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Oil-Free Vegan Pesto, Your Way

You might think you have to give up your favorite foods to go whole food no oil vegan, but nothing could be further from the truth. Case in point: I love Pesto. On Everything. But it's traditionally made with 2 types of cheese and oil, none of which I want to eat. Instead of the cheese we can substitute the exact same amount of nutritional yeast ("nooch" for short) for that cheesy flavor and texture and for the oil, Aquafaba stands in perfectly.

BOOM! Oil-free Vegan Pesto.

Without as much of the cholesterol, saturated fat and calories of the traditional Pesto.


1 packed cup basil leaves, about 2 ounces

2 cloves of garlic

1/3 cup walnuts

1/3 cup of nooch (nutritional yeast)

Scant 1/2 cup aquafaba (liquid from the can of chickpeas or homemade chickpeas)

juice of one lemon

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

optional: 1/8 tsp. cayenne or less if you like heat

How to whip it up:

Add everything to a mini-chopper, mini food processor or blender and pulse until the mixture spins freely and the nuts are incorporated. Add a little more aquafaba for your perfect consistency if desire and scrape down sides if necessary.

Now here's the great thing about this recipe:

  • Don't have walnuts? Fine. Use pine nuts or cashews or any combo of these nuts

  • Don't have enough basil? Fine. Use Arugula. Or more Spinach.

  • Want to add other herbs? Fine. Add fresh Oregano

  • Don't have a lemon? Fine. Skip it.

  • Like more basil? Fine. Use 2 cups and add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup more aquafaba until the mixture spins freely.

How to serve Vegan Pesto:

  • As a traditional pasta topping and even on spaghetti squash, served warm or cold

  • Add any other veggies to the last 5 minutes of the boiling pasta water that you like. I always add 1/2 cup frozen cut string beans and 1/2 cup frozen peas, per pound of pasta.

  • Serve it on another grain such as cooked Farro or Quinoa.

  • Spread pesto on prepared flatbread or raw fresh pizza dough (rolled out), add fresh or canned tomato chunks, cashew cheese and any other veggies and bake at 425 degrees until bubbly and slightly brown on bottom. Drizzle with more pesto on serving...

  • Put 1/2 cup of your pesto pasta concoction on top of salad greens to make a substantial "Big Salad." Add your favorite dressing (sparingly, as the pesto adds oil and flavor).

  • Make Vegan Pesto Toast: Spread pesto on toasted bread, top with sliced tomatoes and put back in the toaster oven under broiler for a minute or two until bubbly.

  • As a dip for any crusty bread...

Definitely make a double batch and

keep some in the freezer and the fridge like this!

What do you want to learn more about:

Whole Food Plant-Based Oil-Free Recipes?

Vegan Cooking & Adventure Trips & Retreats?

Working with me for serious weight loss & measurable health gains?

The Free Plant-Empowered Woman Facebook Group?

With Love, Broccoli & Vegan Weight Loss Magic✨

-Vegan Coach Naomi

LADIES: Join the Movement WE ARE DIET REBELS & Never Diet Again!
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