The Perfect Vegan Picnic Dish: Macadamia Nut Pesto Pasta with Arugula and Sun-dried Tomatoes
Anyone else out there obsessed with pesto this time of year? After all, it is one of the most classic, crowd-pleasing picnic dishes - perfect for sunny, breezy weather!
The rich and buttery flavor of macadamia nuts is in a league of its own and translates perfectly to a vegan pesto. A refreshing change-up from your classic pine nut and olive oil situation. Such a treat! Since raw macadamia nut butter is rich in naturally occurring oils (the good monounsaturated kind that help protect our heart), no additional olive oil is needed. Adding whole macadamia nuts to the mix helps bulk up the texture a bit, however, you could potentially use another nut or seed of choice, such as hemp seeds, hazelnuts or pistachios. It's pretty hard to go wrong with this combination of flavor-packed ingredients. Aside from being tasty, this recipe is also as healthy as it gets - made with 100% whole food ingredients, plant-based, and naturally raw, vegan, low carb, gluten-free and it's even suitable for a keto or paleo preference. Pair with your favorite gluten-free noodles or toss with zoodles (spiralized zucchini noodles) for a low-carb/keto option.
This recipe is:
Lemony and zesty
+ insanely easy to make
...just as a pesto should be (in our humble opinion)
Aside from pasta, try using this pesto in other plant-based recipes as well! It can be added to hummus, turned into a salad dressing, stirred into soups for added flavor, or used as a spread on bagels, sandwiches, or avocado toast. This recipe yields about 1 cup pesto and also freezes well in ice cube trays, so you can thaw and use a small amount whenever the need may arise.
Macadamia Nut Butter Pesto Pasta with Arugula and Sundried Tomatoes
1⁄2 cup of raw macadamia nuts
1⁄4 cup Dastony raw macadamia nut butter
2 cups fresh basil (packed)
1⁄2 lemon, juiced (only fresh please)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp black pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
Pasta + Assembly
3 large handfuls of fresh arugula
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped
1 box of your favorite gluten-free noodles (or use spiralized zucchini!)
1. Prepare your pasta noodles as directed on the packaging.
2. Combine your pesto ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until thoroughly mixed. Be mindful not to over-process as it may cause the basil to oxidize and become more bitter.
3. Place cooked pasta in a large bowl, and scoop on pesto. Coat noodles to your own preference. Add chopped sundried tomatoes and arugula and mix gently. Leftover pesto can be stored in the fridge for a week, or frozen.