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bowl of pesto pasta topped with cubed crispy tofu basil and pine nuts

Vegan Pesto Tofu Pasta

A creamy homemade vegan pesto pasta topped with crispy baked tofu!
5 from 3 votes
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Course: Vegetarian Pasta
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


Basil Tofu:

  • 14 ounce extra-firm tofu
  • 1.5 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ½ Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Pasta & Pesto Sauce

  • 12 ounces dried linguine
  • ½ cup cashews soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt more or less to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 400F. Prep the ingredients by pressing the tofu between two towels/paper towels to release any excess water and soaking the cashews in a bowl of boiling water.
  • After the tofu is pressed, cut it into cubes and add to a bowl. Add the seasoning to the bowl including the nutritional yeast, cornstarch, salt, dried basil, garlic powder, and pepper. Then, mix everything together until the tofu is well coated. Since the tofu still has some moisture, the seasoning should stick to it easily, but if it does not use your hands to rub it in.
  • Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the marinated tofu onto the tray. Make sure the tofu is in a single layer so it bakes evenly.
  • Add the tray of tofu to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until crispy. For the best results, remove the tray at the 20 minute mark and flip the tofu over so it bakes evenly.
  • While the tofu is baking, cook the pasta according to the package instructions until it is al dente. Then, strain and add back to the pot for later.
  • Once the tofu and pasta are cooked, make the vegan pesto by adding the strained & soaked cashews to a blender with the fresh basil, water, garlic, nutritional yeast, pine nuts, lemon juice, and salt. Blend until a smooth sauce forms.
  • Pour the vegan pesto sauce into the pot of cooked noodles and stir until coated. Then, serve the pasta with two heaping scoops of crispy basil tofu on top. If desired, top the pasta with toasted pine nuts & vegan parmesan cheese. Serve & enjoy!


  • Only firm or extra firm tofu will work in this recipe. Soft/silken tofu will never get crispy or how their shape when cubed.
  • Leftover pasta can be stored in a closed container for 3-4 days in the fridge or up to 1 month in the freezer. Just reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until warmed throughout before serving.
  • This dish was made to be oil-free, but for an even creamier pesto add 1 Tablespoon oil to the sauce and for crispier tofu add 1 Tablespoon oil to the marinade.


Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 528kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 946mg | Potassium: 650mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 321IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @shortgirltallorder or tag #sgtoeats!