Vegan pasta with watercress pesto recipe

(30 ratings)

Our vegan pasta & watercress pesto is a simple and flavourful weeknight dinner that contains no meat or dairy. Why not try it for your next #MeatFreeMonday?

vegan pasta
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Cost RangeCheap

Our vegan pasta with watercress is a healthy and filling pasta dish that contains no meat or dairy, but doesn’t compromise on flavour. We’ve served this pasta with a home-made watercress pesto. Making your own pesto is so easy, and only takes a handful of ingredients. Making this watercress pesto from scratch also means you can omit the parmesan that is often found in pesto to make it suitable for vegans. Meaty mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and salty olives make this pasta dish so flavourful and satisfying. We’ve used wholegrain fusilli which has a lovely nutty flavour, and more fibre than regular pasta, making this vegan pasta dish extra nutritious. When you want to make something easy but impressive to serve to vegan friends, this vegan pasta is just the thing! Serve it with a simple green salad and some fresh bread for a vegan-friendly meal that everyone will love.


For the watercress pesto:

  • 100g watercress
  • 2tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 50ml olive oil
  • juice of half a lemon

For the pasta:

  • 300g wholegrain fusilli pasta
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 175g artichoke hearts, halved
  • 100g pitted olives, halved
  • 1tbsp pine nuts, toasted




  1. To make the pesto, blend all the ingredients together in food processor until you reach the desired consistency. Season to taste.
  2. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and cook the mushrooms for 5 mins, until browned, then add the artichokes and olives and heat through.
  4. Drain the cooked pasta and add to the pan. Add pesto and toasted pine nuts, reserving some to top, and stir to coat the pasta and veg. Divide between bowls and top with remaining pine nuts.

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