Normally pasta night looks like red sauce and meatballs but now that summer is here we choose lighter sauces and toppings like pesto, made with fresh basil and vegan parm. This pesto recipe is especially light yet filling because it's completely oil-free and dairy-free and also made with kale. If one of your goals is to slim down or tone up this summer, one of the easiest ways to eat healthier is to lower your consumption of oil since it's high in calories and often unnecessary.

Make this dish for your next summer dinner party and enjoy the creamy texture of this sauce without the cream or dairy. We love to eat this pesto with pasta but it also tastes incredible on a baked potato or over roasted vegetables. Save the leftovers in the fridge and enjoy pesto all week long.

Recipe Developer: Danielle Keith, @healthygirlkitchen

Why we love it: First of all, pesto tastes delicious on anything: Roasted veggies, tofu, pizza, pasta, bread, you name it. This recipe is easy to make and adds a great flavor to your pasta dish. This sauce is much healthier than traditional pestos and calls for nutritional yeast as a parmesan swap.

Make it for: Lunch or dinner. Save the leftovers in the fridge and enjoy the sauce to enjoy throughout the week.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Oil-Free Kale Pesto Pasta

Serves 4


  • 12 oz bag of your favorite pasta I used brown rice pasta
  • 2 cups kale I use Josie's Organics
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup skinless almonds
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder


  1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth scraping down the sides as necessary.
  2. Stir into your favorite pasta and enjoy!

31 Delicious, Plant-Based Recipes to Make on Repeat

Want fresh ideas for meals that are healthy, plant-based, and delicious? This free newsletter is for you. Sign up to get a recipe of the day delivered to your inbox every morning.

More From The Beet