The BEST Vegan Pesto Recipe

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Our dairy-free pesto tantalizes your taste buds with lime and garlic while it satisfies your craving for cheesy richness. We use a combination of pine nuts, macadamia nuts, and walnut to add depth and a variety of textures. 

Every time we make pesto it's a little different because Markus eye-balls the amounts :-) It took a while to pin him down and get a measurement of amounts for this vegan pesto! 

The boys, Nikko and Orion, and I are the taste-testers. Orion often asks for more salt. I tend to go for more lime or garlic. Of course, the nutritional yeast gives it that cheesy flavor, so there must be enough of that too. 

You'll appreciate how simple and easy this recipe is to make, and how fun it is to shift the flavors to suit your mood. 

We use this for vegan pesto gnocchi or pasta dinners, on toast in the morning, and to add magic to our Vegan Lasange recipe and red sauces. It even finds its way into coconut Thai curries. The oil used in this pesto is heart-healthy olive oil. You can be snacking on this delicious pesto in 15 minutes. 

1. Gather these simple ingredients plus basil and olive oil. 


2. Put everything in the blender. 


3. Blend slowly, tamping it down and scraping the sides as you go. We appreciate having smooth pesto some days and textured, or nut-crunchy pesto on others.  Be careful not to nick your spatula! (We speak from experience ūüėČ )


4. If you will be storing your batch of pesto, cover it with a thin layer of olive oil to keep the surface from oxidizing. Without the oil to keep the air off, you'll see that the top turns brown like a sliced apple or avocado will. It won't hurt you or change the flavor, it's just not as pretty. 

We store our pesto in a glass jar in the refrigerator. 



If you know you love pesto, you'll enjoy it in these recipes too:


Our Italian friends and meat-loving family rave about our Vegan Lasagne!

Vegan Bolognese Pasta Sauce. You'll love the mushrooms, red wine, and pesto additions that make you want to skip the pasta and eat it with a spoon! 


Vegan Vegetable Involtini. Involtini means "small bite". These crunchy, flavorful, stuffed zucchini small bites will delight you and your friends. 

Jump to the BEST Vegan Pesto Grocery List

Jump to the BEST Vegan Pesto Nutritional Information


 The BEST Vegan Pesto Recipe


  • 15 minutes prep
  • Serves 8, serving size is 2 Tablespoons
  • Suggested equipment: Vitamix blender, spatula, and measuring devices


  • 2 cups basil leaves, packed (de-stemmed)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 3 Tbs lime juice
  • 4 tsp nutritional yeast
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp white miso


  1. Combine all ingredients in your blender. A Vitamix is fabulous for getting smooth pesto.  Make sure to keep spatula away from blender blades. Start with low speed while you scrape the sides. As it mixes, slowly increase the blender speed to get the texture you want. 
  2. Once the pesto is as smooth as you like, add more salt and lime juice to taste. 


Chef's Notes 

Pesto is a flexible recipe. You can use any nuts you like in it. You can toast them too! It seems every time we make our pesto we do it differently. Sometimes we want more lime, other times more basil. Our boys always help with taste-testing and we adjust the vegan pesto recipe to reflect our moods.

Six ounces of fresh de-stemmed basil makes about 2 cups of packed leaves. 

**Scroll down for your vegan grocery list and nutritional analysis of our Three Nut Vegan Pesto.**


We hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you have an article or recipe requests, let us know on our Facebook page: Your Vegan FamilyWhile you're there, please like our page and share our posts!

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                       bowl of vegan basil pesto    vegan pesto nuts, lime and garlic and dairy free pesto with gnochi in a bowl


Written by Your Vegan Family 

Stacy and Markus live a thriving vegan lifestyle with their two young boys. They write articles and offer courses to inspire you about plant-based cooking, teach you how to stay healthy and stay vegan, and moderate a private online Thriving Vegan Family Community where you can interact directly with them, other families, and plant-based enthusiasts about a vegan lifestyle, nutrition, and raising vegan kids.

They earned degrees in molecular biology and acupuncture, consulted over decades for healthcare companies and individuals, created businesses in Asian medicine, eco-tourism, cultural immersion, and taught yoga in myriad venues. They also offer individual health and wellness coaching to individuals who are motivated to improve the quality of their lives. 

We’ve learned a lot from eating a plant-based diet for 25 years and are eager to help you have fun going vegan and staying vegan. Learn more on our About Us page.


Vegan Pesto Recipe Grocery List: 

  • basil leaves
  • garlic
  • 3 limes
  • pine nuts
  • walnuts
  • macadamia nuts
  • olive oil
  • nutritional yeast
  • salt
  • white miso

Nutritional Analysis

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutritional calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. One serving is 1/4 cup.

Percentages are based on a 2,000 calorie daily diet for an adult. 






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