Vegan Pesto: Two Easy Recipes

3 min read

This easy vegan pesto is a great option for people who are looking to avoid dairy. It can be added to any dish but especially pasta and pizza. Remember to purchase fresh ingredients to keep the pesto as fresh tasting as possible. Here are two easy recipes for vegan pesto.


Spinach-Based Vegan Pesto: Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 3 teaspoons pine nuts or walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper as desired
  • Chili flakes if desired for an extra kick
  • 2 tablespoons water

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or small size blender. Blend the nuts and garlic first. Use pulse mode until the ingredients are finely chopped. Then add in the remaining ingredients except the olive oil. Once minimally blended add the olive oil in. Add additional salt if needed. The pesto should have a fairly smooth consistency for easy spreading.

Ingredients Kale Based Vegan Pesto

  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 3 teaspoons pine nuts or walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper as desired
  • Chili flakes if desired for an extra kick
  • 2 tablespoons water

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Similar to above, blend the ingredients, leading with the nuts and garlic. Be sure to use pulse mode on the food processor until the ingredients are finely chopped. Finally, add the rest of the ingredients except the olive oil. Once minimally blended add the olive oil in. Add salt to taste if additional salt is needed. The pesto should have a fairly smooth consistency for easy spreading and mixing.

Is Pesto Vegan?

If you make the recipe as above, then yes it would be vegan. However, not all pesto is not vegan as some recipes do contain dairy. If you don't need or want a vegan pesto, you can add parmesan to this mixture for a more cheesy flavor. If you plan to add parmesan, consider eliminating the nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast provides the cheesy like quality in vegan foods so you will not need this if you plan to add parmesan.

Benefits To Vegan Diet

Following a vegan diet is likely to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It is also good for the environment because it requires less natural resources for food production when compared to a diet that includes meat.

Sources:

Marrone G, Guerriero C, Palazzetti D, Lido P, Marolla A, Di Daniele F, Noce A. Vegan Diet Health Benefits in Metabolic Syndrome. Nutrients. 2021 Mar 2;13(3):817. doi: 10.3390/nu13030817. PMID: 33801269; PMCID: PMC7999488.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33801269/


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