Vegan Basil Walnut Pesto

Usually the rain makes me bummed– I have to stay inside, it’s cold, no outdoor fun, it just stinks.  However, a few rainy days ago, I had the time of my life.  It forced me to stay in, relax and just do whatever I wanted to do.  And I wanted to make pesto.Vegan Bail Pesto

Before the winter cold, my basil plant was flourishing.  What started as a small baby basil, became a beautiful, luscious, full-leaved basil plant!  I do not have a green thumb, so I have to say, I was pretty darn proud.

Look at all this!

Vegan Walnut Basil Pesto

Y’all.  I had the best day ever.  I don’t know if anyone has ever been so happy making pesto.  I was picking, rinsing, chopping, taking photos and hopping around in my kitchen.  It’s a good feeling.

Anyway, this pesto is so easy to make– you literally just throw it all in a food processor.  I use Hamilton Beach’s Stack & Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor and baby, it works wonders.

Vegan Walnut Basil Pesto Vegan Walnut Basil Pesto

Typically, pesto contains cheese, but I opted for nutritional yeast to create a vegan version. Nutritional Yeast is inactive yeast and packed with nutrients (think B-vitamins, folic acid, fiber).  It has a cheesy and nutty taste.  Here is a great article from Mind Body Green on Nutritional Yeast.

Vegan Walnut Basil Pesto

I also sprinkled in a bit of spinach to add more nutrition.  You can’t even tell.

I’ve added this pesto to eggs, pasta, chicken, salads, you name it.  I have made it twice and froze a jar to enjoy this winter!  What is your favorite version of pesto?


Vegan Basil Walnut Pesto [veg] [v] [gf]

by Kristin Hong

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (8 oz.)

  • 2 cups packed Basil
  • 3/4 cups packed Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 c. Walnuts
  • 1/2 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Lemon
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast


Add walnuts to the food processor and pulse 10-12 times.

Add basil, spinach, garlic and lemon juice. Pulse until well combined.

Sprinkle in nutritional yeast.

Turn the food processor on puree and add olive oil in a constant stream.

Use on your favorite meals or freeze for later!

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