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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by TresOmega Nutrition. I received complimentary product in exchange for this post to enter into their Blogger Recipe Challenge. No monetary compensation has been received. This post also contains affiliate links.
Gluten-free, Vegan Christmas Pesto Pasta Salad is a festive, holiday-themed dish that’s a perfect last minute idea for any holiday parties, but certainly can also be eaten all year long.
I love a good themed recipe, especially if it’s for a holiday with iconic, signature colors. Pink and red for Valentine’s Day; green for St. Patrick’s Day; red, white and blue for Memorial Day and Fourth of July; orange and black for Halloween; and red and green for Christmas.
We’re just a couple days away from Christmas, and it’s likely this weekend you’ll have a few holiday parties to attend, and of course, there are Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals to worry about. This Gluten-free, Vegan Christmas Pesto Pasta Salad is super easy to throw together in a pinch, and can be enjoyed by all. What makes this pesto pasta salad so perfect for Christmas? It’s filled with red and green ingredients, duh. TresOmega Nutrition’s gluten-free, organic quinoa fusilli pasta is tossed with a homemade pesto sauce, roasted red peppers and green peas. You could even kick things up a notch with even more color and add sun-dried tomatoes or a pinch of red pepper flakes (for those who like things on the spicier side).
If you’ve never made your own pesto from scratch, it’s time you give it a try. It’s not difficult at all, and you can make a big batch at once to freeze for later use. It’s the kind of sauce that gives you some pretty big bang for your buck, as it tastes great on just about everything — chicken, beef, seafood, vegetables, pasta… You name it, I’ll pesto it. The combination of ingredients is simple, and you can adjust the ingredients to your own personal preference. You basically need some type of green (whether an herb, or something like kale or spinach), roasted or toasted nuts (I used these almonds), oil, and there is an option to use parmesan or another salty cheese. To keep this dish totally vegan, but still get that same salty flavor, I used this nutritional yeast, which mimics the flavor profile of parmesan cheese.
Any of TresOmega Nutrition’s gluten-free, organic quinoa pasta varieties — elbow, penne, fusiili or spaghetti — would be great in this Gluten-free, Vegan Christmas Pesto Pasta Salad, but I prefer the fusilli because the pesto has lots of opportunity to really nestle itself into the nooks and crannies of those swirly little pieces of pasta.
The ingredients for this simple and delicious dish aren’t hard to find — in fact, I bet you have most of them somewhere in your kitchen already. Gluten-free, Vegan Christmas Pesto Pasta Salad is best served as part of an appetizer spread at your holiday dinner, but it makes great leftovers for lunch the following day too.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get this pesto pasta party started!
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- 2 cups arugula
- 1/4 cup flavored almonds (I used Blue Diamond Gourmet Garlic, Herb & Olive Oil)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- Pinch Himalayan sea salt
- 1 box TresOmega Nutrition gluten-free, organic fusilli pasta, cooked according to package directions
- 1 8 oz. jar roasted red peppers, sliced
- 1 8 oz. package fresh peas, boiled on the stove or microwaved
- Add the arugula, almonds, extra virgin olive oil, nutritional yeast and Himalayan sea salt to a food processor and blend until well combined.
- Feel free to play around with the amounts of each ingredient until the pesto has reached your desired taste and consistency.
- In a large bowl, add the cooked pasta and peas, and sliced roasted red peppers and mix well.
- Fold in the pesto until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Keep in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
- Serve chilled.