The Best Vegan Pesto Recipe

I whipped up this pesto recipe one night as I was scrambling to make dinner and had some basil in the fridge that needed to be used up. I threw all the ingredients in a food processor and audibly gasped when I tasted it - it’s freaking delicious! I try to always have a fresh batch on hand, swapping out the nuts to benefit whatever cycle I’m in. 

Sautéed spinach, flax tempeh, and purple cabbage with Banza chickpea pasta and walnut pesto - yum!

Sautéed spinach, flax tempeh, and purple cabbage with Banza chickpea pasta and walnut pesto - yum!

Basil is packed with antioxidants and antibacterial properties, and provides a healthy dose of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, and magnesium. It’s also an important medicinal herb in many traditions and has been used in Ayurvedic herbal treatments for thousands of years.

The addition of nutritional yeast, or nooch, in this recipe adds a nutty, cheesy flavor among a slew of health benefits. Nooch is packed with B-complex vitamins (super important for vegans and vegetarians to incorporate into their diet) and contains folates, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, selenium, and zinc. It’s one of the tastiest superfoods! Just one dollop of this green sauce is a tasty, nutritious addition to any meal - not to mention it hardly takes any time to whip up.

Toast with smashed avocado, walnut pesto, and hemp seeds

Toast with smashed avocado, walnut pesto, and hemp seeds

Vegan Pesto Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup fresh basil, packed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (can sub with almonds or pine nuts)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt + pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup avocado or extra virgin olive oil

Optional: 1 clove of garlic or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Optional: 1/4 cup hemp seeds (aid in digestion/additional protein)

HOW TO MAKE

  1. Place all ingredients except oil into a food processor and blend until combined.
  2. While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in your oil of choice until desired consistency. You can add more or less oil depending on how thick you’d like it to be.
  3. Place in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze the pesto into ice cube molds to prolong the shelf life and make for easy meal prep! Just pop as many cubes as you'd like out and add to a skillet with your favorite ingredients.

Add a dollop to your favorite pasta, sautéed veggies, salad, or avocado toast - I literally put it on everything. Enjoy!

With love and light xx