Pesto is a staple among many traditional Italian dishes adding a fresh and creamy aspect to many sandwiches and pastas. Traditional pesto is made using fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese; which isn’t exactly vegan…
Our vegan pesto recipe harnesses all the same delicious flavors of a traditional pesto, but anyone with any dietary restrictions can eat it!
Avoiding Nut Allergy
Sadly, pesto is also not recommended for people with tree nut allergies - well, pine nuts are one of the main ingredients. However there is a quick fix! Consider swapping out the pine nuts with sunflower seeds to avoid tree nut allergies altogether!
Making it Cheesy
Cheese is a huge part of what makes pesto taste the way it does. We found we were really missing that same cheesy flavor in our vegan pesto until we added some nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast helps mimic the flavor of the parmesan cheese and further adds a nutty and salty flavor profile to your sauce.
Start with one tablespoon and keep adding more in a tablespoon at a time until you get your desired flavor.
2 cups tightly packed fresh basil
½ cup toasted pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- In a blender or food processor, combine the toasted pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper, and pulse until well chopped.
- Add in the basil and pulse until combined.
- With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and pulse until combined.
- Add in the nutritional yeast one tablespoon at a time until the desired flavor is achieved.
- Pulse until the mixture is well combined
More Vegan SauceIf you love vegan sauces, you need to check out Simon’s Secret Sauce! It’s a delicious lemony/tangy sauce that is perfect for anyone, and any meal. Try all three delicious flavors: original, truffle, and spicy!