Pasta is a joy all year round, but in the summer it's extra special because the dishes are filled with in-season vegetables, turning our favorite meal into a nutritious indulgence. When you host your dinner party, serve this White Bean Zucchini Pesto Pasta after guests enjoy the Mediterranean-inspired Peach Balsamic Salad and continue eating healthy, delicious bites all night long.

This pasta recipe is the star of the show with its bright seasonal flavors, bringing joy and nostalgic memories of sunshine and outdoor family get-togethers. Before you make this recipe, shop for or gather ingredients from your local market, farm stand, or outdoor garden where you'll find locally grown ingredients like basil and zucchini, which make a big difference in quality taste.

For this recipe, the homemade pesto sauce is the icing on the cake so you'll want to double the batch for your guests to add more of the sweet earthy flavors to their bowls. The best part is that this recipe is completely plant-based and can be easily gluten-free so everyone can enjoy the allergy-friendly meal. When you choose to eat dairy-free, you have a better chance of lowering inflammation in the body caused by the animal product. Another reason why you and your guests won't feel overly full or sluggish after more than one serving of this pasta. Don't forget to cheers for your healthiest summer yet!

Prep time: 15
Cook time: 10

White Bean Zucchini Pesto Pasta (Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)

Serves 6

Ingredients

Pasta:

  • 1 lb. farfalle pasta, or favorite gluten-free pasta
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 batch vegan pesto
  • Fresh basil + vegan parmesan to top

Vegan Pesto:

  • 3 cups fresh basil, destemmed and rinsed
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts, toasted (swap sunflower seeds for nut-free)
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup high-quality olive oil
  • 3 tbsp vegan parmesan, grated
  • Pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the directions, aiming for an al dente consistency.
  2. While the pasta is cooking: make the vegan pesto. In a food processor, blitz the basil for 15 seconds. Add in the pine nuts, lemon, garlic, olive oil, parmesan, and sea salt. Blitz again until you achieve a consistent spread. Set aside.
  3. Drain the pasta and set it aside to cool.
  4. Cook the zucchini: in a medium pan, saute the zucchini with the olive oil until lightly seared. Add a pinch of sea salt if desired. Set aside.
  5. Assemble the pasta: in a large serving bowl, add the pasta, zucchini, and white beans. Toss together. Then pour in the pesto and toss until the ingredients are evenly coated.
  6. Serve immediately and top with fresh basil and freshly grated vegan parmesan.

Nutritionals: 

Calories 649 | Total Fat 9.6g | Saturated Fat 0.9g | Sodium 530 mg | Total Carbohydrate 104.4g | Dietary Fiber 21.5 g | Total Sugars 5.5g | Protein 34.3g | Calcium 257mg | Iron 9mg | Potassium 1228mg |