This Easy Vegan Basil Pesto comes together in under 5 minutes and is fresh, flavorful, and the perfect condiment to have on hand to add to many different meals. I especially enjoy serving this delicious easy vegan basil pesto over tofu ricotta stuffed shells, gnocchi and on sandwiches.
The best part of this pesto is that it can be made quickly in a food processor or blender. I’d say this would take under 5 minutes to pull together then you can have it on hand for all your pesto creations. Pesto is seriously delicious on just about anything. I hope you enjoy!
What You Will Need For This Easy Vegan Basil Pesto
You’ll need a food processor or blender for this recipe. I used a nutri-bullet. Stop and scrap the sides to make sure everything is well incorporated and the cashews get chopped finely.
- Lemon Juice
- Nutritional Yeast
- Olive Oil
- Garlic: I recommend garlic infused olive oil in replace of fresh cloves if you’re sensitive to garlic or want to leave it out. It gives the pesto a lot of flavor so I wouldn’t completely eliminate it.
- Cashews: I always have cashews in my pantry so it’s my go-to for pesto but you can replace this with walnuts or pine nuts. I do recommend that you toast the nuts before adding them to the pesto. I usually buy pre-roasted cashews.
- Nutritional Yeast: I love the addition of nutritional yeast. It adds the cheesy flavor that you’d typically get from parmesan cheese. Follow Your Heart and Violife have delicious vegan friendly parmesan cheeses that would work well.
What can I put this pesto on?
- Make pesto pasta or drizzle it over vegan ricotta stuffed shells or even on top of your traditional spaghetti and veggie meatballs or gnocchi
- Add to sandwiches with vegan chicken and vegan mozzarella cheese
- Drizzling over roasted vegetables and grilled tofu or on top of a salad
- Serve drizzled over homemade pizza
Change up this pesto however you’d like! Taste and adjust it to your preference by adding more olive oil, garlic, salt, or lemon. It’s all up to you and what flavor you want to bring forward. You can also change it up by adding pine nuts instead of cashews or adding spinach or kale along with the fresh basil. This recipe is very forgiving and is delicious in almost ever variation.
Isn’t pesto already vegan?
Traditional pesto has parmesan cheese in it but can easily be substituted with vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast and trust me when I say that the cheese won’t be missed.
Why did my pesto turn brown?
You should use homemade pesto within 3-5 days. The top of the pesto turns brown when stored because it is exposed to air but this can be prevented by adding some more olive oil over the top. You can still eat it if the top turned a little brown.
Does Pesto need to be refrigerated?
Yes! Store pesto in an airtight jar in the fridge for 3-5 days.
More Sauce & Dip Recipes You Might Like:
- Caramelized Onion Cashew Cheese Dip
- Whipped Vegan Feta w/ Spicy Maple Drizzle
- Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Cheese Sauce
If You Make This Recipe:
Tag me on Instagram! I’d love to see your delicious re-creations and feature them! As always, I would greatly appreciate if you share your review in the comments below. Don’t forget to add if you made any fun substitutions. Thank you!Print
This Easy Vegan Basil Pesto comes together in under 5 minutes and is fresh, flavorful, and the perfect condiment to have on hand to add to sandwiches, pastas, and more!
- 2 1/2 cup Fresh Basil Leaves, packed
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup Cashews, chopped finely
- 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
- Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
- Zest from Lemon, optional
- 2–3 tablespoons Water, as needed
- Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend a few times until combined. Add water as needed to help blend. You may or may not need 3 tablespoons- this really depends on your food processor or blender. Transfer the pesto to an airtight jar to store in the fridge or use immediately. Enjoy!
Use homemade pesto within 3-5 days. The top of the pesto turns brown when stored because it is exposed to air but this can be prevented by adding some more olive oil over the top.
Keywords: Easy Vegan Basil Pesto, Vegan Basil Pesto, Vegan Pesto, Easy Basil Pesto