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Creamy Pesto Pasta with Tempeh Bacon (with oil, no cashews)

Recipe by Vegan Recipes and Vibes (@veganrecipesandvibes)

Creamy Pesto Pasta with Tempeh Bacon (with oil, no cashews)

Yield: 6 servings | Prep time: 25 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes | Total time: 55 minutes


This easy vegan recipe can be made in under an hour, or even less if you opt out of making the tempeh bacon. The cauliflower makes this pesto super creamy but still light, and the tempeh bacon adds a nice smokey flavor to the dish. This creamy cauliflower pesto sauce is the ultimate comfort food after a long day, but is light enough where you won't feel super heavy and overly stuffed. Try it out today!


  • 1 lb of pasta

  • 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk

  • 1 cup of raw cauliflower

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 2 handfuls of fresh basil

  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast

  • 1/4 cup walnuts

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 1/4 cup olive oil + more for topping

  • Tempeh bacon for topping (optional)


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box.

  • Meanwhile, make the pesto sauce.

  • Heat a large sauce pan over medium.

  • Roughly chop your cauliflower and garlic.

  • Add the cauliflower, onion, garlic, and almond milk to the sauce pan.

  • Cook, covered, for about 7-8 minutes or until the veggies become tender.

  • Carefully transfer the cauliflower/almond milk mixture over to a blender.

  • Add the basil, nutritional yeast, walnuts, oil and spices to the blender.

  • Blend until the sauce is completely liquefied (it's okay if there are some small lumps).

  • Transfer the sauce back to the sauce pot. Heat covered on low for 3-4 minutes.

  • Add the cooked pasta to the large sauce pan and gently mix until all the pasta is evenly coated.

  • Serve and top with the tempeh bacon and a small drizzle of olive oil.


Tips and Tricks:

  • You can make the sauce ahead of time. Place it in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 7 days, then reheat in the microwave or in a sauce pan on the stove (medium/low heat).

  • You can make the tempeh bacon ahead of time too, but it tends to get less crispy as time passes. If you want to crisp it back up, add it to a dry frying pan for a few minutes to reheat.

Nutrition & Servings: (calculated by MyFitnessPal)

With the tempeh bacon topping (2 tbsp per serving):

  • Servings: 6

  • Calories: 567

  • Total Fat: 24g

  • Carbs: 72g

  • Protein: 21g

Without the tempeh bacon topping:

  • Servings: 6

  • Calories: 435

  • Total Fat: 14g

  • Carbs: 61g

  • Protein: 16g

^ Nutrition facts include the ingredients listed above. Nutrition facts may change slightly if additional ingredients are added.

Tag me on Instagram @veganrecipsandvibes


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