Happy October! I always love to kick October off with a pumpkin recipe (of course), but this year I wanted to sneak in a pumpkin-inspired recipe that wasn’t just your typical pumpkin baked good. Pumpkin is great for baking, but I don’t think pumpkin gets enough love outside of the baking world, you know?
Let’s talk about pumpkin seeds! First of all, pumpkin seeds are an amazing source of protein. If you’re vegan or vegetarian and looking for good sources of protein, pumpkin seeds are always one of my top recommendations. For people who struggle with nuts and seeds because of digestion, I find that most people do pretty well with pumpkin seeds. You can also soak them if you want to really make them easy on your digestive system!
I also love pumpkin seeds because they’re filled with a ton of nutrients that many of us don’t get enough of, like zinc and magnesium. With fall already here and winter approaching, getting enough zinc is extra important for supporting your immune system! Pumpkin seeds are also full of healthy fats in the form of omega-3s, and we all know I love my healthy fats!
I’m going to be eating a lot more pumpkin seeds in the near future because I’m going to test out seed cycling in order to balance my hormones. I’ll put up a post all about this very soon! It’s safe to say this pesto will definitely be on repeat in the upcoming months.
I think everyone can use a good pesto in their lives, and I love trying out as many different versions of pesto as I can. I’ve posted my go-to cashew pesto recipe before, but this is another version of pesto that’s one of my favorites! This is why I love cooking – there are so many different possible variations of recipes, so you never get bored! When I’m tired of cashew pesto, I can switch to pumpkin seed pesto and get a slightly different flavor.
Most pesto sauces include nuts, but I love having a nut-free option in my recipe arsenal. I know that nuts upset some people’s stomachs, but seeds tend to work better for a lot of people. Nuts are also really common when it comes to food allergies, so this pumpkin seed pesto is perfect if you’re in that boat!
Pesto is also a great sauce to make at the beginning of the week and have stocked up in your kitchen. You can toss it on top of anything for added flavor and a dose of extra healthy fats. You can also make extra and freeze it to use later. Sauces are one of the best ways to avoid getting bored with vegetables! Plus, this pesto is super easy to make. You just add some ingredients into a food processor and you’re done!
When it comes to paleo “pasta,” I think that cabbage pasta is seriously underrated! Or maybe people just don’t even think to use it. I like to pick up shredded cabbage at the store (Trader Joe’s always has it!), which is much faster than spiralizing zucchini when I’m in the mood for “noodles.” Cabbage pasta also soaks up any sauce much better than zucchini does, in my opinion, which leads to a richer flavor! All you need is shredded cabbage and a pan, and you can have paleo and vegan “pasta” in a few minutes!
Cabbage pasta is also perfect for anyone following a low carb or ketogenic diet. When sautéed, it’s the perfect combination of soft and crunchy, which makes it one of my favorite noodle replacements! Most people forget about cabbage, but it’s one of my favorite paleo tricks. It’s a great way to switch up your veggies!
You can use this pumpkin seed pesto to top off any meal, or you can make pumpkin seed pesto cabbage pasta just as I did here! If you want to make this meal vegan, feel free to leave out the animal protein. This dish is ridiculously simple and quick to make. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated! When I have no idea what to make for dinner, grabbing a bag of shredded cabbage and whipping up a quick sauce is a great option. Fast, easy, and delicious!
Whether you’re paleo, vegan, vegetarian, keto, low-carb, following Whole 30, or have any other dietary restriction, you’ll love this! Switch up your regular pesto and give those pumpkin seeds some love. It’s the perfect fall night dinner! Who doesn’t love a good pasta replacement?!
Pumpkin Seed Pesto (Paleo / Vegan)
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 cup basil
- Juice of 1 small lemon or 1/2 large lemon
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds / pepitas
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp celtic sea salt or himalayan pink salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Add all ingredients into a food processor and process until well incorporated. You might have to scrape the sides down a few times while processing to get everything to mix!
- Enjoy! Store any leftovers in the fridge.
Pumpkin Seed Pesto Cabbage Pasta (Paleo w/ Vegan option, Whole 30)
- Pumpkin Seed Pesto (Recipe above)
- Shredded Cabbage
- Cooking oil of your choice (coconut oil, avocado oil, ghee)
- Salt and pepper
- Optional: ground meat (I used grass-fed lamb), pumpkin seeds for garnish
- Place your cooking oil in a pan on low-medium heat.
- If using ground meat, place your meat in the pan and sauté for about 5-7 minutes, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Add a dash of salt and pepper. When about 75% of it is cooked through, it’s time to work on the cabbage.
- You can either add the cabbage to the same skillet or a different skillet. If using a different skillet, add in the cooking oil of your choice and toss in the shredded cabbage. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper to taste, and place a lid on top of the pan. If using the same pan as the meat, just toss in the cabbage with some more salt and pepper. Cover with a lid.
- Allow the cabbage pasta to sauté for about 3-5 minutes. Remove the lid and stir around. Once all of the cabbage is soft, turn off the heat.
- Plate the cabbage “pasta” with or without the meat, and add your pumpkin seed pesto on top! Feel free to garnish with pumpkin seeds for an extra crunch!
I hope you enjoy this version of pumpkin seed pesto pasta! If you make it, I’d love to see a photo and hear what you think!