This basil based vegan pesto recipe tastes amazing and is so versatile. Uses only a few whole food ingredients to get maximum flavor!
I love adding flavor to my recipes, and this pesto is such an easy way to do it! We keep it stocked in the freezer for quick use any time we need. It can be used for so much more than pesto pasta!
We love pesto so much, I have multiple pesto recipes including Kale Pesto, Broccoli Pesto, Asparagus Pesto, even Spinach Tahini Pesto! While variety in flavors is wonderful, sometimes you just want the classic, and that's exactly what this pesto recipe is!
So much flavor from so few ingredients, it's unbelievable! Here's what you need:
How To Make Vegan Pesto
Once you see how easy it is to make your own pesto, you'll never go back to store bought! Here's what to do:
- Blend everything.
Pesto adds such great flavor to your breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even snacks! Of course you can mix it with your favorite pasta for a simple and delicious meal, but don't stop there! Try these tasty ideas:
- Spread on your favorite bread
- Make a Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad with Veggies
- Use in Creamy Pesto Lasagna
- Serve as a dip for Crispy Baked Eggplant Fries or Oven Baked Fries
- Slather it in sandwiches or burgers like my Lentil Veggie Burger
- Toss with Gluten Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- Step your Mashed Potatoes up a notch by mixing in the pesto
Tips and tricks
This vegan pesto is incredibly simple and easy, but here's a few more suggestions to make the best pesto ever!
- There are a number of types of basil, but most likely your store will have sweet or Italian basil, either will work for this pesto recipe.
- Pack in extra nutrients by adding more greens like spinach, chard, or kale!
- Using some oil is recommended but not necessary. If you don't use oil, add more broth instead to achieve your desired consistency.
- If you do use oil, I recommend Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- For creamy pesto, use more broth or oil and blend until it's smooth. For a more textured pesto, don't add as much liquid and simply pulse until you reach your desired consistency.
- Salt is optional, definitely taste before you add it as the cheese you use may be salty enough.
- This pesto will keep for one week in your refrigerator, great to have on hand for easy meals!
- You can also freeze this pesto for up to 3 months.
Vegan pesto can be made from a variety of ingredients. This particular vegan pesto consists of basil, vegan parmesan, garlic, veggie broth, oil, and salt.
Traditionally no, as pesto contains parmesan cheese. But luckily enough I have a recipe for vegan Parmesan cheese that I use in this vegan friendly pesto.
You can omit pine nut, as I have in this pesto recipe, or you can use almost any other nut or seed. Popular substitutions are: walnuts, pistachios, cashews, almonds, pecans, and sunflower seeds.
More Vegan Sauces
Sauces are amazing. They can be the star of the show, or used to accentuate other flavors as a condiment or dip. Here are some of our favorite plant based sauces:
- Vegan Alfredo Sauce (which is perfect in my kid's favorite creamy mac and peas)
- Buffalo Sauce Without Butter
- Red Enchilada Sauce
- Slow Cooker Tomato Sauce
- Vegan Sharp White Cheese Sauce
The Best Vegan Basil Pesto Recipe
- 4 cups packed basil
- ½ cup vegan Parmesan cheese , make my recipe or use store bought
- 3 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup veggie broth , low sodium if needed (see note)
- Drizzle of olive oil , optional (see note)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt , optional taste before you add because it depends on the cheese you use
- your favorite pasta to serve , gluten-free if needed
- Place ingredients into a food processor and blend until pureed. Blend all the way for super smooth, or pulse for a more textured result.
- Serve however you desire!
- If you are oil free use more broth to get the consistency you want. I liked the flavor and texture with using a drizzle of oil and then adding about ¼ cup broth to get the texture I wanted. Adjust the oil and broth for your specific needs/preference.
- This makes about 1 cup. Serving size is ¼ cup.
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.