| |

Easy Sunflower Spinach Pesto Pasta for Vegans and Vegetarians

Today, I felt like eating pesto pasta. Only problem was that I did not have pine nuts or basil leaves.

What I really enjoy doing is substituting. My mom is an expert “substituter” when she doesn’t have certain ingredients and her food always turns out great.

It got me thinking. I had spinach which I could use instead of basil leaves. I also had cashew nuts which I could use instead of pine nuts.

However, this time I decided to go for sunflower seeds because I had read that sunflower seeds can make an excellent substitute for nuts.

My friends have nut allergies and I’ve never been able to prepare pesto pasta when they come over due to this reason. I thought experimenting with sunflower seeds would make for a great meal for my friends should this pasta turn out right. And it did not disappoint.



For the pasta:

  • Boil 2 handfuls of pasta and cook until Al Dente ( I normally add a bit of salt and a few drops of olive oil to the pasta while it boils)
  • Once ready, pour out the pasta water into a separate bowl as you might need it later

For the pesto:

In a blender:

  • Add 2 tbspns of sunflower seeds
  • Add 1/2 a garlic clove (medium size)
  • Add 1 cup of washed baby spinach leaves
  • Add salt to taste
  • Add black pepper to taste
  • Add 1 tbpn of olive oil
  • Add 2 tbspns of cheddar cheese (skip this if you are vegan)
  • Blendddddd the mixture

In a separate bowl:

  • Add the pasta and pesto.
  • Use the pasta water to toss the pesto well into the pasta. Only use as much of the water as you need. There’s no need to use extra olive oil for tossing

For Garnishing:

I used cherry tomatoes which add a kick of freshness and taste great with this spinach pesto pasta.


Here’s a short video:


Incase any pesto is left over, simply add it to a small glass jar, pour olive oil on top to preserve its freshness and store in the fridge for upto 3 days. I’m not a fan of storing food (I prefer to eat it while it’s fresh). I always find that the taste changes as the days go by so try to use it whenever you can. You can spread this pesto on pizza or even in your wraps!

I hope you enjoy trying out this recipe. It’s very filling, tastes yummy and is good if you have nut allergies or are vegan – simply skip the cheese.

Enjoy 🙂 xx

Similar Posts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *