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vegan pesto in a bowl with a spoon ready to serve

5-Minute Vegan Pesto

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Verna
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This easy and herbaceous 5-Minute Vegan Pesto is the absolute best! The fresh, tangy, and savory ingredients blend together in no time and can be frozen for months on end. Use it as a flavor-enhancer on pizza, sandwiches, salad, and more!



For pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh basil, packed*
  • 2/3 cups walnuts or sunflower seeds (cashews, pecans, pepitas or pine nuts delicious also)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup oil ( olive oil, grapeseed, avocado, etc,..)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar*
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4-6 tablespoons water


  1. Place your basil, nuts or seeds, nutritional yeast, balsamic vinegar, garlic, oil, salt, and water into your food processor. 
  2. Blend your ingredients together until a smooth sauce forms. Add more water or oil as necessary to reach your desired consistency.
  3. Spread your finished vegan pesto onto your favorite sandwich or stir it into cooked pasta noodles and enjoy! For step by step photos, FAQ, tips and serving suggestions see above post.


  • For oil free pesto: omit the oil and add more water or vegetable stock as needed.
  • Nut free pesto: use sunflower seeds or pepitas
  • pesto will thicken in fridge add water or oil to thin
  • Could sub lemon juice but I much prefer the balsamic vinegar.
  • To store and freeze: stays fresh in an air tight container in fridge for up to 5 days. Freeze pesto in in cube trays. Once frozen pop then out into a freezer bag or sealed container and store in freezer for up to 3 months or longer!
  • If you have a limited supply of basil swap 1 cup with fresh spinach!
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Category: Sauces & Dressings, gluten free
  • Method: Food processor
  • Cuisine: Italian