Vegan Walnut Pesto

This vegan walnut pesto sauce is delicious tossed with gluten-free pasta, used as a pizza sauce, or as a spread in sandwiches. It’s also great drizzled on roasted vegetables, rice, or used as a dip. This dairy-free, paleo, pesto recipe is easy to make, flavorful, and rich yet refreshing.

Main ingredients

Pesto is traditionally made with fresh basil, but this recipe calls for parsley instead of the usual basil. Parsley gives this sauce a refreshing, spring-like flavor. It’s perfect when you’re craving something a bit out of the ordinary. If you prefer a more traditional pesto flavor, you can swap the parsley for fresh basil instead (or use a combination of both herbs). 

Walnuts add a slightly bitter, tannic flavor that goes perfectly with the fresh parsley, garlic, and lemon in this pesto sauce. If you don’t have any walnuts you can substitute pine nuts or pecans instead. Or if you need to avoid nuts altogether, try this nut-free vegan pesto recipe instead.

This recipe calls for extra virgin olive oil which adds richness to the sauce as well as liquid necessary to ensure everything blends up nicely in the food processor or blender. You can substitute avocado oil or any other neutral oil you prefer. Or if you’re on an oil-free diet, you can substitute cold water and half an avocado instead of the olive oil in this recipe.

A glass bowl of pesto sauce.

Method

This pesto sauce is quick and easy to make. Start by adding the fresh parsley, garlic, walnuts, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to a food processor or high blender.

Ingredients for pesto in a food processor.

Process/blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the food processor bowl or blender with a spatula as needed.

Pesto blended in a food processor.

Alternatively you could finely chop all the ingredients, then use a large mortar and pestle to make the sauce.

Tip

If you’re serving this pesto on pasta, be sure to toss the pasta with the pesto sauce while the pasta is still hot. The heat from the pasta will lightly cook the garlic and mellow the flavor of the raw garlic.

Storage

Store this vegan walnut pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.

A glass bowl filled with pesto.

More gluten-free vegan recipes

Vegan Walnut Pesto

This vegan walnut pesto sauce is made with parsley instead of the traditional basil. It's easy to make and rich yet refreshing.
Course sauce
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 174kcal

Equipment

  • Blender or food processor

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh parsley
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Add the fresh parsley, walnuts, extra virgin olive oil, garlic clove, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to a food processor or blender.
  • Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the food processor or blender as necessary.
  • Toss with pasta, use as a pizza sauce, drizzle on roasted vegetables, etc.

Notes

  • Store this vegan walnut pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tablespoons | Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1266IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg

You might also like