It’s no secret that I have a thing for pesto. Yet I didn’t have a recipe for my go-to version on the blog…until now.
The remedy is here! Presenting my 5-Minute Easy Vegan Pesto perfect for sauces, soups, salads, pasta, pizza, and more!
This recipe requires just 5 minutes, 1 bowl, and 7 ingredients to make.
The base is fresh basil, pine nuts, and garlic with a splash of lemon juice for acidity and brightness.
For that cheesy color and flavor, I rely on nutritional yeast, which is a man-made yeast that’s extremely high in B12 (a vitamin especially important for vegans).
Now, we have a paste, but to make it a sauce, I rely on a mix of extra virgin olive oil and water. If you’re trying to avoid oil, feel free to sub the EVOO for vegetable broth or water!
I hope you all love this pesto! It’s:
& SO easy to make
I love adding pesto to things like white pasta sauce, breadsticks, salad dressings, sauces, and more! This recipe yields about 1 cup, and I’m always surprised how quickly I use it up throughout the week. It also freezes well in ice cube trays, so you can thaw and use a small amount whenever a recipe calls for pesto.
For my favorite pesto recipes, check out our Spicy Red Pasta with Lentils, Penne Pasta Salad, Smashed Potatoes with Garlic Pesto, Pea Pesto Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta, and Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Basil Pesto.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Easy Vegan Pesto (5 minutes!)
The easiest vegan pesto in 5 minutes! Cheesy and flavorful despite being dairy-free, plus an option for lower oil/fat. It’s the perfect plant-based spread for Italian dishes and more!
Author: Minimalist Baker
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free
Serves: 1 cup
- 2 cups packed (144 g) fresh basil (large stems removed)
- 3 Tbsp (25 g) pine nuts or walnuts (if nut-free, try sunflower seeds!)
- 3 large cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice
- 3-4 Tbsp (9-12 g) nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
- 2-3 Tbsp (30-45 ml) extra virgin olive oil*
- 3-6 Tbsp (45 – 70 ml) water (plus more as needed)
- To a food processor or small blender, add the basil, nuts, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and sea salt and blend/mix on high until a loose paste forms.
- Add olive oil a little at a time (streaming in while the machine is on if possible) and scrape down sides as needed. Then add 1 Tbsp (15 ml) water at a time until the desired consistency is reached – a thick but pourable sauce. (If avoiding oil altogether, sub the oil with vegetable broth or just use all water.)
- Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor, salt for overall flavor, nuts for nuttiness, garlic for bite / zing, or lemon juice for acidity.
- Perfect for adding to sauces, dressings, breads, and more! My favorite recently has been adding it straight to zucchini or carrot noodles (see photo) for a beautiful, healthy side dish.
- Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 1 week. After that, pour into ice cube molds, freeze, and store up to 1 month or more.
*Recipe adapted from my Smashed Potatoes with Garlic Pesto.
Serving size: 1 Tbsp (of 16 Tbsp) Calories: 39 Fat: 3.8 g Saturated fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 1.2 g Sugar: 0 g Sodium: 32 mg Fiber: 0 g Protein: 0.8 g