If your pasta night looks like red sauce and meatless meatballs, switch it up with this pesto recipe that's completely vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free. This recipe is low in calories and much healthier than traditional pesto because it doesn't contain cheese or oil. One of the easiest ways to lose weight is by cutting out oil from your diet and sticking to whole food plant-based foods. The creamy texture of this sauce is delicious and the taste of basil is refreshing, especially on a warm day. As we transition into the fall weather, try adding root vegetables to your pasta dishes like carrots and eggplant for healthy fiber and a nutritious boost to your meal.

This pesto pasta recipe is easy to make. All you need is a blender and boil to cook the pasta. You can use the pesto sauce for any dish or meal that needs a touch of flavor. I like to roast vegetables and add a drizzle of pesto. Save the leftovers in the fridge and enjoy the sauce 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!