Perfect Vegan Pesto: The Master Recipe

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Oh, pesto: it’s so vibrant, so classic, and so yummy. But usually not so vegan. This master recipe for pesto is not only vegan, but you can make it with nearly any type of nuts or seeds!

In fact, you can even make it with nearly any type of greens, not just basil! The master pesto recipe includes the ingredients for a traditional basil pesto, but where we say ‘basil’, that is just a starting point. You can use arugula or baby kale, for example. Or really any green that can stand up to vigorous chopping.

Same for the nuts. Pine nuts are the traditional nut for pesto, but few people just happen to have a stash of pine nuts in their pantry (plus they are very expensive). We used a 50/50 mixture of sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds in our last batch of this awesome vegan pesto, and it was amazing. So feel free to get creative and experiment!

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Right now we aren’t leaving the house, and we are so very lucky that we just happen to be growing basil (and cherry tomatoes!) in our Aerogarden, so when we get a craving for pesto we are able to make it on the spot! We love our Aerogardens (yes, plural, they are kind of addicting) for just that reason! (You can check out Aerogardens on Amazon here.)

Basil in Our Aerogarden
basil in aerogarden

This last time we had the pesto with gluten-free fettuccine, and tossed in those cherry tomatoes from our Aerogarden, and it was incredible!

Here’s the master recipe, if you change it up let us know what you came up with!

Perfect Vegan Pesto: the Master Recipe

2 cups fresh greens, packed to equal 2 cups (basil is traditional, but you can use almost any non-wimpy green)
1 heaping teaspoon finely chopped garlic (about 2 cloves)
1/4 cup nuts or seeds (pine nuts are traditional, we use sunflower and pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Place everything except the olive oil and the nutritional yeast in a food processor (using the steel S blade), and pulse until finely chopped.

perfect vegan pesto chopped ingredients

Now turn the food processor on, and slowly pour in the olive oil, and keep processing until the oil is fully incorporated, and the pesto is as smooth as you want it.

Now mix in the nutritional yeast until just fully mixed in.

vegan pesto recipe

That’s it! Enjoy your perfect pesto!

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perfect vegan pesto in gluten-free fettuccine with cherry tomatoes

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