, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Looks fab…seap in GF noodles and crumbs and I’m in business! Thanks for the visit and follow!

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