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.
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.
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.
Process/blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the food processor bowl or blender with a spatula as needed.
Alternatively you could finely chop all the ingredients, then use a large mortar and pestle to make the sauce.
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.
Store this vegan walnut pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
More gluten-free vegan recipes
- This creamy baked vegan polenta is delicious served with marinara sauce and fresh basil.
- Or try these tasty vegan meatballs. They’re hearty, filling, and flavorful.
- These vegan tahini chocolate chip cookies are perfect for a nutritious treat.
- This no-churn banana ice cream is rich and creamy yet refreshing.
Vegan Walnut Pesto
- Blender or food processor
- 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
- 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.
- Store this vegan walnut pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
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