Easy Vegan Pesto Recipe – Dairy & Nut Free

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Easy vegan pesto comes together in just a few minutes and is bursting with fresh flavor. This vegan pesto recipe is a twist on the classic pesto made from four simple ingredients to add flavor to a variety of dishes.

Ingredients you will need to make vegan pesto: fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, and salt.

jar of vegan pesto on a counter with fresh basil leaves and garlic cloves around it.

This post was updated December 2018

This is kind of a part one of a two-part special deal. I wanted to share with you this delicious pesto recipe I made for this recipe. That is totally a legit thing to do right? It’s kind of like a sneak peak. Like, what is she possibly going to do with pesto? I have you all at the edge of your chairs right? Well, you will just have to wait and see. So mean.

Vegan pesto is a very easy and delicious sauce that can be used for a wide variety of things. Pasta, pizza, dipping veggies, over salad, whatever you dream of you can probably put pesto on it. The main ingredient in any pesto is usually basil, and boy do we have tons and tons of fresh basil growing in the garden. Basil is awesome because it can help deter some bugs when planted next to peppers and tomatoes.

Did I mention that it is delicious? I’ve even had basil ice cream that was rockin’. The other main ingredients usually found in pesto… pine nuts and parmesan cheese. Which, in this household, doesn’t fly. Well, it could fly, but then I would be an itchy, acne-covered girl with my entire body aching. Ain’t nobody got time for that.  So, I created this recipe with just four simple ingredients, and no dairy or nuts, which also makes it vegan. Easy peasy. 

half of vegan pesto in a jar with basil and garlic cloves to the right

Vegan Pesto Tips

  • Peel garlic easily by taking a glove, laying the knife flat on it clove pound your fist on the flat blade (steering clear of the sharp park of the blade). Then easily peel the skin off.
  • Make sure the basil is rinsed and dried off. You don’t want any water in the pesto or it won’t last very long. Water can lead to spoilage.
  • If you want a more classic pesto recipe and don’t have a nut allergy, you could add a handful of pine nuts. If you do have a nut allergy you could use a little bit of sunflower seeds. I just kept this recipe simple without extra ingredients, so I omitted these.
  • Don’t be shy when you use this delicious sauce. Liberally top your favorite foods with it. I’m not here to judge the amount you use.

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Tools you may need to make this recipe:

You don’t need a lot of fancy tools to make this vegan pesto recipe. Food processor (I have this one) or a blender, and a silicon spatula to scrap down the sides. I also like to use a mason jar to store it in.

How do you make Vegan Pesto?

  1. Peel garlic, rinse basil and pat dry.
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender.
  3. Pulse until pretty smooth.

vegan pesto in a glass jar with fresh basil around it

Want More Vegan Recipes? Check these out!

Just a side note: we are not vegan, but we do cook a lot of vegan recipes because we are dairy free so you will find quite a few vegan recipes on the blog. Sometime we add meat or goat cheese (which our bodies tolerate) to them to make them not vegan.

Vegan Pesto Recipe

Easy Vegan Pesto

Twist on the classic pesto made from four simple ingredients.
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Author: Amy K
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 2 cups basil fresh and packed
  • 1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic or more if you have really small cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Place ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until almost smooth. Use right away or store in the fridge for up to a week.


If you want a more classic pesto recipe and don't have a nut allergy, you could add a handful of pine nuts.
If you do have a nut allergy you could use a little bit of sunflower sees or as a reader suggested, hemp hearts.. I just kept this recipe simple without extra ingredients, so I omitted these.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 122kcal | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 146mg | Potassium: 23mg | Vitamin A: 315IU | Vitamin C: 1.6mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Course: Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vegan pesto
Tried this recipe? Tag me!Mention @ablossominglife or tag #ablossominglife!


Vegan Pesto FAQ:

Is pesto vegan?

This recipe is because it doesn’t include dairy like most traditional recipes do. If you are just craving some vegan parmesan, my friend Sophia over at Veggies Don’t Bite makes a recipe that she says is incredible and is made from simple ingredients. It does contain nuts for anyone with a nut allergy.

Is there dairy in pesto?

Yes, usually there is, but since we are dairy free I omitted it.

How do you use pesto?

However your heart desires. Use it as pizza or pasta sauce, top crusty bread with it, add it to mashed potatoes (yum!), put it on sandwiches, and more. There are so many pestobilities… sorry not sorry.


 Wasn’t that so easy? What do you think you will make with your yummy pesto?




  1. Have you ever tried Hemp Hearts as a replacement for pine nuts in recipes? They have a lovely ‘nutty’ flavor, are extremely healthy and have some texture to them.

  2. Thanks for posting this! We have nut allergies and cannot have regular pesto. It is hard to find a good recipe for pesto, and this ne is going on our list.

    1. I totally know you’re pain Carolyn! Nut allergies are no fun. Hope you love it! It’s really delicious on pizza and pasta.

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