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Vegan Pesto

Vegan Pesto

Are you a fan of pesto but follow a vegan lifestyle? No worries! In this article, we’ll explore the world of vegan pesto and discover how you can create a delicious and cruelty-free version of this classic Italian sauce. Get your taste buds ready for a mouthwatering adventure!

What is Pesto?

Pesto is a versatile sauce originating from the beautiful Liguria region in Italy. Traditionally, it consists of fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. The ingredients are blended together to create a vibrant green sauce that adds a burst of flavor to pasta, sandwiches, or even as a dip for vegetables.

Veganizing Pesto

Vegan pesto is a fantastic alternative for those who prefer to avoid animal products. By making a few simple swaps, we can create a vegan-friendly version without sacrificing the delicious taste. Instead of Parmesan cheese, we can use nutritional yeast, which adds a cheesy flavor while keeping the sauce plant-based.

Another key ingredient in traditional pesto is pine nuts. However, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, you can substitute them with walnuts or cashews. These nuts provide a creamy texture and a rich taste that complements the other flavors in the sauce.

Of course, we can’t forget about the star of the show – fresh basil leaves! The basil gives pesto its signature taste and aroma. You can easily grow your own basil plant at home or purchase it from your local grocery store or farmer’s market. Just make sure to wash the leaves thoroughly before using them in your pesto.

Making Vegan Pesto

Now that we have all the ingredients ready, it’s time to whip up some vegan pesto! Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:

  1. Gather the following ingredients: fresh basil leaves, nuts of your choice (such as walnuts or cashews), nutritional yeast, garlic cloves, extra virgin olive oil, and a pinch of salt.
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine the basil leaves, nuts, nutritional yeast, and garlic cloves. Blend until everything is well combined.
  3. While the blender is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture reaches your desired consistency. Add salt to taste.
  4. Transfer the vegan pesto to a jar or airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.

That’s it! You now have a jar of homemade vegan pesto ready to be enjoyed. It’s perfect for tossing with pasta, spreading on sandwiches, or as a dip for your favorite snacks.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I freeze vegan pesto?

Absolutely! Freezing vegan pesto is a great way to preserve its freshness. Transfer the pesto to an ice cube tray, freeze it, and then transfer the pesto cubes to a freezer-safe bag or container. This way, you can easily grab a few cubes whenever you need them.

2. How long does vegan pesto last in the refrigerator?

Vegan pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Make sure to keep it in an airtight container to maintain its flavor and prevent it from drying out.

3. Can I use different herbs instead of basil?

Definitely! While basil is the traditional herb used in pesto, you can experiment with other herbs like cilantro, parsley, or even arugula. Each herb will bring a unique flavor profile to your vegan pesto.

4. Is vegan pesto healthier than traditional pesto?

Vegan pesto can be a healthier option as it eliminates the use of animal products. It is also rich in plant-based nutrients from the fresh basil and nuts. However, it’s important to remember that pesto is still a sauce and should be enjoyed in moderation.

5. Can I make nut-free vegan pesto?

Yes, you can! If you have a nut allergy or simply prefer a nut-free version, you can replace the nuts with sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. The result will be just as delicious!

6. Can I use store-bought vegan pesto?

Of course! If you’re short on time or prefer the convenience of store-bought products, there are many vegan pesto options available in grocery stores. Just make sure to read the ingredient list to ensure it aligns with your dietary preferences.

7. Can I add other ingredients to my vegan pesto?

Absolutely! Feel free to get creative and add additional ingredients to your vegan pesto. Some popular additions include sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, or even a squeeze of lemon juice for some extra tang.

8. How can I use leftover vegan pesto?

Leftover vegan pesto can be used in a variety of ways. You can mix it into soups or stews for added flavor, use it as a marinade for grilled vegetables, or even spread it on toast for a quick and tasty snack.

In Conclusion

Vegan pesto is a delicious and cruelty-free alternative to traditional pesto. By swapping out a few ingredients, you can create a vibrant and flavorful sauce that will elevate your meals. Whether you’re a vegan or simply looking to try something new, give vegan pesto a try and savor the amazing taste of this plant-based delight!

Vegan Pesto compressed image3

Vegan Pesto

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Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts or pepitas
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 cups of basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Optional: nutritional yeast , capers, or oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (amount as desired)


  • Place the pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper into a food processor.
  • Pulse the ingredients until they are well chopped.
  • Add the basil to the food processor.
  • Pulse again until the basil is combined with the other ingredients.
  • While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
  • Continue pulsing until the olive oil is well combined.
  • If desired, add 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast for a cheesier flavor.
  • For a brinier taste, add 2 teaspoons of capers.
  • To enhance the umami flavor, add 2 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Briefly pulse the mixture to combine these additional ingredients.
  • Taste the pesto and adjust the flavors as desired by adding more nutritional yeast, capers, or sun-dried tomatoes.
  • For a smoother texture, add more olive oil.
Keyword breakfast, cooking basics, dessert, gluten free, main-dish, summer, vegan
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Hi, I am April & Welcome to my food blog!

Thank you for visiting my blog. We share delicious recipes to make your meals nourishing and fun. Experimenting in the kitchen and cooking is my joy!


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