Basic Vegan Basil Pesto – Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian


Did you know you can make your own Basic Vegan Basil Pesto the quick, healthy, and easy way? Yep! Skip the unwanted ingredients in prepared pesto and make your own with just a few ingredients, including fresh basil, olive oil, lemon, garlic, and whatever nuts and seeds you prefer. This basic vegan pesto recipe is much lighter in salt and fat than premade pesto, plus it really packs on the flavor and health, compliments of the fresh basil, nuts and seeds, garlic, and EVOO. Plus, you can make it in a high-powered blender or food processor in just 10 minutes.

I grow fresh basil each year in the summer, and I love to make a big batch of pesto to divide into small containers and freeze for use all year long. With this customizable recipe, you can make a variety of pesto types, such as pumpkin seed pesto, walnut pesto, chia seed pesto, and almond pesto. The choice is up to you! Once you have your pesto ready, serve it with fresh pasta, salad recipes, sandwiches, wraps, breakfast scrambles, veggie-burgers, and more! It’s just that versatile. And it elevates the flavor of your dishes so much with that deep minty-green basil goodness, pungent garlic flavor, and velvety olive oil texture.

Basil from my garden, perfect for making pesto.

Step-By-Step Guide:

Place fresh basil in blender.
Season with black pepper.
Season with salt.
Add lemon zest and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Add olive oil.
Add desired nuts or seeds (pumpkin seeds pictured above).
Add garlic cloves.
Process until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down sides frequently.


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Make your own Basic Vegan Basil Pesto the quick, healthy, and easy way using this simple recipe, featuring fresh basil, olive oil, lemon, garlic, and whatever nuts and seeds you prefer.

  1. Place basil in the container of a high-powered blender or food processor.
  2. Add black pepper, salt, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, and nuts or seeds.
  3. Process for about 3 minutes, until very smooth and creamy. May stop as needed to scrape down sides.
  4. Transfer to airtight containers and refrigerate until ready to use. May store up to 10 days in the refrigerator, or up to 6 months in the freezer.
  5. Makes 12 servings (1/4 cup each; or 3 cups total).

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dip
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 81
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 1 mg
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 2 g

Keywords: vegan pesto, healthy pesto, easy pesto recipe, homemade pesto

Use this pesto recipe with the following dishes:

Black Lentil Pesto Salad with Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts
Mushroom Bomb Lentil Pasta
Vegan BLTA Sandwich
Chipotle Black Bean Quinoa Veggie-Burgers
Dill Veggie Breakfast Wraps
Scrambled Turmeric Tofu with Greens
Arugula Salad Pizza

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