You hear it all the time.  I can’t go vegan because I can’t live without cheese!  Cheese!  Cheese!  Cheese!  Well, find out what 100% vegan cheese was used in this recipe that will totally change the minds of your non-vegan friends!


Protein packed SUMMER PESTO SALAD on today’s #SaturdaySnackdown with Erin Riley-Carrasco, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)’s Sexiest Vegan Over 50! This is the perfect pasta dish to enjoy during the warm summer months. Delicious AND as always, 100% Cruelty Free! #veganisthefuture #JaneUnchained #veganprotein

Posted by Jane Unchained News on Saturday, June 27, 2020



This recipe is one of Erin Riley-Carrasco’s favorite go-to pasta salads for the past 20 years! Not only is it absolutely delicious and healthy, but it is packed with 49.5 grams of protein!! Tell that to the next person who asks you “Where do you get your protein from?” Haha  The basil-infused olive oil used in the pesto sauce really boosts the flavor of the fresh basil. The toasted pine nuts also add just the right amount of crunch and set off all of the flavors of the fresh veggies used in the pasta salad. And then add the amazing and delicious feta vegan cheese by Violife and OMG heaven!  This is sure to be your favorite recipe for parties or for friends and family during the summer months.  It can even be enjoyed with friends/family while social distancing!  Remember to stay safe during the coronavirus outbreak!

Violife cheese is so delicious and they have so many variations to choose from. I have had many of them and so far I love them all.  So creamy and delicious, and filled with flavor!  It was the perfect choice for Erin to add to her pasta salad!  Sneak some Violife cheese into the vegan meals you feed your non-vegan friends and it will surely blow their minds, proving that one can go vegan without missing “cheese,” because there are plenty of delicious plant-based cheeses to choose from.  Violife is just one!


vegan pesto pasta ingredients

The ingredients used for this easy and delicious pesto pasta salad.


vegan pesto pasta salad

The finished pesto pasta salad! Yummy!


Erin Riley-Carrasco

Erin showing off her pesto pasta salad!


vegan pesto pasta salad

Protein-Packed Pesto Pasta Salad

Course Side Dishes


  • Fusilli Pasta:
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 4 cups spinach leaves
  • Violife vegan feta cheese
  • 1 cucumber chopped
  • 1 cup toasted pine nuts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Pesto Sauce:
  • 2 avocados
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup basil flavored olive oil you can use regular olive oil if you can’t find the basil flavored
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup alkaline water use as needed to thin sauce a bit


  • Put all of the ingredients for the sauce into a NutriBullet or Vitamix and blend. If you need to thin the sauce a bit, add a little bit of alkaline water
  • Cook the pasta according to the directions on the bag/box. Drain and rinse with cold water and let dry.
  • Add the pasta and all the ingredients into a large bowl, then pour the pesto sauce in and mix all ingredients thoroughly.
  • Add the toasted pine nuts last then add salt and pepper to taste and you’ve got an incredibly delicious and healthy Pesto Pasta Salad!
  • Enjoy!
Keyword vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!



Thanks so much for joining us on this episode of #SaturdaySnackDown for a delicious pesto pasta salad infused with delicious vegan cheese by Violife.  Give the recipe a try and let us know how you liked it.  If you are looking for other easy plant-based recipes to cook up, be sure to stop by the #LunchBreakLIVE page, where we have a ton to choose from.  Or hop over to the #SaturdaySnackDown page for more recipes by Erin.  Until next time…keep cookin.!