One of my favourite ever lunch choices used to be a pesto pasta salad from Marks & Spencers. Made with pesto, pine nuts, parmesan, spinach and a TON of olive oil – it wasn’t very healthy but it was damn delicious. So I’ve decided to recreate that deliciousness in vegan, gluten-free and low-fat form!
You can find my recipe for low-fat pesto here. It’s much thicker than ordinary pesto, making it great as a spread for sandwiches but makes it a little more tricky to use as a sauce. To get around this, I mix it with a little bit of boiled water to help thin it out and coat the pasta more evenly. Of course, you can eat this pasta dish straight from the hob for a hot lunch or dinner but it is delicious served cold as a salad too.
This pasta salad is:
- Delicious served both hot and cold – perfect for packed lunches and picnics!
- Very easy to make gluten-free
- Low fat (Only 4g per serving, compared to 21g in the M&S version)
- High in protein – healthy plant-based proteins give this dish 10g per serving
Low-Fat Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad (Gluten-free Option)
- 150 g uncooked fusilli pasta use gluten-free pasta, if needed
- 4 tbsp low-fat pesto
- A large bunch of spinach
- Optional extras Assorted cooked green vegetables, pine nuts, black pepper
Cook the fusilli according to the packet's instructions. When using in a salad, I like to overcook the pasta slightly so that when it's cooled it doesn't become too firm.
Remove from the heat and add the spinach to the pot, allowing it to wilt for a minute.
Drain the pasta and reserve a little bit of the hot water. Add the pasta back to the pan and add the pesto with a small amount of the reserved water, adding more if needed until the pesto is easy to mix.
Add any optional extras such as pine nuts, cooked green veggies and some black pepper.
Serve straight away or chill in the fridge and serve as a chilled salad. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days. Enjoy!