If you’re looking for a creamy sauce that is dairy-free and vegan, look no further than this easy Vegan Pesto Recipe! Packed with the flavors of fresh basil and garlic, this sauce goes well on almost anything.

pesto sauce in a white bowl with fresh basil on top

Recipe Highlights

If you love the flavor of basil, then you are going to adore this Vegan Pesto Sauce. While traditional pesto sauces include cheese, this recipe is dairy-free and cheese-free. The garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and fresh basil give more than enough flavor to this delicious sauce.

In addition to being a vegan recipe, this sauce is also paleo, Whole30, and gluten-free.

Recipe Steps

pesto sauce ingredients on a cutting board

You can use a food processor or a blender to make your vegan pesto. You really just need to make sure that the ingredients get well blended into a creamy consistency.

Step One

The first step is to wash your basil leaves and pat them dry. Then, roughly chop them off the stems.

collage of process shots for vegan pesto

Step Two

Next, add the olive oil and garlic to the base of your blender or food processor. Add the pine nuts, lemon juice, salt, and basil on top.

Step Three

Blend or process the ingredients until smooth.

How to Serve

The most common way to use pesto is tossed with cooked pasta. But, I think you can get creative for pesto uses, including:

  • On top of roasted tofu (for a vegan option)
  • On top of roasted chicken or fish (for a paleo option)
  • As a salad dressing
  • As a dip for carrots and celery sticks
  • On a gluten-free pizza or flatbread

Now that we’re almost into summer, there is just so much fresh basil available. But, if you don’t have 3 full cups worth of fresh basil, you could always make this pesto recipe with baby spinach or any other tender green or herb.

pesto pasta dish in a white bowl

Other Vegan Sauces You Might Like

If you like this vegan pesto, you might also like:

Here’s the printable recipe:

Print

Vegan Pesto Recipe

bowl of pesto with pine nuts on top

If you’re looking for a creamy sauce that is dairy-free and vegan, look no further than this easy Vegan Pesto Recipe! Packed with the flavors of fresh basil and garlic, this sauce goes well on almost anything.

  • Author: Carrie Forrest, MPH in Nutrition
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 minute
  • Total Time: 6 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Sauces
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups loosely-packed fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  1. In the base of a blender or food processor, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic clove, pine nuts, salt, and fresh basil leaves.
  2. Process on high for 30-45 seconds or until the ingredients have blended together. The pesto should have a smooth and creamy consistency.
  3. Serve immediately, or store in a tightly-sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

You can use the pesto on cooked pasta, or on top of a pizza or flatbread. You can also thin it out a bit with olive oil and use it as a salad dressing. 

Keywords: pine nut pesto, vegan pesto sauce, dairy free pesto

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