Vegan (cheese free!) pesto only takes 10 minutes to make in the food processor. Use fresh basil, nuts and good quality olive oil for this sauce to use on pasta, pizzas, potatoes and more.
Pesto is the iconic green sauce from Genoa Italy we all like to lather on our pastas and pizzas. It originate from the Italian word, "to crush," because typically pesto is a combination of ingredients crushed together to make this bright and vibrant sauce.
Is pesto vegan?
Traditionally pesto is made with parmesan cheese, which is not pesto. This recipe uses nutritional yeast as a substitute and fits well into a dairy free and vegan diet.
Ingredients for vegan pesto:
- Pine nuts
- Fresh basil
- Nutritional yeast
- Olive oil
What can you use in pesto instead of pine nuts?
Pine nuts can be expensive and hard to find. If you don't want to use them or can't find them here are two great substitute: cashews and walnuts.
How do you make pesto from scratch?
This pesto, and every pesto recipe, is very simple to make. Add all of the ingredients, except for the olive oil to the bowl of a food processor and blend until combined. Slowly add the olive oil until combined.
How long does vegan pesto last?
This pesto recipe will last in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, don't forget to follow me on Instagram and tag me with @what_mollymade so I can see it and feature you. You'll also love our fresh arugula pesto!
What to make with pesto:
- Salmon pesto pasta
- Pesto roasted potatoes
- Pesto chicken
- Italian pasta salad with tomatoes and pesto
- Roasted vegetables
- Pan seared shrimp
- 1 cup raw pine nuts could also use walnuts or cashews
- 1 1/2 cups tightly packed basil
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 clove garlic
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Add pine nuts to a small saute pan over medium heat and stir frequently for 5-7 minutes to toast the pine nuts. You can skip this step but it adds another layer of flavor.
- Add the pine nuts with the rest of the ingredients, except for the olive oil, to the bowl of a food processor. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes until nuts are completely broken down and everything is well-combined. While the food processor is still on, slowly add the olive oil and allow to blend until completely smooth.
- Store in an airtight container for 5-7 days.
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