Simple Vegan Pesto

Ah pesto, truly the best pasta sauce.

I’ve always loved the smooth salty flavour pesto gives so many dishes. I always get complaints that It’s very hard to find vegan pesto in the shop – traditional pesto has parmesan or pecorino cheese added to it. However, it’s so easy to make pesto at home that you needn’t bother waisting time in the supermarket.

This recipe is really the simplest and best dairy free, vegan pesto around. Toasting the pine nuts before blending with the basil is a must. It brings out the wonderful nuttyness of the sauce.

Try this vegan pesto – you won’t be disappointed. You’ll wonder why you added cheese to pesto in the first place!

When to eat

Fresh herbs are most widely available in the UK in the late spring to summer months. For the best basil, enjoy then.


Serves 6
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

This meal is around 97% less polluting than the average UK meal.

  • Eating this recipe will save around 2.68 KG CO2e per person.
  • That’s equivalent to the emissions produced driving 22.6 KM in a modern car.
How do I calculate this?


  • 30 g Basil
  • 50 g Pine Nuts
  • 1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
  • 50 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1/2 Lemon (juiced)
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt


  • De-stem the basil reserving in a prep bowl with a few ice cubes. Keeping the basil with ice will make the pesto an amazing emerald green colour, but is not necessary, so don’t stress if you don’t have ice handy.
  • Lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan over a medium heat. Fry for about 2-4 minutes until the pine nuts begin to take some colour. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.
  • Once the pine nuts have cooled. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Then place into a food processor along with the nutritional yeast, pine nuts, salt, and basil. Turn the processor on and slowing pour in first the olive oil and then the lemon juice. If the pesto looks a little thick, add a teaspoon of water at a time until reaching the desired consistency.
5 from 1 vote

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