This vegan pesto is a delicious, dairy free, basil pesto recipe that’s super easy to make and will leave you wanting more! This is my favorite vegan basil pesto and I hope it will be yours as well.
I’m a life long pesto lover. I love pesto in all it’s types and flavors, particularly a good basil pesto recipe.
But pesto isn’t vegan, and initially, this news broke my heart.
Why is pesto not vegan?
The reason that vegans cannot eat pesto is because a classic basil pesto recipe includes Parmesan cheese which, as you may know, is a dairy product.
But I have great news! If you love basil pesto, you don’t have to give it up just because you no longer eat dairy products!
In fact, I’m here to tell you that vegan pesto tastes even better without the Parmesan!! It’s true!
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN BASIL PESTO
The key to creating a basil pesto recipe without dairy is to make one simple ingredient swap. All that is required is to replace the cheese with soaked cashews. Honestly, it is that simple! As a result, you will have a vegan pesto that is even better than the classic version!
In fact, if I didn’t already know there are cashews in this basil pesto, I wouldn’t be able to tell. The flavor is nearly identical to a dairy-based basil pesto. The truth is, this may be the best basil pesto recipe I have ever made, and I am pretty confident that you’ll enjoy it too. 🙂
How long does vegan pesto last?
This pesto stays fresh in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. If you don’t think you will use an entire batch within that time, just freeze some of it. I have a great kitchen hack for freezing pesto:
- Freeze the pesto in an ice cube tray.
- After it is frozen solid, remove the cubes of pesto from the tray.
- Place the cubes into a zip-top freezer bag and store it in the freezer for up to 4 months.
It is so convenient to have homemade pesto on hand and ready to use in dishes like pesto pasta and Greek Pasta Salad.
ANOTHER VEGAN SAUCE YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
BASIL PESTO RECIPE:
Vegan Pesto with Basil and Cashews
- 2 cups fresh basil (firmly packed for measuring)
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight)
- 2 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup olive oil
- Soak the nuts overnight in some fresh water and then drain the water off. The yield the next day will be more than a cup, but that's okay. Use them all in this recipe.
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. You can adjust the salt and garlic to your liking or even the oil if you want a runnier consistency. But these measurements make a good pesto sauce as is. The rest is up to your personal tastes.
- If this makes too much for you to use up right away, freeze in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, pop out the cubes and transfer to a freezer-safe container for storage. You can freeze this up to 6 months.