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Fusilli with Pesto and Crispy Vegan Bacon

Simple and flavorful, this protein-packed pasta pairs basil-scented sauce, aka pesto, with crispy, smoky vegan bacon. Fusilli spirals pair with the pesto beautifully to absorb all the sauce and add-ins. Greens to accent.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Kathy Patalsky


  • pasta pot
  • skillet
  • spatula
  • blender if DIY-ing pesto



  • 1 cup fresh basil rinsed and packed
  • 1/3 cup walnuts *
  • 2 cloves raw garlic
  • 2-3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan vegan
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 2-4 Tbsp ‘pasta water'
  • 1/4 tsp pink salt
  • pinch black pepper


  • 4 cups dry pasta fusilli
  • 1 cup vegan bacon tempeh or seitan
  • 2 cups leafy greens chopped
  • vegan parmesan to taste
  • olive oil for pan
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast for pasta - optional


  • Fill a large pasta pot with water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Boil pasta until tender, usually 10-14 minutes.
  • While pasta is cooking, blend up your pesto in a blender or food processor. Blend until silky smooth. (You can also blend until just under smooth, if you like your pesto with some texture.)
  • Warm a skillet over high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the chopped vegan bacon. When pan is sizzling hot, lower heat to medium and cook bacon for 3-5 minutes - or until crispy and browned on edges. Turn off heat and set aside.
  • Drain cooked pasta.
  • Toss pasta with nooch.
  • Toss pasta with pesto.
  • Fold in the chopped leafy greens - the warm pasta will wilt them.
  • Serve pasta and top with heaping scoops of the crispy vegan bacon. Vegan parmesan on top.


*in place of walnuts, pine nuts or pumpkin seeds also work

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 434kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 201mg | Potassium: 341mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 917IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 3mg