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Vegan Pesto

Vegan Basil Pesto

  • Author: Challenge 22
  • Active Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 10 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: breakfast, snack, dip


This Italian-style Vegan Basil Pesto is so fresh-tasting, flavorful, and works wonders on pasta for a deliciously easy meal. You could also add it to pizzas, salads, sandwiches, or lightly coat cooked veggies with it. Although this vegan version skips the cheese often found in pesto, it’s still incredibly tasty. Most of the flavor in pesto comes from basil and the cheese really isn’t needed to produce a yummy sauce. Don’t believe us? Try it for yourself!

The word pesto comes from the Italian verb pestare, meaning ‘to crush’. This refers to the pestle and mortar which are traditionally used to crush the ingredients for pesto. It may not be a coincidence that pestle and pesto are similar too. Don’t have a pestle and mortar? Not to worry, simply use a food processor or blender instead. Pestle and mortar do work best, however – crushing your ingredients brings out so much more flavor.


1 garlic clove, peeled

1 tbsp of pine nuts (or 15 g)

3 packs of basil leaves

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

3 tbsp olive oil (or 40 g)

A little salt


Pestle and mortar:

  1. Put the garlic clove in the mortar, sprinkle in a little salt, and it until it’s finely ground.
  2. Add the pine nuts and grind the mixture together until all the pine nuts are crushed.
  3. Add some of the basil leaves and grind them until they break apart, but don’t break them apart too much (this step takes a bit of effort).
  4. After you’ve ground the leaves, add a few more leaves at a time and grind until you’ve run out of basil.
  5. Add the nutritional yeast, olive oil, and salt if necessary.

In the blender:

  1. Put the basil, garlic, olive oil, and pine nuts in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the nutritional yeast and salt, and mix.


You can keep it in a jar in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Are you on the lookout for other spreads? Try our delicious White Bean with Onion and Tomato Spread.

Keywords: basil, pesto, vegan, spread, breakfast, easy, under 15 minutes, quick