Vegan Pesto Recipe

    
Mario Limaduran
Mario Limaduran

Pesto - typically made with a cheese and pine nut base - can easily be made 100% vegan just by swapping in pistachios. Creamy, nutty, and rich tasting, this non-dairy pesto sauce will add flavor and healthy fats to your weekly meal prep. Ready in less than 10 minutes!

How to Make Vegan Pesto

This recipe supplies fifteen servings total - 1 tablespoon per serving.

To make this sauce, you'll need:

Kitchen Needs:

  • Large bowl
  • Baking tray
  • Spatula
  • Food processor

Step One: Roasting the Pistachios

Oven roasting your own nuts is incredibly simple and adds a ton of deep flavor to the nut. It sounds gourmet, but all it really takes is popping them in the oven and making sure they don't burn. 

Preheat your oven to 425°F.

Add pistachios to a baking pan (ideally lined with foil) and pop them in the oven for about 3 to 5 minutes. Then remove from the oven and set aside, allowing them to cool off. The goal is get a beautiful golden brown toasting on the nuts.

You can buy pre-roasted pistachios to save a few minutes, but trust me, this step is worth it.

Step Two: Blend Your Ingredients

In a food processor combine the garlic, toasted pistachios, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Pulse the mixture, scraping sides as needed, until a paste is formed.

Tip: Save the remaining olive oil for later, as blending it too much can add a bitter flavor to the pesto. 

Once a thick paste is formed (aka all your nuts are formed into a natural nut butter), add the basil and mint. Pulse again to blend everything together.

Now add the lemon juice and process one last time, scraping the sides again as needed.

Adding the lemon juice after the basil is added will ensure the pesto is bright green instead of dull-brown green. Acid breaks down the chlorophyll cells of the herb and makes the color dull instead of bright. By adding the acidic component at the end, you ensure this is avoided. 

Step Three: Season and Serve

Remove the basil paste from the food processor into a small mixing bowl, scraping out as much of the sauce as possible with your spatula. 

Gently stir in the remaining olive oil using your spatula until the pesto is well blended and a velvety smooth texture. A separation from the oil and the paste is normal.

Season with salt to taste and dig in! Or store in an air tight container until needed.

If you buy pre roasted and salted pistachios, taste the final pesto before adding any salt. 

 

Serve this With

Vegan pesto is the perfect pairing for any vegan recipe, but also works great with Trifecta proteins if you are looking to cut dairy out of your diet. Here are some of my favorite pairings: 

  • Build a vegan pizza topped with pesto and veggies. 
  • Top off a veggie sandwich or wrap. 
  • Toss your protein pasta in it for a macro balanced vegan dish!
  • Add to your keto meals!

Or add this sauce to your weekly meal prep to add a serving of healthy fats and take the flavor up a notch!

MEAL PREP LIKE A BOSS

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Pesto-2

Vegan Pesto

Cook time: 5 min
Prep time: 5 min
Yield: 15
Print Recipe

Description

Creamy, nutty, and rich tasting, this non-dairy pesto sauce will add flavor and healthy fats to your weekly meal prep. Ready in less than 10 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup pistachios
  • 2 oz weight basil leaves, fresh
  • 5 each mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Lightly roast the pistachios at 425 for 3-5 minutes, checking oven constantly. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  2. In a food processor, combine garlic, toasted pistachios, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Process scraping sides as needed, until a paste is formed.
  3. Add basil and mint to the food processor and pulse to incorporate basil into the paste.
  4. Add lemon juice and process one last time, scraping the sides again as needed.
  5. Remove basil paste into a bowl and fold remaining olive oil into the pistachio paste using a spatula.
  6. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and mix to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  7. Enjoy!

Nutrition facts

serves 15 - 1 Tbsp
Calories Per Serving: 90
% Daily Value
14% Total Fat 9g
0% Cholesterol 0mg
2% Sodium 40mg
Total Carbohydrate 2g
Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
0% Vitamin A
0% Vitamin C

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