Basil pesto with whole foods

by | Sep 8, 2021 | Pasta, Recipes

This quick and easy basil pesto with whole foods is prepared in no time. You can easily combine it with your favourite ingredients.

Pasta is one of the dishes that I could cook anytime. That’s why pesto is one of my main pasta dishes. Usually, I build it from scratch with fresh ingredients.

This variant of pesto focuses on very bright aromas and a slightly sour and refreshing flavour thanks to the lemon zest. This perfectly rounds up the aroma from fresh basil, tempeh and artichokes.

Going whole

I recommend not to stop with just the pesto. Adding some fresh veggies and leafy greens gives you a higher variety in texture and also adds a good share of nutrients to the whole plate. After all, it’s a basil pesto with whole foods – so make sure to add some goodness.

I personally love to add fresh rucola/rocket as it brings a decent spicy bite and a little bitterness through its mustard oils contents. To counterbalance the bite the artichokes come to play – their tender texture and bright aromas perfectly round up the flavour signature of the whole plate.

If you follow the recipe’s ingredients, you also include all out out of the five vegan food groups. This gives you a good head start to get your daily variety of food sources covered with just one dish. In other words, its a good companion for a balanced diet.

I absolutely recommend making good use of nutritional yeast here. This brings in the cheesy flavor that a classic pesto usually offers. Make sure to add the noosh when the dish is finished and does no longer cook. Otherwise you risk to break down many of the B-Vitamins through heat.

What are your favourite ingredients for a pesto? Let me know in the comments.

Bon appetit and: Cheers!

Basil pesto with whole foods

Basil pesto with fried Tempeh and Artichokes

This quick and easy Pesto is prepared in no time and comes with a lot of whole food ingredients. You can easily combine it with your favorite veggies.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 people
Calories 793 kcal


  • Mortar
  • Blender


The Pesto

  • 70 g fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 30 g pine seeds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • nutmeg

The Rest

  • 200 g whole grain spaghetti
  • 160 g tempeh
  • 50 g cherry tomato
  • 10 g rucola
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 80 g artichokes
  • salt and pepper


  • Get some water for the pasta boililng and cook the pasta following the instructions on the package.
  • Meanwhile take care of the pesto. Either toss the ingredients into a mortar, or, if you want to be quick, put everyting into a blender
  • Cut the tempeh into smaller chunks and start frying them crispy with some oil. Cut the tomatoes and put them aside.
  • Once the pasta is boiled, add them to the pan with the Tempeh. Pour the fresh pesto blend in and mix until evenly distributed.
  • Combine the pasta with the rest of the fresh ingredients and sprinkle some noosh on the plate. That's it

Nutrients per serving

Calories: 793kcal | Carbohydrates: 95g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Sodium: 79mg | Potassium: 1118mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2098IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 227mg | Iron: 9mg
Keyword Fresh, Italian, Pasta
Tried this recipe?Mention @vegancleanbites or tag #cleanbites!


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