If you needed a blast of flavour for dinner but limited on time, try this Vegan Pesto Rigatoni with Cajun Sausage. This dish is creamy, loaded with herbs for lots of flavour, and topped with a smoky meatless cajun sausage!
What makes this better than most pesto pasta recipes?
How quick and easy it is to make of course! This was my second recipe I ever created alongside The Very Good Butchers using their super delicious cajun meatless sausages. I knew I wanted this dish to be full of flavour, but quick and easy so that anyone could come home after a long day at work, throw all the ingredients into a blender while the pasta boils and get the whole thing plated in under 25 minutes!
The great thing about this recipe is that you can make it as complicated or as simple as you like! When cooking pasta dishes, I find that it’s SO easy to throw in different ingredients, given a little imagination, that often just work! Pasta is much harder to mess up than a lot of other dinners, and this Vegan Pesto Rigatoni with Cajun Sausage is no exception! This rigatoni dish has a super simple mixture of kale, nutritional yeast, raw cashews and a pesto spice mix! All whipped together in the food processor or blender and mixed with cooked pasta, this Vegan Pesto Rigatoni with Cajun Sausage dish makes for the PERFECT weeknight easy dinner recipe. If you like the looks of this, check out my super popular weeknight dinner recipe for Vegan Hamburger Helper!
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Why these flavours work so well:
You’ve probably heard before that a key to cooking is always striving to find the perfect balance between flavour profiles (salt, acid, fat, heat etc.) In the past, I didn’t usually think about finding balance among these profiles. I just wanted to cook food that I really liked! Turns out, I was always striving to find a balance without knowing it. Personally, I leaned heavily toward finding balance among spicy and salty (you probably all know about my lack of a sweet tooth by now). So when the idea for this dish popped into my head, I knew I had to make it and bring out the flavours of the spicy cajun sausage by adding in layers of aromatic herb blends, and salty parmesan to top!
If you like savoury pasta dishes that hit all of your senses with herbs and spices, then this Vegan Pesto Rigatoni with Cajun Sausage is about to change your weeknight dinners for life! Give this a try this week, then take things a step further by trying my wife Liv’s Spicy Lemon Dill Rigatoni! Between that and this Vegan Pesto Rigatoni with Cajun Sausage, we’ve got you set for the entire spring!
Try this and let us know what you think!Print
Vegan Pesto Rigatoni with Cajun Sausage
- Total Time: 25
- Yield: 2
This Vegan Pesto Rigatoni with Cajun Sausage is creamy, loaded with herbs and topped with a smoky meatless cajun sausage! Perfect for your next easy weeknight dinner idea!
- 2 Very Good Butchers Cajun Sausages (optional: You can use any meatless sausage and a pinch of cajun seasoning when cooking)
- 1 cup dry rigatoni
- 1 cup fresh kale
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 2 tbsp vegan parmesan
- 1/4 cup fresh basil or 1 tbsp pesto seasoning
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon
- In a medium pot over high heat, add your rigatoni to and bring to a boil.
- While it cooks, add to a food processor or blender your kale, cashews, olive oil, nutritional yeast, pesto seasoning, lemon and salt. Blend until cashews are mostly blended and the spread is creamy. If you need to, you can blend the coconut milk in as well – this will make it easier for some machines to blend!
- Strain your rigatoni and set aside.
- In a small sauce pan over medium heat, add your vegan sausages from frozen and cover with lid. Cook evenly on all sides until golden brown and cooked throughout.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add your coconut milk and pesto spread mixture. Stir and let simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add the cooked rigatoni and simmer until noodles are coated with pesto sauce and the liquid is mostly evaporated.
- Serve by adding rigatoni to your serving plate, and top with sliced cajun sausages and 1 tbsp of vegan parm.
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 20
So obsessed with this recipe! The coconut milk adds a creaminess to the sauce that you don’t get with an ordinary pesto recipe. My non-vegan in-laws were also super impressed