Easy vegan pesto pasta
Fresh, fragrant and delicious dairy free pesto pasta for an easy weeknight meal. Made with basil, lemon, garlic, salt, pine nuts and olive oil. Put it on pasta, roasted vegetables or sandwiches.
It’s never been easier to make a dairy free pesto sauce. This basil pesto only requires seven easy to find ingredients:
- Fresh basil
- Pine nuts
- Lemon juice
- Vegan parmesan cheese – you can also use nutritional yeast if you can’t find vegan cheese. My favorite is Violife. They have an amazing parmesan cheese. Just grate it to prepare it for this recipe.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh garlic
This recipe is
- gluten free
- quick and easy
- dairy free
To stop the pesto from turning brown if exposed to air, you can quickly blanche the basil leaves in boiling water for one second, then put them in ice water before adding to the food processor.
For a different and more deep flavor, try using roasted garlic instead of raw garlic. Just roast it with some olive oil in the oven until soft.
Lightly toasting the pine nuts on the stove for a few minutes also makes this pesto taste delicious.
The only tool you will need to make this is a food processor. If you don’t have one, you can also use a blender, but you will need to stop every now and then and scrape the pesto from the sides.
You can also use a mortar and pestle which is how I’ve seen some Italians make it.
How to use pesto
My favorite way to use pesto is on pasta. After straining the pasta, make sure to save a quarter cup of the pasta water. Then add as much pesto sauce to the pasta as you’d like. Mix it in with a little pasta water for more flavor.
I also love putting pesto over roasted vegetables, in wraps and sandwiches and stirred into hummus.
It also tastes good in vegan ricotta cheese. Check out these vegan pesto ricotta stuffed shells.
This pesto will last in the fridge, in an airtight container for a week. Make sure to use an airtight container because the pesto will turn brown if exposed to air.
You can also freeze the pesto in an ice cube tray overnight. Once it’s frozen, add the pesto cubes to a freezer friendly ziploc bag or a silicone reusable freezer bag. It will last in the freezer for 3-6 months.
Can I use other nuts?
Yes, this pesto also tastes good with raw almonds, walnuts or cashews.
How to make this nut free
If you’re allergic to nuts you can also use sunflower seeds, hemp seeds or pumpkin seeds (pepitas) for a nut free pesto.
You can also skip any nuts or seeds altogether and make what the French call “pistou“. They then add this into a vegetable and white bean soup called soup au pistou.
More recipes you’ll like
Dairy free pesto pasta
- Food processor
- 2 cups fresh basil (tightly packed)
- ½ cup pine nuts (or raw walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, or hemp seeds. )
- 3 cloves garlic (peeled)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ cup vegan parmesan (shredded or nutritional yeast)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (add more if needed)
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Remove the basil from the stems and add to food processor
- Add pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt and vegan parmesan cheese and pulse
- While the food processor is blending, pour in the olive oil
- Taste and add more salt if needed. If it's too acidic, add more vegan cheese, if it's too thick, add more olive oil or a splash of water.
- Add to cooked and drained pasta with ¼ cup of pasta water and top with more vegan parmesan cheese. Also goes well on roasted vegetables, sandwiches or in hummus.
If you liked this recipe, make sure to pin it to your favorite Pinterest board by clicking the image below