This Simple Walnut Pesto Bucatini Pasta is the perfect pasta dish for any pasta lover! Bursting with nutty + herby flavors, this dish is a simple, easy way to re-create a flavorful dish minus the complex steps. Entirely dairy-free and vegan. Gluten-free + Nut-free options available.
I really can't get enough of Bucatini pasta. Seriously, I've been eating this type of pasta almost every chance that I get and for good reason. It just holds up well, feels light, and works for both lighter sauces and really "saucy" sauces. When making this Simple Walnut Pesto Bucatini Pasta, I probably wouldn't use any other type of pasta---not that it wouldn't work.
The texture of bucatini is just amazing!
Need an easy weeknight meal idea? This pasta works. Also, need a comforting weekend meal idea? No worries----this pasta can be added as a side dish to a nicely cooked main meat such as chicken, steak, beef, seafood, you name it!
Ingredients for Easy Pesto
The star of this simple pesto pasta dish is the creamy and bright green pesto. Here’s what you need to make it:
Basil. This leafy green has bold earthy flavor. You can also add in kale or spinach for a nice leafy green + herb balance.
Walnuts. These are soft enough to blend easily into your pesto to make it fluffy and creamy.
Olive oil. A must in any great pesto.
Lemon juice. This helps preserve the bright green color and adds a bright note of citrus.
Nutritional yeast. This helps to give the sauce a "cheesy" flavor. However, outside of this vegan option, you can always use grated parmesan instead.
Red pepper flakes. this is optional, but I like bit of heat.
What is Bucatini Pasta?
If you haven’t heard of bucatini pasta or used it, you’re totally missing out! Bucatini pasta has by far become one of my favorite pasta to use (next to rigatoni and pappardelle). This pasta is thicker than spaghetti and has a hallow center running through it, which allows it to “hold up” well in saucy dishes—in my opinion.
It is of course derived from Italy and made of durum wheat flour. Because it is so similar to spaghetti, it’s usually a great substitute for any dish that call for it. It’s usually readily available as dried pasta and can be stored longer than if you were to purchase it fresh (it’s pricier fresh also).
How to Cook Bucatini Pasta
Like with many other types of pasta, you bring a pot of water to a boil, add the dried bucatini pasta along with olive oil or salt, and let it boil for 8-12 minutes, depending on the packaging and brand.
As always, it’s best to cook your pasta to al’ dente so that it’s not too soft for the sauce when stirring it in.
5 REASONS WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS PESTO PASTA
It’s Meatless, but still works for any eater.
Super easy to make and quick.
Full of flavor + so earthy, nutty, + delicious! (The best reason!)
Very kid-friendly (has a great nut-free option).
Done in just under 30 minutes.
Great Toppings for this Simple Walnut Pesto Bucatini Pasta
If you're thinking about making this Simple Walnut Pesto Bucatini Pasta and would love to sometimes switch things up for a heartier meal, feel free to add any of the following great options:
Traditionally, pesto contains nuts. However, you can substitute the walnuts in this recipe with sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for a nut-free version.
Is this Pasta Dish Vegan or Gluten-Free?
Yes! As long as you use GF-friendly pasta, then this dish is completely vegan and gluten-free. There's also nut-free option!
Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. To re-heat, simply microwave for a minute or two or add to a skillet over medium-high heat and stir until heated through.
What Are Delicious Foods to Pair this Pasta With?
With most pasta dishes, I often enjoy them with a side of bread of some sort. Most times, I make my own homemade Garlic Bread, however, you can choose to spruce things up with many other options such as:
A delicious Salad
More Meatless Pasta Dinner Ideas
If you are a fan of this Simple Walnut Pesto Bucatini Pasta, then you’ll most certainly enjoy the following pasta centered dinner options:
Cook pasta according to packaging. NOTE: bucatini pasta doesn’t take a long time to cook, usually 10-12 minutes. NOTE: I always add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the boiling water to prevent pasta from sticking together.
MAKE THE PESTO:
Add all ingredients into a food processor or blender and process (or blend) until combined and broken down. NOTE: If needed, add a bit of water (1 Tbsp), if too thick. The pesto should be paste-like in consistency.
Over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a heated 12-inch skillet.
Add in the cooked pasta followed by the pesto sauce (about 1 cup or so), stirring everything together until pasta is fully coated. To make the sauce a bit more easy to manage, add ¼ cup of veggie stock if needed.
Remove from heat and serve bucatini pasta topped with chopped basil leaves and toasted walnuts and your favorite side dish, if desired.
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. To re-heat, simply microwave for a minute or two or add to a skillet over medium-high heat and stir until heated through.
GLUTEN-FREE: To make this dish GF, simply use Gluten-Free pasta and ensure that other ingredients are GF-friendly.
PASTA: If you aren't a fan of bucatini or don't have it on hand---You can use long pastas like Pappardelle, Fettuccine, etc. if desired, however, I would recommend tossing with tongs to ensure that pasta is fully manageable and fully coated. Otherwise, the traditional rigatoni pasta works perfectly!
NUT-FREE: Traditionally, pesto contains nuts. However, you can substitute the walnuts in this recipe with sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for a nut-free version.
TOASTED NUTS: Add chopped walnuts to a baking sheet and toasting them in the oven (400 degrees Fahrenheit) for 5-10 minutes, tossing them halfway to avoid browning on one side.