Vegan Pesto

Vegan Pesto

Pesto doesn't have to be heavy with dairy. In fact, I find that cheese takes away from the fresh flavor of summer basil. This is a healthier version of traditional pesto. In the summer, I make this pesto in large batches with basil from my garden or the farmers market, and freeze it in individual 1/2 cup containers. Then when I need pesto for a quick and easy dinner, I take out a container of pesto and set it on the counter before I head to work. When I get home it's thawed and ready to use.
Prep Time10 mins


  • 8 oz basil washed and large stems removed
  • 2-3 cloves garlic to taste
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or cashews
  • 1 TBSP light miso paste*
  • juice of 1-2 lemons to taste
  • 2-4 TBSP olive oil to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and puree until the mixture is the consistancy of a thin paste.
  • Add more oil, lemon juice or water to thin if mixture is too thick. If mixture is too thin, add more nuts to thicken.


Pesto should be made to your individual taste. You may prefer a pesto with more lemon, less garlic or more oil. I use miso paste in this vegan recipe to add body and a richness and saltiness. You can omit the miso if you prefer or substitute parmesan for a non-vegan pesto.
*I find that 1/2 cup of pesto is the right amount to serve on pasta for two adults or two adults and a child.

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