Vegan Pesto – Simple Vegan Blog


Vegan pesto, a delicious Italian sauce, made in 5 minutes with only 8 ingredients. It’s tasty, healthy, and so easy to prepare!

Photo of a glass jar of vegan pesto

This vegan pesto is one of those things you can eat with pretty much everything: on toast, sandwiches, as a salad dressing, with pasta, rice, potatoes, vegetables, legumes… It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and so delicious it actually goes well with lots of dishes!

You can customize it with ingredients like ground black pepper and lemon juice. Some people add lemon zest too, but I like it better without it. This easy vegan pesto is ready in 5 minutes and only requires 8 simple ingredients. To make it you need a food processor, a regular blender, or an immersion blender. It is so tasty!

Photo of the ingredients needed to make this recipe

Ingredient notes

  • Fresh basil leaves: basil is the best option, but if you can’t find it in your area, use spinach instead. I haven’t tried making it with other fresh herbs.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: I’m Spanish, so I use extra virgin olive oil to cook most of my dishes. However, any type of oil is okay. I always use extra virgin oils when possible because they’re healthier. 
  • Nutritional yeast: it gives this recipe the cheesy flavor, so it’s an important ingredient. If you can’t find it, you could also use brewer’s yeast. However, nutritional yeast is the best choice.
  • Pine nuts: traditional pesto is made with pine nuts, but if you can’t find them, use walnuts instead.

Pro tips

  • I used an immersion blender because it’s easier to clean, although you can also make your vegan pesto with a regular blender or a food processor.
  • You can substitute basil for spinach or any other leafy green you have on hand.
  • Feel free to use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic.
  • You could make this recipe with vegan Parmesan cheese instead of nutritional yeast.
Step-by-step photos of how to make this recipe

How to make vegan pesto

  • Add all the ingredients into a bowl and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
  • Serve your vegan pesto immediately.

How to store

  • Fridge: store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days.
  • Freezer: freeze in ice cube trays and then store the frozen pesto cubes in plastic freezer bags in the freezer for up to 6 months. It can also be frozen in small jars or airtight containers for 9-12 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. 

Is pesto vegan?

The classic pesto recipe is made with regular Parmesan cheese, so it is in fact not vegan.

Serving suggestions

Vegan pesto goes really well with plenty of different dishes. You could simply use it as a spread over some slices of vegan bread, veggies, or pasta.

I also like to use it in recipes like roasted potatoes, vegan pizza, or even roasted red peppers.

Looking for more simple vegan recipes?

Photo of some vegan pesto spread onto some slices of bread

Did you make this vegan pesto recipe?

Please leave a comment and rate it below. We’d love to hear from you!

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Square photo of a glass jar of vegan pesto

Vegan Pesto



  • Author:

    Iosune


  • Prep:

    5 mins


  • Total:

    5 mins

  • 1/2 cup (8 tbsp) aprox 1x

  • How to, Sauce

  • Italian

  • Vegan


Servings 1/2 cup (8 tbsp) aprox 1x


Scale


Tap or hover over number to scale servings

Vegan pesto, a delicious Italian sauce, made in 5 minutes with only 8 ingredients. It’s tasty, healthy, and so easy to prepare!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves (about 0.7 oz or 20 g), large stems removed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (4 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts (raw or toasted)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients into a bowl and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. You can also use a food processor or a regular blender, although I prefer to use an immersion blender because it’s easier to clean.
  2. Serve your vegan pesto immediately spread over some slices of vegan bread, veggies, or pasta. I also like to use it in recipes like roasted potatoes, vegan pizza, or even roasted red peppers.
  3. Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days. Freeze in ice cube trays and then store the frozen pesto cubes in plastic freezer bags in the freezer for up to 6 months. It can also be frozen in small jars or airtight containers for 9-12 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.

Notes

  • I used an immersion blender because it’s easier to clean, although you can also make your vegan pesto with a regular blender or a food processor.
  • If basil and pine nuts are too expensive or hard to find in your area, you could also use spinach or any other leafy green you have on hand, and any other kind of nuts, such as walnuts or almonds.
  • Feel free to replace garlic powder with fresh garlic.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • If you don’t have or don’t want to use nutritional yeast, you could make this recipe with vegan Parmesan cheese instead.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 tbsp
  • Calories: 91
  • Sugar: 0.6 g
  • Sodium: 22 mg
  • Fat: 8.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2 g
  • Fiber: 0.9 g
  • Protein: 2.2 g

Curved “made this” textMADETHISRecipe?

Update Notes: This post was originally published in March of 2019, but was republished with new photos, step-by-step instructions, and tips in July of 2022.





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