This Vegan Basil Pesto is so flavorful and aromatic! This recipe has adapted the classic, traditional pesto sauce and made vegan. It’s made with fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice. Basil pesto can be used as a versatile condiment or sauce in a wide variety of dishes. Use it in pasta, salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and more. It’s a delicious way to add a burst of flavor and a touch of freshness to your meals.
Vegan Basil Pesto Serving Suggestions
- Pasta: Toss cooked pasta with some basil pesto for a delicious and flavorful pasta dish. Also, you can add in some roasted vegetables, cherry tomatoes, or vegan cheese for added texture and flavor.
- Pizza: Use this pesto as a sauce for your homemade pizza. Spread a thin layer of pesto on the pizza dough. Then top with your favorite veggies, vegan cheese, and other toppings.
- Avocado Toast: Basil pesto can be a delicious addition to avocado toast! Simply spread some pesto onto a slice of toast or a halved avocado. Then top with sliced or mashed avocado. Additionally, you can add additional toppings. Try adding sliced tomatoes, red onion, microgreens, or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan. It will add flavor and texture. The creamy richness of avocado pairs well with the fresh and herbaceous flavors of basil pesto. It creates a tasty and satisfying breakfast or snack option. Give it a try and enjoy the combination of flavors!
- Bruschetta: Spread this basil pesto on toasted baguette slices. Then top with diced tomatoes, fresh basil, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a tasty bruschetta appetizer.
- Sandwiches and Wraps: Use this pesto sauce as a spread on sandwiches, wraps, or paninis. It adds a burst of flavor and creaminess to your favorite sandwich fillings.
- Dip: Serve this sauce as a dip with fresh vegetables, crackers, or breadsticks. It makes for a flavorful and nutritious appetizer or snack.
- Salad Dressing: Mix this basil pesto with some lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil. It creates a tangy and herbaceous salad dressing. Drizzle it over your favorite salad for a burst of flavor!
- Marinade: Use this basil sauce as a marinade for tofu, tempeh, or vegetables. Simply coat the protein or vegetables with pesto. Then let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight before grilling, baking, or sautéing.
- Soup Garnish: Add a dollop of basil pesto as a garnish to soups, stews, or chili. It will add a surprising pop of flavor and freshness.
- Stuffed Mushrooms: Fill mushroom caps with vegan basil pesto. Then bake until tender for a delicious and flavorful appetizer.
- Veggie Bowls: Drizzle this sauce over roasted or steamed vegetables in a veggie bowl.
- Potato Salad: This is a favorite dish! Simply mix the pesto with cooked and diced potatoes. It gives an unique and flavorful twist on classic potato salad.
- Crostini: Spread the basil pesto on slices of baguette or bread. Then top with roasted vegetables, vegan cheese, or fresh herbs for a tasty crostini appetizer.
- Grain Bowls: Stir vegan pesto into cooked grains. You can use quinoa, brown rice, or couscous. Then add in roasted vegetables, beans, or tofu for a hearty and flavorful grain bowl.
- Breakfast Option: Spread vegan basil pesto on toast or bagels, and top with sliced tomatoes, avocado, or plant-based cheese for a delicious and savory breakfast option.
- Pasta Salad: Mix vegan basil pesto with cooked pasta, diced vegetables, and beans or legumes for a tasty and protein-packed pasta salad.
- Grilled Cheese: Spread vegan basil pesto on bread slices, along with plant-based cheese, and grill or pan-fry until crispy and melty for a flavorful twist on a classic grilled cheese sandwich.
- Flatbread: Spread vegan basil pesto on a thin flatbread, and top with roasted vegetables, sliced olives, and plant-based cheese for a quick and easy flatbread pizza-style appetizer or snack.
- Dip for Breadsticks: Serve vegan basil pesto as a dip alongside breadsticks, bread rolls, or garlic knots for a flavorful and aromatic appetizer or side dish.
- Roasted Veggie Bowl: Toss roasted vegetables, such as carrots, zucchini, bell peppers, and onions, with vegan basil pesto for a delicious and flavorful roasted veggie bowl.
- Tofu Scramble: Vegan basil pesto can be a great addition to tofu scramble! To incorporate it, simply prepare your tofu scramble as you normally would, using crumbled tofu, vegetables, and seasoning. Towards the end of the cooking process, stir in some vegan basil pesto to infuse the dish with its aromatic flavors. The creamy and tangy notes of basil pesto can complement the savory and umami flavors of the tofu scramble, adding a burst of freshness and depth of flavor. You can also top the finished tofu scramble with an extra dollop of vegan basil pesto before serving for an extra burst of flavor. Give it a try and elevate your tofu scramble to a new level!
Vegan basil pesto is best stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can typically be stored for up to 5 days, depending on the freshness of the ingredients used. To prevent the pesto from oxidizing and turning brown, you can also cover the surface of the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil before sealing the container. If you have leftover pesto that you won’t be able to use within that time frame, you can also freeze it in small portions for future use. Simply transfer the pesto to a freezer-safe container or ice cube trays, cover tightly, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature, and give it a good stir before using.
Vegan Basil Pesto
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a food processor, blend the basil, pine nuts, lemon juice, and garlic until coarsely chopped.
- Add the nutritional yeast and pulse until well combined.
- Slowly pour in the olive oil while pulsing the mixture until it forms a smooth paste.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy your vegan pesto on pasta, bread, or as a dip!