I have never met anyone that doesn’t like pesto, this easy vegan pesto is the perfect addition to all pasta, pizzas and sandwiches. It can never hurt to have a jar in the fridge especially when it only takes 5 minutes to make!
Like all pesto, this is super simple to make and is perfect for quick weeknight dinners. It’s also one of my go-to crowd-pleasing dishes for when I have company. To store this pesto you can keep it in a jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Alternatively, you can put it in an ice cube tray and freeze it. This makes easy dinners for 1, just pop it out and heat it in a pan with your veggies or in warm pasta!
Nutritional yeast – has a nutty and cheesey taste, and is what replaces the parmesan in traditional pesto. I sometimes don’t add it in (I put it as optional). This yields more of a lemon/basil sauce then a pesto, but it is still delicious. I prefer this sometimes when you want something lighter, but I never used to put cheese in my pesto (even when I was just vegetarian).
Nutritional Yeast is a source of all essential amino acids and also contains B12! This is a delight for us vegans, as normally this B12 is exclusively found in animal products. It can be found at any bulk or health food store.
Avocado – This is what makes the pesto extra creamy and smooth (more so than normal pesto), also allows you to omit olive oil.
Nuts – Traditional pesto is made with pine nuts, I tend to avoid making it this way since they can be expensive. This pesto works well with cheaper nuts; I have had good results with walnuts, cashews and almonds.
Garlic – Tricked you, because there is none! I personally hate garlic and therefore don’t put it in my pesto (or anything I cook). I realize this is not normal, so feel free to add it to this recipe (however I encourage you to try it without). My vegan proofers are a fan of the new spin on the sauce and lemony-ness! Plus you can bring it for lunch without stinking up the entire office fridge (a pet-peeve of mine since I can’t stand the smell/thought).
Easy Vegan Pesto
- ½ Cup Nuts (Walnuts, Almonds, Pine nuts, and Cashews work well)
- 2.5 Cup Basil - swap out some arugula, spinach, kale, and parsley or cilantro if you do not have enough basil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 4-6 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil or ½ Avocado
- 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 1-2 Cloves garlic
- ¼- Cup of water to blend - more as needed
- First, add nuts to a high powered blender or food processor, blend until finely ground.
- Add the remaining ingredients, blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Add to your favourite pasta, bowls, and veggies!
This pesto also tastes delicious if you mix the basil with other herbs such as cilantro and mint or fresh arugula!
Try this on: Zoodles, Lentil Crust Pizza, Pizzadillas or Vegan Lasanga