Easy Vegan Pesto

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Looking for a quick and easy vegan pesto recipe? Look no further! This recipe is simple to follow and requires just a few simple ingredients. Plus, it’s perfect for any time of year.

picture of vegan pesto in a wood bowl

Homemade Vegan Pesto

Homemade vegan pesto is a delicious and healthy alternative to the traditional sauce. It is made with fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, and cashews. This flavorful combination provides a wealth of nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium. 

Homemade vegan pesto is also a great way to add flavor to your favorite dishes. Try it on pasta, pizzas, or sandwiches for a tasty treat. You can even use it as a dip for vegetables or chips.

picture of vegan pesto in a wood bowl

How To Make Easy Vegan Pesto 

  • Basil– You want fresh basil leaves to really bring out the flavors. 
  • Toasted pine nuts– This pesto recipe calls for pine nuts, but you can easily substitute walnuts.
  • Cashews- Cashews add a delicious flavor to your pesto. 
  • Garlic– You want fresh garlic cloves. Be sure to peel them before placing them in the food processor. 
  • Lemon juice– I prefer to use fresh squeezed lemon juice, but you could use store-bought lemon juice as well. 
  • Salt– You will need finishing salt or celtic sea salt flakes. I prefer Maldon. 
  • Olive oil– I use extra-virgin olive oil. It’s the healthiest oil to use for this recipe. 
  • Water– You will only need water if the pesto is too thick and you need to thin it. This ingredient is optional.

Once you’ve gathered all your ingredients, this recipe is quick and easy to whip up. Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Peel the garlic, and then add the basil, toasted pine nuts, cashews, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and olive oil to a blender or food processor. 
  2. Pulse all the ingredients until finely chopped and thin. 
  3. If the pesto paste is too thick, add a little bit water at a time and blend again until smooth.
  4. Store in the refrigerator or serve immediately. 


picture of vegan pesto in a wood bowl

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Vegan Pesto and FAQs: 

  • Use fresh ingredients. Be sure to use fresh ingredients. Basil, pine nuts, and garlic all play an important role in the flavor of pesto, so it’s important to use the best and freshest ingredients you can find. 
  • Experiment. While there are traditional ratios, feel free to adjust according to your own taste preferences. For example, if you prefer your pesto to be more garlicky, add an extra clove or two of garlic or add different spices and seasonings. 
  • Season to taste. Add more salt or pepper to get the perfect taste for your tastebuds. 


How long does it take to make pesto?

It won’t take you long at all to make this delicious vegan pesto. There’s no cutting, chopping, or cooking involved. All you have to do is peel the garlic and throw all your ingredients into a food processor or blender. So, it should only take about 5-minutes. 

Can I use other herbs in place of basil? 

You don’t have to use only basil for this recipe. Feel free to experiment with other herbs like cilantro, mint, or parsley. You can also add in some greens like spinach or kale for an extra nutrient boost.

What kind of oil should I use? 

Any type of oil will work in pesto, but extra virgin olive oil is the most traditional choice. If you’re looking to cut down on fat, you can use a lighter oil like grapeseed or avocado. Remember, to keep it vegan-friendly. 

How to store leftovers

Homemade vegan pesto can last for up to two weeks in the fridge, or it can be frozen for longer-term storage. Just be sure to seal it tightly in an airtight container or freezer proof container. 

picture of vegan pesto in a wood bowl

What To Serve With Easy Vegan Pesto

You can use this vegan pesto with a variety of different recipes. In fact, you can make use of it with any recipes that call for pesto including:  One Pot Tuscan Chicken Pesto, Orzo With Sun Dried Tomatoes and Basil Pesto, or Roasted Cauliflower with Pesto.

For some delicious pasta recipes, click here.

Easy Vegan Pesto Recipe

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picture of vegan pesto in a wood bowl

Easy Vegan Pesto

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Delicious easy colorful vegan pesto with cheese alternative.


  • 2 packed cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • ¼ cup cashews
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finishing salt or celtic sea salt flakes (I prefer maldon)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup water, if needed to thin


    1. Add ingredients, except for water, to food processor or blender and pulse until finely chopped and thin. Add water to thin pesto if paste is too thick, a little bit at a time, to assist in smooth blending.
Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 117Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 0mgSodium 489mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 1g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

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