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No Compromise Vegan Pesto You Can Make Tonight!

Among the best fruits of summer’s labor are the herbs and vegetables. The harvest of basil is short, so seize the opportunity to have it garden fresh and make some pesto. This no-compromise vegan pesto recipe is inspired by traditional pesto and offers all the same tastes and texture, but cruelty-free and without any saturated fat. That’s right – healthy pesto!

fresh-basil for vegan pesto

Fresh basil, growing on our deck, ready for harvest

You Can Grow Your Own for Amazing Vegan Pesto

If you have just a little bit of outdoor space, or a nice sunny spot inside, growing your own is so easy and requires just a little attention. Get seedlings in the Spring and a medium sized pot and you will have the freshest available basil. The difference over store-bought is amazing, and no trip to the market!

You Can Tweak it Yourself, Too!

Basil pesto is not an exact science. If you have a favorite recipe that uses parmesan cheese, just substitute nutritional yeast for a vegan alternative. I love pine nuts, but because they are often expensive, I don’t always have them on hand. I have used walnuts, almonds, cashews and sunflower seeds and have never been disappointed. So feel free to experiment with this simple, basic, recipe and discover your own new tastes! 

Doesn't that look delicious? Get the pasta on, it's almost time to eat!

Doesn’t that look delicious? Get the pasta on, it’s almost time to eat!

(Serving suggestion: We love to also sprinkle a little vegan parmesan from Minimalist Baker on top for something a little extra.)

But, whether you are inclined to experiment, or simply just want some vegan pesto, right now, here is our recipe that is super easy. In just a few minutes you will be enjoying delicious vegan pesto on pasta, crusty bread, or pizza!

We love to see what readers make so, please, post your photos on social media (we’re on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) and tag us so we can share, too. Happy pesto!

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No Compromise Vegan Pesto

  • Author: Georgia @ fullofbeans.us
  • Yield: 1

Description

The no-compromises delicious, rich taste of basil pesto without the dairy.


Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (or a combination of available nuts)
  • 2 cups firmly packed basil leaves (if you’re a little short, some fresh parsley can be added to get the right quantity)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice, optional

Instructions

  1. Place the nuts, the whole garlic cloves, and the nutritional yeast in the food processor and let it run until the cloves are crushed. I am always looking for ways to use less time and utensils, so this works for me.
  2. Add the basil and salt, and run it briefly
  3. Then add the oil. My processor has a hole in the top and I pour it in in a stream. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times.
  4. Run until completely blended. It should yield about 1 and 1/2 cups.

 

Georgia

Georgia is an unpretentious foodie who, at 50, transitioned from a vegetarian diet to a whole foods plant based diet and is loving it. She works as a nurse, plays as a quilter, loves to run, hates to race.
She thinks dogs are actually angels (in dog suits).

This Post Has 8 Comments
    1. Hi Marianne! Thanks for the catch! You add the nutritional yeast at the very beginning with the pine nuts and garlic. Updating the post right now.
      🙂

      Greg and Georgia

    1. Hi Tammy!

      The pesto will be fine for a day or two, refrigerated and in a tightly sealed container. Basil will start to go brown very quickly so it may discolor in that time (but still taste just fine). If you want to keep it for a while, and preserve the nice green color, you can freeze it. We just put it in a small ziplock bag and flatten it out. That way it will thaw out quickly.

      Greg & Georgia

      1. I use the snack sized bags and flatten them. I also peel the bag off the still frozen pesto into a bowl so I am not dealing with oily bags and scraping out all the little bits. I often use almonds (ground left over from making Parmesan) or walnuts. As you say, whatever nuts you have around work well.

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