This Vegan Zucchini Pasta recipe is a fresh blend of zucchini, basil, lemon, and pasta topped with toasted pine nuts. Easy & Delicious!
‘Tis the season of zucchini and summer squash! This humble vegetable is versatile to use, but we – more often than not – like to throw it on a Vegan Zucchini Pasta. A classic, simple, and tasty combination that is always satisfying. Make use of fresh summer herbs and add a heaping pile of fresh basil, too.
Vegan Zucchini Pasta Ingredients
With just a handful of carefully chosen components, you can whip up a dish that’s not only incredibly tasty but also healthy and satisfying. Here’s a closer look at the essential Vegan Zucchini Pasta ingredients:
- Olive Oil forms the base of your sauce and helps fry the rest of the ingredients
- Garlic: A few cloves of fresh garlic add an aromatic dimension to your dish. Sautéed gently in the olive oil, they release their savory essence, imparting a fragrant aroma and flavor to your pasta.
- Zucchini is the foundation of this dish, providing a subtle crunch and a mild taste. We like to just slice them thinly, but you could also simply grate them.
- Salt and Pepper: a pinch of salt enhances the natural sweetness of the zucchini, while freshly ground black pepper adds a hint of spiciness.
- Pasta: Choose your favorite type of pasta. The pasta acts as a hearty complement to the zucchini and absorbs the flavors of the sauce. We like to use big-shaped pasta like rigatoni, penne, or similar in this recipe.
- Vegan Parmesan adds an umami-rich, slightly nutty taste that elevates the whole pasta dish, providing a cheesy depth without any animal products.
- Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice brightens up the dish with a zesty, citrusy note. It balances the richness of the olive oil and vegan parmesan, adding a refreshing element.
- Basil Leaves bring a burst of aromatic freshness to your Vegan Zucchini Pasta. Add them when serving chopped or torn, for a vibrant and fragrant bite.
- Pine Nuts: Toasted pine nuts provide a delightful crunch and a subtle nutty flavor. They add an element of texture and richness that complements the zucchini and pasta beautifully.
How to make Vegan Zucchini Pasta
Making this zucchini pasta is simple and straightforward. This is how you make it:
Prepare the Zucchini and Garlic:
Begin by cleaning the zucchini and slicing it into thin rounds. Mince the garlic cloves finely.
Toast the Pine Nuts:
Add pine nuts to a dry pan over medium heat and allow them to toast gently until they turn a light golden brown color. Make sure to stir them often to prevent burning. Once toasted, transfer them to a plate and set them aside.
Sauté Garlic and Zucchini:
In the same pan, drizzle a bit of olive oil. Add the minced garlic and sauté it until it becomes golden brown and fragrant. Then, add the sliced zucchini and continue cooking for several minutes until the zucchini starts to caramelize and turn brown in color. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper to season the zucchini, and let it continue to cook until it becomes tender, which should take approximately 10-15 minutes.
Prepare the Pasta:
While the zucchini is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil and season it generously with salt. Add the pasta, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook the pasta until it reaches that perfect al dente texture. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the cooked pasta to the pan with the zucchini.
Combine and Create Creamy Coating:
Toss the pasta with the zucchini, and pour in about half a cup of the pasta cooking water to create a light creamy sauce that coats the pasta. Stir in the grated vegan parmesan cheese, and add more pasta cooking water as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
Add Lemon Juice and Basil:
As the finishing touch, add a splash of lemon juice to brighten up the dish. Lastly, toss in torn or chopped fresh basil leaves and toasted pine nuts.
Plate your Vegan Zucchini Pasta, and top each serving with a generous sprinkle of freshly grated vegan parmesan, crunchy toasted pine nuts, and additional fresh basil leaves for a burst of vibrant green color and fresh aroma. To crown it all, drizzle a touch of olive oil over the top, adding a final layer of richness and flavor.
Storing your Vegan Zucchini Pasta properly will help maintain its freshness and flavor. Here are some guidelines on how to store this meal:
Refrigeration: If you have leftover pasta, allow it to cool to room temperature before storing it. Transfer the pasta to an airtight container and store the pasta in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Beyond this time frame, the texture and flavor may start to deteriorate.
Reheating: To reheat the pasta, you can use the microwave or stovetop.
If using the microwave, cover the container with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap. Reheat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until the pasta reaches your desired temperature.
If reheating on the stovetop, place the pasta in a pan with a splash of water or vegetable broth to prevent it from drying out. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it’s heated through.
Freezing: If you want to store the Vegan Zucchini Pasta for a longer period, you can freeze it. However, pasta dishes with zucchini may not freeze as well as some other pasta dishes due to the zucchini’s texture changing upon thawing. If you choose to freeze it:
- Allow the pasta to cool completely before freezing.
- Transfer it to an airtight, freezer-safe container or a heavy-duty freezer bag. Try to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
- Label the container with the date for reference.
- Freeze for up to 2-3 months.
To thaw, transfer the container from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. Then, reheat as mentioned above, either in the microwave or on the stovetop. Be aware that the zucchini’s texture may change upon thawing, becoming softer.
More similar recipes:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic
- 500 grams zucchini
- salt, pepper to taste
- 400 grams pasta
- ½ cup vegan parmesan, grated
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup basil leaves
- 1 tbsp pine nuts
- Clean and slice the zucchini, and mince the garlic.
- Heat a large pan, add the pine nuts, and let toast on medium heat until golden brown in color. Remove from pan and set aside.
- To the same pan, add a drizzle of olive oil and minced garlic. Gently cook while stirring until golden brown and fragrant. Add sliced zucchini and continue cooking for several minutes. Once the zucchini gets a bit of color and browning, season with salt and pepper, and continue cooking until soft, about 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a large pot of water, and season with salt. Once it's boiling, add the pasta, lower the temperature to a simmer, and cook until al dente. Transfer the cooked pasta with a slotted spoon to the pan with the zucchini, and add about half a cup of pasta cooking water. Mix to combine well, then stir in the grated vegan parmesan and more cooking water as needed, until the pasta is cooked, and fully coated.
- Lastly, stir in the lemon juice and basil leaves.
- Serve the pasta with more freshly grated parmesan, toasted pine nuts, and fresh basil. Drizzle some olive oil on top.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 311Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 378mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 11g
Nutrition data is automatically calculated using Nutritionix and may not be accurate.