Vegan basil pesto sauce is super easy to make, incredibly versatile, and really tasty! This vegan, dairy free, & nut free vegan pesto sauce recipe tastes almost like the real thing. Maybe even better!
A Vegan Basil Pesto Sauce That Is Nut & Oil Free
This vegan basil pesto sauce is not only vegan, but also oil and nut free! You might think it would be fairly tasteless, but I promise you it's not. It has quickly become a favourite in our household. It consists of only 7 ingredients:
- Fresh basil - I use fresh Thai basil because it is grown locally in the Cameron & Genting Highlands, and its delicious!! I buy 1 bag (about 50 grams without the stems) and use the whole thing
- Nutritional yeast - literally the greatest thing ever to exist for vegans. This is your Parmesan cheese replacement. You will honestly find it hard to tell the difference! Every vegan should have nutritional yeast in their cupboards at all times!
- Hemp hearts - another great staple for vegans. The combination of the hemp hearts with the pepitas + nutritional yeast will help create the "parmesan cheese" texture & flavour
- Pepitas - as stated above, the pepitas help create the oily cheese texture and flavour. If you can't take pepitas, you can substitute for the exact amount of hemp hearts instead. This recipe calls for 4 tablespoon of pepitas, therefore you would replace with exactly 4 tablespoon of hemp hearts instead
- Other seed alternatives? You could also try this recipe with sunflower seeds if you dont have hemp hearts of pepitas. Use 8 tablespoon of sunflowers seeds instead of 4 tablespoon of hemp hearts + 4 tablespoon of pepitas.
- Fresh garlic - you can add more garlic if you want. I only put 6 cloves of fresh garlic because I find too much garlic over powering. Add up to 10 - 12 fresh cloves of garlic. I have made this recipe with 12 cloves of garlic before and it was delicious! It was just on my breath for some time afterwards as well! Thats why I prefer to use about 6 cloves only. I recommend 6 as a good starting point.
- Fresh lemon juice - don't skip the fresh lemon juice! Make sure you have a good juicer to ensure that you get no less that the 6 tablespoon of lemon juice. I use a handheld one given to me by a friend. Its the best kitchen appliance (or tool) that I own!
- Pink Himalayan Salt - pink Himalayan salt is more "salty" than other salts. This is why I use it. You can of course use a different salt, but make sure it is high quality and fine grain. A French sea salt or similar would be a good substitute. I do not recommend just ordinary table salt.
How Can A Vegan Basil Pesto Sauce Be Oil Free? Does It Still Taste Okay?
Believe me when I say this vegan basil pesto sauce tastes just as good without oil! Instead of using oil, simply substitute for water. This is a healthier, lower calorie option. It also makes It way easier to make. Why? Because blending oil on high speed makes it turn bitter. You would therefore have to slowly stir in the oil. Because this recipe calls for water instead, you can simply add all of the ingredients to you blender or food processor, and blend for as long as you want!
Should I Use A Food Processor Or Blender?
I much prefer to make this recipe in a high speed blender. The food processor won't get the pesto sauce to be completely creamy. I use the small cup attachment of my nutri-bullet. If you don't have a blender then you can use a food processor instead.
You can see in the above photo that the nutri bullet can blend the pesto into a super creamy, thick sauce.
Try this recipe with...
I love make this with my vegan pesto chicken! The pesto sauce can be divided into 4 servings of pasta. I make the "chicken" by simply baking firm tofu crusted with nutritional yeast. I then add some cherry tomatoes as well. I'll be posting my vegan pesto chicken recipe soon! I also like to make this as part of my weekly meal prepping. Its best eaten cold, making it the perfect pre made weeknight pasta meal.
Looking for more vegan pasta recipes? Why not check out my pasta recipes here
Or do you want some more vegan meal prep inspiration? Why not check out some of my vegan meal prep ideas here
Vegan Basil Pesto. Oil & Nut Free.
- 1 bunch of fresh basil about 50 grams
- 8 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 4 tablespoon hemp hearts
- 4 tablespoon pepitas can be replaced with hemp hearts if you can't take pepitas
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 6 tablespoon fresh lemon juice about 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon fine pink himalayan salt or any other high quality salt
- ⅓ cup water
- Add all ingredients to your blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.