Dairy Free Pesto Pasta Salad (Vegan)

Dairy Free Pesto Pasta Salad (Vegan)

Hi Friends!

I’m back with another recipe for you!

It is coming to the end of an exceptionally hot summer here in Australia. As much as I love the sun, the crisp edge in the air as we transition to autumn is very refreshing. One thing I will definitely be sad about as winter rolls around, is the end to summer BBQs. Gathering together with friends and family, sharing good food and drinks is such a lovely way to spend a summer day.

Usually in our friendship circle everyone brings a plate to share (I suppose you would liken it to a potluck?) so we all get to experience different foods and enjoy each others company. A dish that I have prepared for a few BBQs this past summer is Pesto Pasta Salad which is dairy free, egg free and can be made gluten free. I don’t use supermarket bought pesto as it usually contains dairy and honestly the flavours do not compare to fresh made pesto, once you have tasted this for yourself I am sure you will agree. I love this recipe because it is so easy to make fresh on the day, doesn’t take much time at all and is packed full of flavour. You could also make this Pesto Pasta Salad for lunches during the work week, it keeps well in the fridge and you can add things like white beans to up the protein.

When I first went vegan, my beautiful friend Kate went to the trouble of making her own pesto pasta salad for me as I was attending a BBQ at her house and there was no pre-made dairy free pesto available in the supermarket. I remember being so grateful for having such a lovely friend that would go to the extra trouble to accommodate my dietary requirements. I have loved home made pesto pasta salad ever since and I hope this recipe measures up to Kate’s. So Kate, if you are reading this, thank you for the inspiration!

This recipe will serve around 8 people as a side dish e.g. at a BBQ, or around 4 people as a main. It is easy to double the recipe if you are cooking for a very large number of people.

I hope you all enjoy the recipe, as always if you do make any of my recipes and share to Instagram, please #KiahsKitchen or tag me @kiahs.kitchen and leave a comment below on how it turned out, I love hearing from you.

Until next time,

Kiah x

5 from 1 vote

Dairy Free Pesto Pasta Salad (Vegan)

This quick and easy pesto pasta salad is packed full of fresh flavour, free from diary and perfect for a summer BBQ with friends or family!

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Dairy Free, Pasta Salad, Pesto Pasta, Vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 people



  • 2 bunches fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Pasta Salad

  • 500 gram packet of organic pasta spirals
  • 200 grams kalamata olives, pitted
  • 200 grams semi sun dried tomatoes
  • 250 grams fresh baby spinach


  1. Cook pasta according to packet instructions (usually in boiling salted water for about 10-12 minutes) it is important you do not overcook it

  2. Peel and roughly chop the garlic, add to the food processor with the fresh basil leaves, nutritional yeast, pine nuts, juice of the lemon and salt, pulse until well combined

  3. Continue to process the basil mixture while gradually adding the olive oil, blend until smooth (or texture is to your liking)

  4. Slice the olives in half lengthways and the semi sun dried tomatoes into small strips

  5. In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, olives, semi sun dried tomatoes, baby spinach and pesto, stir until everything is evenly coated

  6. Serve immediately or store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days

Recipe Notes

This recipe will make enough to feed 6+ people as a side dish or around 4 people as a main.

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