Easy Vegan Basil Pesto (low oil)

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Pesto is one of the easiest ways to elevate a dish! My Easy Vegan Basil Pesto uses just a couple fresh ingredients and minimal oil to achieve a flavorful finish that’s perfect as a sauce, spread, or dip.

Easy Basil Pesto

Where are my fellow pesto lovers?! I absolutely making this Easy Vegan Basil Pesto to use with almost any dish. It’s positively bursting with flavor thanks to garlic, lemon, pine nuts, and of course…tons of fresh basil! As a bonus, it uses only a fraction of the oil that traditional pesto recipes call for. The possibilities are almost endless with a topping like pesto. Use it as a dip, spread, sauce, or dressing on all of your favorite meals!

Pesto with Fresh Basil
Basil Pesto Ingredients

Ingredients in Vegan Basil Pesto

  • Basil – You can find fresh basil in the produce section of the grocery store. Many stores sell basil plants now, so if you’re interested in growing your own you can bring a plant home and harvest basil straight from the plant!
  • Pine nuts – Use raw pine nuts for this recipe.
  • Lemon – I think fresh lemon tastes best! Use the juice from about half of a lemon.
  • Garlic – Start with two cloves, and if you like your pesto extra garlicky, you can taste and add more!
  • Extra virgin olive oil – This recipe only uses a splash of olive oil, which is far less than most classic pesto recipes! I thin the pesto further with water until it reaches my desired consistency.
Homemade Pesto Recipe

How to Make Homemade Vegan Basil Pesto

This is a really simple recipe to make! All you need is a 7-cup food processor. Add everything but the oil and water, then turn the motor on and slowly stream in the oil, then the water, while the motor runs. Remove the top and give it a taste test! You can adjust the flavors and scrape the sides as needed. Store your Vegan Basil Pesto in the refrigerator, but keep in mind that it will thicken when cooled, so it will need to be brought back to room temperature before using!

Vegan Basil Pesto Recipe

All About Basil

Fresh basil is one of those bright herbs that makes dishes come alive! We’ve been growing basil in our Home Veggie & Herb Garden! It is so fun to watch the plants grow and change, and everyone gets excited when we bring something into the house from the garden and it becomes part of a meal. Basil plants like lots of sunlight and moist soil. They’re pretty easy to keep alive! I love using fresh basil as a topping on my Vegan Skillet White Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Roasted Garlic, & Basil.

Best Pesto Recipe

How to Use Pesto

I absolutely LOVE pesto. It makes any dish tastier, and the bright green color is brings is beautiful on the table! It’s traditionally used as a pasta topping, like in my Parsley-Pea Pesto Pasta and Grilled Veggie Pesto Pasta recipes. It would also be delicious on Easy Zucchini Pizza Bites, Crispy Smashed Potatoes, or as a topping on a bowl of Classic Chickpea Hummus. We even eat pesto plain as a veggie dip or use it as a spread on sandwiches and wraps!

Vegan Pesto Recipe

This Easy Vegan Basil Pesto is made without dairy, soy, or refined sugar, and it has very little oil. I hope you make and love it! If you do, please tag me on Instagram so I can see your creations. You can also drop a review below to let me know how it turned out!

Vegan Basil Pesto
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Fresh Basil Pesto

Vegan Basil Pesto


  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Pesto is one of the easiest ways to elevate a dish! My Easy Vegan Basil Pesto uses just a couple fresh ingredients and minimal oil to achieve a flavorful finish that’s perfect as a sauce, spread, or dip.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup raw pine nuts
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Add fresh basil, pine nuts, lemon, garlic, and salt to a 7-cup food processor.  Turn on the motor and slowly stream in the oil while the motor is still running.  Next, add in the water while the motor is running.
  2. Remove top and taste.  Adjust flavor and texture to taste if desired.  Scrape down the sides to process again if needed.
  3. Use immediately overtop pasta, pizza or grilled or roasted veggies, in wraps or sandwiches, or stirred into soup!
  4. Store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to one week.  Pesto sauce will thicken slightly after being stored.  Allow to sit at room temperature to allow the oil to liquify before using.  You can also freeze this pesto for up to 3 months (leaving room at the top of the airtight container for expansion).
  • Category: Condiment/Sauce
  • Method: Food Processor

Keywords: easy vegan pesto recipe

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