Cheesy Pesto Pasta

Baked fusilli in a rich cheese sauce, flavoured with spinach and pistachio pesto, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping. The cheese sauce is really easy to make, it’s just like the dairy version, but with a few swaps to make it vegan. I used homemade spinach and pistachio pesto, but you can use shop bought pesto if you prefer

Yield; Four servings Cook time; 30-35 minutes

You’ll need;

  1. 40g dairy free butter, or oil
  2. 40g plain, all purpose flour
  3. 500ml warmed plant milk, I used Alpro soya milk
  4. 225g dairy free cheese, I used Ilchester mature dairy free cheese
  5. One teaspoon of dijon mustard
  6. 100g pesto
  7. 300g (this is the dry, uncooked weight) pasta
  8. half a teaspoon of mixed, dried herbs
  9. One tablespoon of breadcrumbs


  • Start by melting the butter, or oil, in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add in the flour and whisk to combine. Give the flour a couple of minutes to cook before you start adding the milk
  • Slowly add the warm milk, a little at a time, until it’s all incorporated. Don’t worry too much about any lumps, if you keep whisking they should go. Once you’ve used all the milk, add in 150g of the cheese and keep whisking until it melts
  • Once the cheese has melted, add in the pesto and mustard, then season to taste with salt and pepper. To cut down on the prep time, cook the pasta while you’re making the sauce. Knock a couple of minutes off the cook time, as it will continue to cook in the oven while it bakes. Once the pasta is cooked, drain away the water and then stir through the sauce. Transfer the pasta into an ovenproof dish, then top it with the remaining cheese, herbs, then breadcrumbs
  • Bake at 200°C/180°C fan assisted, for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Leave it to stand for five minutes before serving


If you’d like to use the same pesto I did, you can find the recipe for that HERE. The recipe makes 200g of pesto, but you’ll only need half of that for this recipe. You can use the remaining pesto for other pasta dishes, as a spread on sandwiches, or as a dip

If you don’t want to use the remaining pesto straight away, then just pop it into an ice cube tray and store it in the freezer. Then you can just defrost a few cubes of pesto as and when you need them. It’s a handy way to store leftovers and avoid food waste, I do this with houmous too


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