This vegan pesto recipe without nuts is so delicious, you will wonder why regular pesto has nuts or cheese in it at all. It is quick and easy and can be frozen to use in smaller amounts to be used later.
I use basil or pesto in a ton of my recipes, so I make a big batch every few weeks and freeze it in small tablespoon sized dollops so I can add it to recipes here and there.
What tools do I need?
A food processor is the easiest tool to use when making pesto, but if you don’t have one, you can also use a blender or and immersion blender.
I found these ice cube trays at Big Lot for a few dollars. They are great for freezing the perfect amount pesto. I just pop in a cube or two of pesto in any recipe that calls for basil.
What ingredients do I need for the vegan pesto recipe?
- Basil – This is the primary herb in all pesto. You can also make pesto out of cilantro, parsley or spinach for alternative flavors.
- Olive Oil – Use a good quality oil, like a dark extra virgin olive oil for the best tasting vegan pesto.
- Garlic – Give it flavor, however, you can omit or reduce it if you don’t like it.
- Nutritional Yeast – Nutritional yeast gives vegan pesto a cheesy flavor without adding any dairy.
- Salt – for flavor.
- Nuts – I make mine nut free, but for a traditional pesto flavor, you can add about 1 tbsp of pine nuts or walnuts.
What is Nutritional yeast?
It is a light yellow flaky powder with a cheesy flavor. Full of vitamins and a great source of B-12 for those who follow a vegan diet. It is delicious sprinkled on popcorn or you can use it like Parmesan cheese on noodles. You can also substitute nutritional yeast for cheese in many recipes.
Do I need to add nuts to pesto?
You can choose to add nuts if you like. Pine nuts or walnuts work great, but my family prefers it without nuts, so I just leave them out and it still tastes great.
What can I use this vegan pesto recipe for?
- Quick pesto pasta – Mix ¾ cup of pesto with a pound of cooked pasta for a quick meal.
- Pesto pasta salad – Add some cherry tomatoes and olives and you have a delicious pasta salad.
- Creamy pesto pasta sauce – Heat 1/2 cup PLAIN plant based milk this vegan pesto along with some of my vegan mozzarella recipe and you have a creamy gourmet comfort meal.
- It is great in soups or mixed in stir fries or tofu scrambles as well!
If you like pesto, you will love this pesto tofu scramble!
I always put a few cubes of pesto in my Creamy Roasted Marinara Sauce too.
This vegan pesto hummus is sure to be a hit with your whole family!
Did you make this easy vegan pesto recipe? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!
An easy way to make vegan pesto with the option for no nuts. Still has a rich cheese flavor although it is dairy free.
- 2 cups basil substitute as much as 1 cup spinach for basil
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ cup olive oil high quality
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp pine nuts (optional)
- Salt to taste
Put all ingredients into a food processor or blender.
Set on high for about 30 seconds.
Scrape the edges and blend again for about 30 more seconds.
Use immediately or freeze for later.
- Use ice cube trays to freeze pesto.
- Pop the pesto out once it is frozen and store in a freezer bag.
- Keep frozen until ready to use.
- If you will use within 7 days, keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container.