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white bowl filled with pea pesto pasta stopped with fresh basil and parm on pink background

Creamy Pea Pesto Pasta Recipe

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  • Author: Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings
  • Diet: Vegan


This Creamy Pea Pesto Pasta is ready in just about 30 minutes, naturally loaded with plant-based protein, and the perfect vegan dinner recipe to enjoy throughout Spring and early Summer.


  • ¾ cup raw cashews
  • 2 cups peas (thawed, if using frozen)
  • 1¼ cup basil, packed
  • ½ cup vegan parmesan
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 16 ounces pasta
  • Fresh basil, for garnish
  • Lemon zest, for garnish



  1. Soak the cashews. Place the cashews in a medium-sized bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to soak and soften for at least 30 minutes, or overnight. 
  2. Make the pea pesto. Drain the cashews and add them to a high-speed blender along with the peas, basil, vegan parmesan, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt. Blend until a paste forms, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed. Set aside.
  3. Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook according to package instructions, or until al dente. 
  4. Reserve the pasta water. Before draining, reserve 1 1/2 cups of pasta water. Add 1 cup of the pasta water to the blender and blend the pea pesto until a smooth pasta sauce forms. 
  5. Toss the pasta and sauce together. Add the pasta and blended sauce back to the pot over low heat. Stir until the pasta is evenly coated, adding additional pasta water as desired to thin. 
  6. Serve. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, garnish with chopped basil, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest, if desired, then enjoy while warm!


  • Storage: If you are planning to have leftovers, or are making this pasta recipe for meal prep, it is best to keep the pea pesto and pasta separate and combine in a large skillet just before serving.  Cooled pasta will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Store leftovers in an airtight container to prevent the pasta from drying out.
  • This pasta is best enjoyed immediately while fresh. As the pasta sits, the pasta will begin to absorb the pesto sauce and become significantly less creamy.  
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Pasta, Entree
  • Method: Blender and Stovetop