I have a special place in my heart for pesto. Flavorful, packed with nutrients, and can jazz up pretty much any dish. That’s why I’m so excited to be sharing my easy vegan pesto recipe today.
Traditional pesto relies on basil, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and olive oil to pack serious flavor. My goal with this pesto recipe was to stay as close as possible to those flavors while making it vegan, less expensive (because who wants to pay $20 for a handful of pine nuts) and nutritious. To do this, I made a few simple swaps that I’m happy to report turned out extremely well.
The first swap I made in this vegan pesto recipe was cutting the amount of basil in half, and replacing it with arugula. This lends a more peppery flavor to the pesto, and also makes it a bit less expensive. However, if you absolutely love the taste of basil, feel free to just double the amount of basil!
The second swap was parmesan cheese for nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is my not-so-secret-secret when it comes to making vegan food taste savory, cheesy and umami-like. Bonus, it’s also packed with B-vitamins and protein, with just 1/4 cup lending 8 grams of protein.
The third swap was pine nuts for pumpkin seeds. Yes, I absolutely love pine nuts, but I’m not in a headspace to want to spend that much money for so little, you know? Instead, I find that pumpkin seeds provide the same crunch, while also proving ample zinc, protein, and iron!
Lastly, I subbed half the olive oil I would typically use in pesto for water. I don’t taste much of a difference, but if you want a richer flavor, feel free to use all olive oil!
So there you have it! All the swaps I made to traditional pesto to make this easy vegan pesto recipe, which comes together in five minutes! If you try this recipe, let me know how you like it!
Easy Vegan Pesto Recipe
This easy vegan pesto recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser! Simple, easy, and so nutritious, this vegan pesto recipe can be whipped up in five minutes flat to be used on pasta, sandwiches, or as a dip!
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1 handful arugula optional, can sub with more basil
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds shelled
- 1 lemon juiced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp water can sub with more olive oil
Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend until desired consistency. Enjoy on sandwiches, pasta, or as a dip!
Want more recipes? Check out my Everyday Vegan Soups Ebook! 12 Vegan Sauces that Nourish from the Inside Out. All recipes come together in 30 minutes or less and use ingredients that you can find at any grocery store!
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