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Southwestern Pesto Pasta


I love salsa.

It is true, I can literally eat it out of the jar with a spoon.

Years ago, I found this recipe (where escapes me) and thought I couldn’t go wrong with combining a bunch of salsa with pasta!

The original recipe called for regular Parmesan cheese and oil.  I omitted the oil and changed to a Vegan Parmesan cheese that is easy to make at home.




Southwestern Pesto Pasta


1 6 oz bag spinach

1 1/2 cup salsa

1/2 cup pecans

3/4 cup Vegan Parmesan Cheese

3 garlic cloves

For the Vegan Parmesan Cheese

1 cup nutritional yeast flakes

1/2 cup raw almonds (blanched* and patted dry)

1/2 tsp salt.

*To blanch almonds, place them in enough water to completely cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Drain and allow to cool. Pinch skins between thumb and forefinger at the base of each almond. Skins will slip off easily.


For the Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process for several minutes until the almonds are very finely ground. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.

Add all ingredeients to food processor bowl and process until comes to a pesto-like consistency.

Toss with hot pasta and serve.


I’m linking up today with Kimmy from Rock My Vegan Socks & Mary Ellen VNutrition for Healthy Vegan Fridays and Running on Happy, The Fit Foodie Mama, Confessions of a Mother Runner, and A Whisk and Two Wands for #MeatlessMonday!



  1. MaryEllen@VNutrition

    Yum! I love anything pesto! Your take with the salsa making it southwestern looks so tasty!

    I’ll need to try this soon while all the basil is still around this season. 🙂

    1. Vicki (Post author)

      It is really good!

  2. Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner

    I feel the same way about salsa! Love the addition of it in the pasta. Thanks for linking up today for meatless Monday

  3. awhiskandtwowands

    Loving this, and umm is eating salsa out of the jar wrong? Thank you for linking up with us for Meatless Monday!

    1. Vicki (Post author)

      If it is wrong… I don’t want to be right 🙂

  4. Kimmythevegan

    This sounds so good! I am not a huge pesto fan and this sounds like a better way of enjoying it =) I also LOVE salsa – it’s so good!!!! My husband likes it too but is sensitive to corn (and corn chips!) and I’ve been struggling with fun ways to incorporate salsa into a meal. This is it!
    Thanks so much for sharing at Healthy Vegan Fridays. I’m pinning & sharing. I hope you are having a great week =)

    1. Vicki (Post author)

      I hope you enjoy it!

  5. Rachel

    Interesting combo! Thanks for linking up!

    1. Vicki (Post author)

      Thanks for hosting!

  6. Pingback: Healthy Vegan Fridays #115 - VNutrition

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