Best Vegan Pesto Recipe Ever

HomeBest Vegan Pesto Recipe Ever

We promise after you try this best vegan pesto recipe ever, you'll be hooked! It's perfect on pasta, pizza, veggies, salads and more.

Pesto using fresh basil is a favorite at my house and in our Planted Table kitchen. We make large batches and freeze in little jars to have on hand all year.

We put it on everything and my kids go crazy over it. I love spreading pesto on sandwiches, pita pockets, drizzle onto hummus, sautéing veggies and then of course as featured in this recipe over pasta.

Our pesto uses on the finest ingredients and takes a bit of time but is oh so worth it and freezer friendly. It makes great gifts too!   If you don't feel like making it, you can always order our Planted Table pesto here

 

We call this the BEST vegan pesto recipe ever! Because...it is. We've tried LOTS of pesto in the Planted Table kitchen and nothing beats this version. The nutritional yeast combined with almonds gives it a real nutty, savory flavor. This classic sauce is perfect on pasta, pizzas and more. Plus, kids love it too!

Chef Lauren MahlkeAuthorChef Lauren Mahlke
DifficultyBeginner
Servings8 Servings
Prep Time15 minsCook Time15 minsTotal Time30 mins

Chef Lauren's Tips


It is very important to take the time to blanch your basil. This will keep your pesto a beautiful green and keep it from turning brown. Before starting Planted Table, I created recipes and taught cooking classes for a California Extra Virgin Olive Oil manufacturer. We use the finest California Extra Virgin Olive oil in the Planted Table kitchen and this pesto recipe wants the good stuff. Buy only California Extra Virgin Olive Oil that has the California Olive Oil Council Seal and has a date of being harvested within one year. There are so many great California Olive Oils to choose from. We buy direct in bulk from Seka Hills in Capay Valley and you can find their Olive Oil in large quantities on amazon.

Nooch! What is Nooch? Nutritional Yeast is a star in any vegan kitchen. At Planted Table we buy it in by the caseload. I recommend keeping a jar on your counter and adding a little in all your savory dishes. Nutritional yeast has a flavor to what I compare to as “Cheeto dust” its cheesey, nutty and packed with amazing nutrition, including Vitamin B12 and zinc. It taste amazing and is good for you! Keep it in a jar by your stove and tell me what great creation you added it to. You can find nutritional yeast here.

Lemon zest adds brightness to any dish and we flavor with it constantly in the kitchen.

Here is our favorite tool to zest with. Hold lemon with one hand and move your mircroplane hand over the lemon instead of moving the hand holding the lemon, it will be safer for your fingers. Those microplanes are sharp! Here is the microplane we prefer.

When blending pesto we use a Vitamix blender. They are an investment but is worth every penny, especially when creating vegan cashew cheeses and sauces. You will thank me later. Find Vitamix Blenders here.

 2 Large Bunches of BasilRemove from stems for 1 really full cup, packed
 ½ cup Chopped Frozen Organic SpinachDrained
 ¼ cup Pine NutsReserve some for garnish
 1 tbsp Lemon Zest
 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
 5 Roasted Garlic Cloves
 ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
 ¼ cup Nooch
 Salt to taste(optional)
1

Preheat oven to 375°

2

Fill a small pot with boiling water, set up a bowl with mostly ice and some water. This is your blanching station. Place basil leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds, once it turns bright in green color remove from water and place immediately into ice bath. This shocks the basil and keeps it green.

Blanch basil to keep its freshness

3

On a sheet tray place pine nuts and almonds. Place in preheated oven for 3-4 minutes and set a timer, you learn this the hard way so trust me.

4

In the bottom of the blender add nuts, nooch, spinach, lemon zest and basil. Turn blender on low, drizzle in lemon juice and oil, turn up the speed a bit until desired texture. Add a sprinkle of salt. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. If you cannot yet taste the cheesy flavor of the nooch, add a bit more. Salt brings all the flavors together.

5

Pour into 1 cup mason jars date and freeze until ready to use, defrosts in 1 hour on the counter or in the fridge over night.

Best vegan pesto recipe

Ingredients

 2 Large Bunches of BasilRemove from stems for 1 really full cup, packed
 ½ cup Chopped Frozen Organic SpinachDrained
 ¼ cup Pine NutsReserve some for garnish
 1 tbsp Lemon Zest
 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
 5 Roasted Garlic Cloves
 ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
 ¼ cup Nooch
 Salt to taste(optional)

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 375°

2

Fill a small pot with boiling water, set up a bowl with mostly ice and some water. This is your blanching station. Place basil leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds, once it turns bright in green color remove from water and place immediately into ice bath. This shocks the basil and keeps it green.

Blanch basil to keep its freshness

3

On a sheet tray place pine nuts and almonds. Place in preheated oven for 3-4 minutes and set a timer, you learn this the hard way so trust me.

4

In the bottom of the blender add nuts, nooch, spinach, lemon zest and basil. Turn blender on low, drizzle in lemon juice and oil, turn up the speed a bit until desired texture. Add a sprinkle of salt. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. If you cannot yet taste the cheesy flavor of the nooch, add a bit more. Salt brings all the flavors together.

5

Pour into 1 cup mason jars date and freeze until ready to use, defrosts in 1 hour on the counter or in the fridge over night.

Best vegan pesto recipe

Best Vegan Pesto Recipe Ever