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Vegan Walnut Pesto Cavatappi
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5 from 3 votes

Vegan Walnut Pesto Cavatappi

This vegan walnut pesto cavatappi is a weeknight showstopper. It comes together in 20 minutes, is super satisfying, and offers lots of brain-boosting omega-3s.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Bigger Bites, Pasta
Cuisine: plant-based, Vegan
Servings: 4
Author: Ashley


  • 12 ounces cavatappi noodles or other spiral pasta
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • ½ cup baby arugula
  • ½ cup raw walnuts pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt or to taste, plus more for salting the pasta water
  • 1 recipe Vegan Nut // Seed Parmesan Cheese (optional)


  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water, and return the cooked pasta to the pan.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the walnut pesto by adding the basil, arugula, walnuts, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and sea salt to a food processor and processing for 1 to 2 minutes or until just shy of smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.
  • Spoon the pesto over the pasta, and toss to coat, adding in pasta water by the tablespoon only if absolutely needed to thin the sauce. NOTE: If you add pasta water, you'll likely need to add more salt as well.
  • Taste and season with additional sea salt, if desired.
  • Divide the pasta between bowls.
  • Garnish with parmesan, if desired.