This recipe for vegan pesto pasta salad with sunflower seeds, fresh basil, artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes and black olives is quick and tasty. By the time the fusilli pasta is done boiling, the rest of the ingredients are ready to go. Not only that, the pesto doesn’t require nutritional yeast. The sunflower seeds and garlic do a great job carrying the flavor of the entire salad.
While there is vegan parmesan in this recipe, it is completely optional. It adds a little additional flavor, but is not necessary to get the most from this dish. Take or leave it.
This cold vegan sunflower pesto pasta salad with artichoke hearts works well for lunch, dinner, or a side dish. It pairs so nicely with Grilled Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches with Kalamata Olive Tapenade, Avocado, Tomato and Arugula.
Discover additional UVK recipes, like Vegan Basil Pesto, Kale Pesto Sandwich with Seitan and Apples, Gnocchi with Pesto and Grilled Eggplant, Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes, Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, Artichoke Potato Salad and more.
As always, I’m so grateful you stopped by, and hope you enjoy this recipe 😊
Vegan Sunflower Pesto Pasta Salad
16 ounce package of dry fusilli pasta
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ cups fresh basil, stems and leaves
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
¼ cup lemon juice
½ tsp salt
2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced in half
2.25 ounce can of sliced black olives, drained
¾ cup marinated quartered artichoke hearts
Vegan parmesan, to top – optional
1. First, you’ll make the pasta for the vegan pesto salad. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add the fusilli pasta, and lower the heat to medium-high. Boil for 9-11 minutes, or according to the directions of your package. Drain and rinse with cold water until the pasta is cold.
2. While the pasta is boiling, start making the vegan sunflower pesto for the salad. In a small skillet, add the olive oil and garlic over high heat. When the oil starts to bubble around the edges of the garlic, lower the heat to medium-high, and move the garlic around in the oil for 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from heat and allow to cool. The garlic will flavor the oil, and give the pesto richer flavor.
3. In a high speed blender (like a Vitamix or Ninja), add the basil, raw sunflower seeds, lemon juice, & salt. When the garlic and olive oil are cooled, add them as well. Blend.
4. In a large mixing bowl, add the fusilli pasta, sunflower pesto, grape tomatoes, black olives, marinated artichokes hearts, and some vegan parmesan (if using). Mix together. Taste, and adjust seasonings, if needed (salt? lemon juice?). Serve.