This quick and easy edamame pesto pasta is just a slight twist on my previous spinach pesto. Instead of nuts, my edamame pesto uses buttery green edamame for a satisfying, lower-fat and plant-powered dish.
I recently went to Vegan Heaven aka Portland, Oregon on a work trip, and ate a lot of great food at various eateries there, to name a few: Vtopia, Mediterranean Exploration Co., and Sweet Hereafter. The west coast knows what’s up! I had a really good time, but I am very ready for some lighter homemade food now. That’s where my edamame pesto comes in; it tastes a lot like other pesto but makes for a nicely balanced meal.
I didn’t change much from the original recipe to create this edamame pesto recipe. I simply substituted edamame for the cashews and increased the amount. The spinach gets to stay! I also added extra garlic and shallot, to make sure that despite the decrease in richness the dish still has plenty of flavor. Unsurprisingly – because every ingredient in it is delicious – the pesto came out great and left me with some nice leftovers for lunches.
These days when making pasta dishes I pretty much always serve it topped with hemp parmesan or something similar with walnuts. It’s a nice little pop of flavor and texture to bring everything together, super easy to prepare and will provide you some Omega-3’s.
I hope you enjoy this nutritious vegan edamame pesto pasta! If you make it, I’d love to hear how it goes in the comments or on social media.
Easy Edamame Pesto Pasta
For the vegan edamame pesto:
- 1 cup cooked edamame (drained if thawed)
- 6 cups loosely-packed baby spinach leaves (6 oz)
- 1 bunch basil (0.75 oz)
- 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1/2 tsp salt scant
For the edamame pesto pasta:
- 8 oz dry pasta of choice (I use whole wheat bowties)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 shallots diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water
Make the pasta:
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and cook your pasta until al dente, following package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and then drain the pasta without rinsing it.
Make the vegan edamame pesto:
- Add the edamame to your food processor and pulse a few times until broken up fairly small.
- Add the spinach, basil, nondairy milk, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and continue to pulse, stopping to stir and scrape the sides if needed, until the spinach and basil are finely chopped.
- Add more lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste if desired, and set aside.
Finish the edamame pesto pasta:
- In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add the shallot. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and browning slightly. (Note: to save time, you could begin this step while the pasta is still cooking).
- Add the garlic and cook for just about 60 seconds more, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the cooked pasta, reserved pasta water, and pesto and fold everything together gently (I use a silicone spatula for this part). Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened slightly and clings to the pasta, and is warm throughout. Remove from the heat and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve warm. The pasta is best eaten immediately; otherwise, fold in a light drizzle of olive oil before storing leftovers and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Is edamame not actually soybeans?
Tara Gallimore RD MSc @ Plantae Nutrition says
This is such a creative and enjoyable recipe! I wanted to make 6 servings, but 16 oz pasta and 2 cups edamame wasn’t enough for me (I must have a much bigger appetite than you!!), so we made significantly more! I put a large bunch of garlic scapes, a bunch of cilantro, 3 cups of edamame beans, and a huge bag of spinach into the pesto, and the quantity was perfect. We used more lemon juice to maintain the acidity and added chopped sundried tomatoes for umame flavour. Thanks for the inspiration and a fun recipe!
Shannon @ Yup, it's Vegan says
Hi Tara, I believe a standard serving size of dried pasta is 2 oz so the serves in this recipe are already larger than that, but when in doubt, you can also go by the provided calorie data to determine how many servings the recipe will make for you. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe and that you were able to scale the pesto to your preferences, thanks for leaving a review!
We made this last night and it was surprisingly good considering how healthy it is! I made it oil-free by substituting the oil with some veggie stock. I had to cook the shallots for several minutes to get them soft.
Can u freeze pesto
Tara Gallimore RD MSc @ Plantae Nutrition says
Absolutely you can! I’ve frozen pesto before with great results!