This lemon artichoke pesto pasta is a fun alternative to your typical basil pesto pasta, with a punchy flavor twist! It’s undetectably vegan, full of healthy spring veggies, and is made in a food processor in just a few minutes. Toss this pesto with your pasta of choice, on spiralized veggie noodles, spaghetti squash, or as a spread on crackers or crusty bread.
Diet-Friendly Variations & Substitutions
- This meal is naturally vegan. If you’re not vegan, feel free to add a bit of parmesan into the pesto, or gently toss a briney cheese like crumbled feta into the pasta.
- To make this pesto oil-free, try swapping the oil for half of an avocado. It will give the pesto a different flavor and color, but it will still be super yummy.
- To make this pesto nut-free, use seeds instead of nuts such as pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
- For a pasta-free version of this meal, try tossing the pesto with spiralized veggies or spaghetti squash.
- To make this dish flourless or gluten-free, try a legume pasta such as Banza Chickpea Pasta.
- The lemon and the artichoke are the main flavors in this pesto, but feel free to play around with adding in a handful or two of fresh spring herbs such as chives, cilantro, parsley, chervil, or garlic scapes.
- Swap the asparagus for other yummy pasta veggies such as broccoli or sautéed mushrooms. Instead of arugula, for other spring greens like spinach, pea shoots, or watercress.
Tips for Making This Lemon Artichoke Pasta:
- This pesto keeps well in the fridge for up to a week, and it also freezes well. Try freezing it in ice cube trays, so you can easily defrost a cube or two directly in a pot of hot pasta.
- One of my favorite lazy, healthy pasta hacks is to add my veggies (usually fresh or frozen broccoli, asparagus, spinach, or peas) directly to the pot of boiling pasta water in the last minute or two of cooking. Drain, and then mix in the sauce. Easy peasy!
- Don’t overprocess the pesto, you want it to be chunky, rather than a smooth purée. I always reserve a few nuts and artichoke hearts to pulse in at the end of processing, so that the greens and oil are nicely processed without removing all the texture.
More Spring Recipe Inspiration:
- Breakfast Salad w/ Asparagus, Sprouts & Potatoes
- 15 Lentil Sprout Recipes
- Spring Roll Salad w/ Peanut Dressing
- Arugula Salad w/ Chickpeas, Beets, & Walnuts
- Pesto Ricotta Veggie Roll-Ups
- How to Make Pesto From Whatever You’ve Got
- How to Grow Your Own Microgreens
- How to Create a Buddha Bowl
If you make this lemon artichoke pesto pasta, leave a star rating or comment below! Your feedback is so helpful to me and other readers. You can also tag me in your meal pics on Instagram @katiesconsciouskitchen, or join my free private facebook group to share your creations and inspire others! I love to see what you all are making.
Lemon Artichoke Pesto Pasta
- 2 servings pasta of choice, choose legume or gluten-free pasta for a diet-friendly option
- 1/4 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
- 6 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
- 1 cup arugula
- zest of 1 lemon
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
Lemony Artichoke Pesto
- 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, packed
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, or the yummy oil from the jar of artichoke hearts
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 Tbsp pine nuts, or pistachios or pumpkin seeds
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Cook the pasta according to package directions.
- Make the pesto by processing the pesto ingredients in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle.
- In the last 2 minutes or so of cooking, add the veggies to the pasta pot. When they are bright green and cooked, drain the whole pot.
- Toss the pasta and veggies with a few scoops of the pesto. Gently stir in the arugula and lemon zest.
- Garnish with a few sprigs of parsley, and add salt and pepper to taste.