Pollo Pesto from Pizza Express is a very popular dish and up until I went vegan in 2019 it was one of my favourite dishes. So I knew I had to find a way to veganise it once I’d made the decision to switch over to the lighter side of life.
As a vegan, it can be hard to enjoy your favourite meals while also sticking to your diet. I've been slowly working my way through all of the meals I used to eat in restaurants, café and at home- and making sure that they are completely vegan!
If you're currently vegan, or you're thinking about making the switch, I've recommended some helpful and delicious vegan products to try out- including cheese and meat substitutes that I love.
So, if you’re interested in seeing how to make your favourite Pollo Pesto pasta dish, but vegan, then keep reading!
For this recipe, you'll need:
Pasta- the amount is up to you, we all know we always make too much no matter what we do!
Vegan chicken replacement – I like "This! Isn’t Chicken pieces"
Vegan Pesto- 1-2 tablespoons, you can add more/less depending on individuals tastes. This pesto is available from most supermarkets in the ‘free from’ aisle
Red onions – 1 should be plenty, but add more if you like it!
Vegan white sauce - 100ml should be enough, but again it's your preference. This can also be found in the ‘free from’ aisle
BOSH Nutritional Yeast - in my opinion, the more the better, but it’s really up to you! This is also known as Nooch, and it should be a staple in every vegan’s cupboard tbh
Vegan Parmesan – if you can’t find any, you can use any strong vegan/dairy free grated cheese
Salt and Pepper
1) Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions
2) Heat your oven to 180C – you want it hot when you put the pasta dish in to cook
3) In a separate pan, cook the chicken pieces until browned
4) Once the pasta is cooked, drain it but save some of the pasta water
5) Put drained pasta back into the hot pan with some of the saved pasta water
6) Put the pan back onto the hob and add in the pesto and white sauce
7) Warm through the sauce and pesto with the pasta and add in the cheese
8) Add in the browned chicken pieces and mix together thoroughly, adding in salt and pepper to taste
9) Put all this into a big ovenproof dish and top with more grated cheese or parmesan
10) Put the ovenproof dish into the hot oven and cook for 25-30 minutes until everything is cooked and browned on top
11) Serve your vegan-ised Pollo Pesto dish in a big pasta bowl, top with Nooch and enjoy! Garlic bread/salad is optional but preferred!
You can also just make pesto pasta without the need to add in a meat replacement. This is good if you’re cooking for others who may not be on the same diet as you, or those who are not willing to try a replacement.
This recipe is super tasty with garlic bread and a big glass of red wine!
Vegan-ised Pollo Pesto has quickly become a favourite of mine and is fairly quickly and easy to make – perfect for when you don’t have much time but are looking for something comforting and delicious!
Love, Sarah xoxo