Can I also make pesto pasta salad vegan?

Naturally! If you love a delicious pesto pasta salad but also want to eat vegan, you've come to the right place. In this blog post we will discover together how you can easily and tasty replace the traditional ingredients of a pesto pasta salad with vegan alternatives. You'll be surprised how easy it is to maintain the flavor and texture of this beloved salad without making any compromises! Read on and be inspired.

Traditional ingredients of pesto pasta salad

A delicious pesto pasta salad is a favorite dish for many, but traditional ingredients such as basil, pine nuts, cheese and olive oil do not make this dish vegan. Let's take a closer look at these ingredients.


  • Traditional: In classic pesto, basil is used for its distinctive taste and aroma.
  • Vegan alternative: There are vegan pestos on the market that replace basil with other herbs such as coriander, parsley or arugula.

Pine nuts

  • Traditional: Pine nuts give pesto a nutty flavor and texture.
  • Vegan alternative: Sunflower seeds, cashews or walnuts can replace pine nuts in vegan pesto.


  • Traditional: Parmesan cheese provides the creaminess and umami flavor in pesto.
  • Vegan alternative: Vegan cheese alternatives based on cashew nuts, yeast flakes or soy can be used for a similar taste.

Olive oil

  • Traditional: Olive oil is essential to the texture and mouthfeel of pesto.
  • Vegan option: Olive oil is naturally vegan, but pay attention to the quality and origin for the best taste.

By knowing which ingredients in traditional pesto pasta salad are not vegan and choosing tasty substitutes, you can enjoy a delicious vegan version of this classic dish. Experiment with different brands and products to create your perfect vegan pesto pasta salad!

Vegan Alternatives to Pesto Pasta Salad

In this blog post, we'll explore several vegan alternatives to take your pesto pasta salad to the next level. If you follow a vegan diet or are simply looking for healthy and delicious options, you've come to the right place.

Use Cashews Instead of Cheese

  • Brand Recommendation: The brand 'De Nieuwe Band' offers high-quality organic cashew nuts that are perfect for making vegan pesto.
  • Cashews are great for creating a creamy texture and adding a nutty flavor to your pesto pasta salad.
  • Pre-soak the cashew nuts in water to soften them and then mix with basil, garlic, olive oil and salt for a delicious vegan pesto.

Nutritional yeast flakes for a cheesy taste

  • Brand Recommendation: Try 'Marigold Engevita Nutritional Yeast Flakes' for an extra cheesy taste in your pesto sauce.
  • Nutritional yeast flakes are a great source of vitamin B12 and give your dish that characteristic umami taste.
  • Add a tablespoon of nutritional yeast to your pesto sauce and enjoy the authentic cheesy taste without dairy products.

Avocado for Creaminess

  • Brand Recommendation: Get fresh organic avocados from the 'EKOPlaza' brand for a creamy texture in your pesto pasta salad.
  • Avocado not only adds creaminess, but also healthy fats and nutrients to your dish.
  • Mash a ripe avocado and mix it with your vegan pesto sauce to achieve a silky texture that enriches every bite.

Tips for preserving flavor and texture

If you would like to make a delicious pesto pasta salad with vegan ingredients, there are certain tips and tricks you can follow to preserve the taste and texture. Vegan cooking doesn't have to be boring, and with the right adjustments you can still achieve an explosion of flavor and great texture. Here are some practical tips to help you with this:

Use of additional herbs and spices

  • Add additional fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, cilantro or mint, to add depth to the flavor of the pesto pasta salad.
  • Experiment with dried herbs and spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika or cumin for extra layers of flavor.
  • Consider adding fresh lemon juice or lemon zest for a fresh and zesty touch to the salad.

Choose the right vegan cheese

  • Go for a quality vegan Parmesan cheese such as Violife Parmesan Style for a rich umami flavor.
  • Try vegan mozzarella from brands like Daiya or Violife for a creamy texture that melts perfectly into salads.
  • Vegan feta cheese from brands like Violife or Sheese can add a savory element to the salad.

Optimize the texture

  • Vary the texture of the ingredients by adding fresh vegetables such as cucumber or cherry tomatoes for a crunchy bite.
  • Use roasted nuts or seeds such as pine nuts, almonds or pumpkin seeds for a crunchy textural contrast in the salad.
  • If you're looking for a creamy texture, consider adding avocado or a homemade vegan mayonnaise.

By applying the above tips and tricks, you can enjoy a delicious and satisfying pesto pasta salad with vegan ingredients, without sacrificing taste and texture. Enjoy your meal!

Recipe for a delicious vegan pesto pasta salad

In this section we share step by step how to prepare a tasty vegan pesto pasta salad. We will apply the tips and alternatives discussed earlier to ensure that this dish is not only tasty, but also completely vegan.


  • 300 grams of pasta of your choice
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: cherry tomatoes, black olives, roasted vegetables

Preparation method:

  1. Cook the pasta: Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Make the pesto: In a food processor or blender, combine the basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix until a smooth pesto.
  3. Mix the pesto with the pasta: Pour the pesto over the cooled pasta and mix well.
  4. Add vegetables: Optionally add cherry tomatoes, black olives or roasted vegetables for extra flavor and texture.
  5. Serve and enjoy: Serve the vegan pesto pasta salad immediately or store it in the refrigerator for later. Enjoy your meal!


  • Use whole wheat pasta for an extra fiber boost.
  • Replace pine nuts with roasted walnuts or cashews for a different flavor.
  • For a creamier pesto, you can replace some of the basil with spinach.
  • Experiment with additions such as edamame beans, artichoke hearts or roasted peppers.

Try this recipe and enjoy a delicious vegan pesto pasta salad packed with flavor and nutrients!

Delicious vegan variant

In conclusion, with the right ingredients and knowledge it is certainly possible to make a delicious vegan pesto pasta salad. Enjoy a flavorful and plant-based version of this beloved dish, without compromising on taste or texture. Have fun experimenting in the kitchen and discover new options for a delicious vegan meal!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Pesto Pasta Salad

What are possible substitutes for non-vegan ingredients in the pesto pasta salad?

If you're looking for substitutes for non-vegan ingredients in a pesto pasta salad, here are some suggestions:

  • For the cheese: You can use vegan cheese or add nutritional yeast for a similar taste.
  • For the pesto: Make a vegan pesto by mixing basil, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil, without adding cheese.
  • For the pasta: choose a vegan pasta made from grains such as wheat, rice or quinoa.

This way you can enjoy a delicious vegan pesto pasta salad! Enjoy your meal!

What vegetables or protein sources would you recommend to enrich the vegan pesto pasta salad?

For a vegan pesto pasta salad, you can add vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts and spinach for a delicious flavor and extra nutrients. As protein sources, you can use chickpeas, marinated tofu or roasted tempeh to make the salad more nutritious and balanced. These ingredients ensure that your salad is rich in proteins and various vitamins and minerals. Enjoy your enriched vegan pesto pasta salad!

How far in advance can I prepare the vegan pesto pasta salad before serving it?

You can prepare the vegan pesto pasta salad up to 1 day in advance before serving. Make sure to seal the salad tightly and store it in the refrigerator to maintain freshness. This way you can enjoy a delicious meal without last-minute stress. Enjoy your meal!

Are there any specific vegan pesto brands you recommend for this recipe?

Yes, if you are looking for vegan pesto, I can recommend trying brands such as Zusto, Mister Kitchen and Tons. These brands make pesto without cheese or other animal products, making them suitable for vegans. Always pay attention to the ingredients list to ensure that the product is vegan. Have fun cooking!

Which ingredients in the pesto pasta salad do not make it vegan?

The pesto pasta salad contains ingredients such as parmesan cheese and sometimes chicken or tuna that do not make it vegan. These products are of animal origin and are not consumed in a vegan diet. You can consider replacing these ingredients with vegan alternatives to make the dish completely vegan.



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