Vegan Basil Pesto

Vegan Basil Pesto Recipe

I’ve been on a pesto kick since college when I learned how easy it was to make (yet how grown up you feel eating it!). This vegan basil pesto is even better than the traditional version, in my book. Why? Well, it’s more nutrient dense and removes all dairy, which usually causes skin or digestive issues for myself.

How to make pesto

Pesto is one of the most forgiving recipes out there— you can use any kind of nuts, herbs and seasonings to create your own signature blend. This recipe is a great one to start with, yet I encourage you to branch out with my 5 Vegan Pesto Recipes.

To get started, you’ll want to combine these ingredients in a food processor or carefully pulse in a blender: walnuts, basil, garlic, lemon and sea salt. Once it’s finely minced, add in the olive oil and blend again.

If using a high speed blender, be careful to blend slowly otherwise it can turn into a green goo. No joke! And that’s def not what we’re going for here! We want small chunks to add flavor and texture to our pasta, pizza or toast.

What to use Basil Pesto on?

This is a sauce that can go on or in practically anything. Soup? Yep! Salad? Yes! Pasta? For sure! Pizza? No doubt! You get it, right? Below, I added the basil pesto to a piece of toast, sliced some peaches on top, added some mozzarella (you can leave that out if you’re vegan) and warmed it to perfection. It was good!

Pesto with peaches and toast

I’ve been growing my garden every spring for the past 7 years. Some years it does better than others, yet I’ve always had luck with basil and tomatoes. So vegan basil pesto is something we tend to enjoy often. I hope you give this recipe a shot and let me know what you think. I’d honestly love to know if you even missed the cheese, because I don’t!

Basil Pesto in a mason jar

Vegan Basil Pesto

  • Author: Jen Hansard
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups 1x
  • Category: Condiments
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan


This vegan basil pesto is simple to make and packed with plant-based ingredients. The garlic blends perfectly with the basil for an authentic Italian flavor.



  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 6 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. In a food processor fitted with a chopping blade, combined the pine nuts and garlic. Pulse until finally chopped.
  2. Add the basil and salt and pulse again until finally chopped.
  3. With the motor running, pour the oil through the feed hole in a slow steady stream.
  4. Process until smooth. Stop to scrape down the sides if needed while processing.
  5. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.


It will keep about one week in the fridge or up to several months in the freezer.

Keywords: vegan basil pesto

Walnut and Basil Pesto Recipe
Tags: , ,    /   Categories: Plant-Based Snacks, Recipes 

By: Jen Hansard | Updated: 7.11.2020 | COMMENTS: 4


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  1. Sandra Clark says:

    Thank you so much for a vegan version of pesto! I just made this and tossed it with pasta and just like you said, I couldn’t tell it was any different. It was even better in my opinion! Great recipe and I’m glad to have leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

  2. Kathe says:

    FYI: Your link to the cilantro vegan pesto is missing.

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