Quinoa pasta with arugula walnut pesto ( vegan + gluten free ) is my first post of this year. Happy New Year you guys. Hope you had a fabulous 2016. Say hello to 2017 and this delicious healthy recipe that is ready under 30 minutes.
Let’s talk about this super grain quinoa pasta tossed in nutritious arugula walnut pesto with sweet burst of roasted fresh corn and sun-dried tomatoes .. mmmm delish! and very healthy too.
I mean who can say no to pasta and if it’s made with quinoa. It’s a dinner dream come true where healthy meets seamlessly with deliciousness.
This quinoa pasta is our new family favorite. I stumbled upon Quinoa pasta while my routine grocery shopping and couldn’t wait to try it out. This is the first time I am using it and I am already in love.
Having supergrain in form of pasta is such an ingenious idea . I am loving quinoa more than ever now 🙂
And this recipe just gets better with greens added in the most yummiest way you can think of – PESTO.
Arugula also known as rocket green has an earthy flavor . When combined with basil it makes a delicious pesto with more nutrition in your plate.
This arugula pesto is packed with goodness of nuts , basil , olive oil and nutritional yeast .
Did I say nutritional yeast .. now what the heck is that???
Nutritional yeast also known as nooch is a plant based inactive yeast used heavily in the food industry to add cheesy flavor . The cheesy popcorn that you gorge on in the movies has nooch all over it .I got introduced to this amazing stuff 3 years back . Let me tell you it’s very husky and doesn’t look attractive. But oh boy it’s a game changer in your recipes. It gives a cheesy flavor to anything you add it to . A boon to vegan’s and those who have dairy allergies. But vegan or not you should include it in your diet . Apart from the impressive flavor it has wonderful health benefits .
Here is why nutritional yeast is pretty impressive –
Plant based cheesy flavor option
Cuts down those extra calories and fat from cheese
Packed with vitamins especially Vitamin B , minerals, amino acids
Great protein source
Promotes healthy hair , skin and aids digestion
It’s like a magic dust powder. Sprinkle over anything to make it more cheesy and add on nutrition brownie points .
I have only good things to say about it. There are many more health benefits using nooch and you can read it further on the link mentioned at the end of this post.
I have used roasted corn , sun-dried tomatoes and onions as add ons. Feel free to skip them or add your favorite veggies.
This recipe is-
Healthier dinner option
Delicious to the core.
Versatile – Hello!! use this pesto for dipping, as a spread .. ummm anything.
Quinoa pasta with arugula walnut pesto ( vegan + gluten free )
- 2 cups Quinoa pasta uncooked
- For arugula walnut pesto
- 2 cups packed baby arugula / rocket greens
- 2 cups packed basil leaves
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ½ cup walnuts
- 3 tablespoon nutritional yeast *
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- Salt to taste
- Few twists of black pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar/ agave
- For tossing pasta
- 2 tablespoon cooking olive oil/ canola oil
- 1 cup sliced onions
- 1 roasted sweet corn
- ¼ cup or more Sundried tomatoes drained from oil and chopped .
- Salt to taste
- Fistful of fresh arugula if desired.
Cook pasta al dente according to the package.
Drain it in a colander and run cold water over it to avoid over cooking pasta.
For arugula walnut pesto
Place all ingredients called for pesto in a blender/ food processor except olive oil and blend until coarse in texture. Now slowly add olive oil ¼ cup at a time until it forms a smooth paste.
Taste test and adjust seasoning if needed.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom wide pan.
Once warm , add in the onions and cook for 30 seconds . Add in the sundried tomatoes.
Now throw in the boiled pasta and give it a quick mix.
Now add in desired amount of pesto coat it well .
At this point you may add in upto ¼ cup of water if pesto feels thick.
Switch off the flame and toss in roasted sweet corn and top with arugula leaves.
Give it a quick mix and serve it warm.
Use pasta of your choice
You may add some chili flakes for some spice.
I have used lemon and sugar to cut of some bitterness.
Add in veggies of your choice.
If not vegan then you may use fresh Parmesan cheese instead of nutritional yeast or completely skip it.
Substitute walnuts with pine nuts .
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Additional info on nutritional yeast here.