You only need 5 minutes to make this Vegan Pesto! This vegan pesto sauce is flavored with olive oil, basil, and—of course—some garlic. Toss this pesto with some pasta, serve it with tofu, and more!
If you want a homemade vegan pesto sauce, I highly recommend this recipe. Go grab that food processor, and whip up this delicious pesto. You will want to use it on everything!
Try spreading some vegan pesto on tasty Gluten-Free Focaccia bread. You can also swap the marinara sauce in this Vegan Pasta Bake for pesto. Or, whip up some Basic Pizza Dough and use Vegan Pesto as the base sauce for your tasty creations!
Why You Will Love Vegan Pesto...
- Quick To Make (5 Minutes)
- Versatile Ingredients Can Be Used
How to Make Vegan Pesto
- Add ingredients to a food processor or blender.
- Blend until the ingredients are well combined.
- Season with salt and serve.
Tips and Tricks For Vegan Pesto
I recommend taking the stems off the basil. You can twist them off or use a knife for a clean cut. Either route will help give your pesto a nice consistency and texture.
Food Processor Or Blender
Using a quality food processor or blender is going to help your ingredients blend together well. You need a blender or processor to get all the ingredients mixed into a creamy sauce.
Jarred Minced Garlic
If you want to cut a corner, buy jarred minced garlic. Then just add a spoonful or two of garlic to the blender to flavor the pesto to your preference.
Using pre-minced, jarred garlic saves you time, since you don't have to peel the fresh cloves. If you need a quicker route to making pesto, using jarred garlic is a great shortcut.
Variations To Vegan Pesto
I usually use pine nuts or cashews for this pesto sauce. But, if you want, you can use other varieties of nuts. Pistachios are another tasty nut to add to this pesto for a nice blend of flavor.
Add a splash of lemon juice to add some acidic flavor to your pesto. This is of course optional, but you might really enjoy this variation to your pesto.
Vegan Pesto FAQs
How do you eat pesto?
A lot of times you will see pesto paired with a pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package, drain, and then toss in the pesto. Top with some fresh basil and enjoy.
You can also use pesto for dipping flatbread or pitas and pairing with tofu, chickpeas, and more.
Do you have to use oil for pesto?
Olive oil is used when making pesto. It is the liquid that helps to transform the ingredients into sauce—but it also adds flavor. If you are not wanting to use oil, you can use broth, but it will alter the flavor and texture.
Can you add nutritional yeast to pesto?
You can add 1–2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast to your pesto if you are looking for new ways to use nutritional yeast. Just dump it in when you're ready to mix!
If you love vegan cooking, make sure you grab a copy of my free vegan cheat sheet while you’re here. It’s packed with all my favorite plant-based substitutions to help you vegan-ize any recipe!
- 1 lb whole wheat rigatoni pasta
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves destemmed
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts or cashews
- 4 cloves garlic
- sea salt to taste
- Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender.
- Blend until a smooth paste is formed.
- Add salt, to taste.
- Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for 3–5 days.