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The Best Vegan Pesto Recipe

The Best Vegan Pesto Recipe

Looking for a good vegan pesto recipe? This basil pesto recipe is easy and super flavorful. Using nutritional yeast instead of parmesan cheese and less olive oil than traditional pesto recipes, this vegan pesto sauce bends toward healthy and works wonderfully on pasta dishes and sandwiches.  

Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Keyword basil pesto, how to make pesto, pesto recipe, pesto sauce, pesto sauce recipe, vegan pasta recipes
Total Time 15 minutes


Basil Pesto Sauce

  • 2 c. fresh basil washed, dried and loosely packed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts toasted; see Recipe Notes
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • pepper to taste


  1. Prepare your basil by washing and drying the leaves.

  2. Combine the fresh basil, garlic cloves, salt, pine nuts, nutritional yeast and crushed red pepper into your mini food processor. Blend until all ingredients have been reduced to small pieces.

  3. Remove the ingredients from the food processor. Stir in the olive oil and lemon juice.

  4. Add fresh ground pepper, to taste

Recipe Notes

Toasting pine nuts adds to their richness. To toast pine nuts, add them to a hot, dry skillet. Stir them constantly until they just begin to brown. About 2 minutes. Then remove them from the heat immediately. Their high fat content will cause them to burn quickly.