Oil Free Vegan Basil Pesto

Grab your basil from the garden and some other simple ingredients and make this delightful fresh pesto as a sauce, dip or garnish. 

Perfect for adding to sauces, dressings, breads, and more! This is wonderful as a soup garnish or on pasta or fresh zucchini or carrot noodles for a beautiful, healthy side dish. Check out our Roasted Red Pepper Bisque recipe for inspiration on how this can add dimension to any dish!

Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 1 week. You can also pour into ice cube molds, freeze, and store up to 1 month or more to always have fresh basil pesto on hand!

Oil Free Vegan Basil Pesto

Prep Time15 mins
Course: sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine: Plant Based
Keyword: Oil Free, Plant Based, Vegan, Whole Food Plant Based


  • food processor
  • high speed blender


  • 2 cups packed fresh basil(large stems removed)
  • 3 Tbsp pine nuts or walnuts(if nut-free, try sunflower seeds!)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3-4 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3 cloves(large) garlic(peeled)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt(plus more to taste)
  • 2-3 Tbsp oil free veggie stock or water


  • Add the basil, nuts, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and sea salt to a food processor or blender and blend/mix on high until a loose paste forms.
  • Add veggie stock or water a little at a time (streaming in while the machine is running if possible) and scrape down sides as needed. Add more in tiny amounts to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed (more nutritional yeast for a “cheesy” taste, more lemon or garlic for pizzazz, etc. Experiment and make it your OWN!)


Serving: 1oz

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