The BEST Plant-Based Pesto

This plant-based pesto recipe is unbelievably delicious, and with 8 simple ingredients it’s beyond easy to make. Perfect in pasta, on sandwiches or pizza, this sauce has such a herbaceous nutty flavor. Warning: it’s almost addicting!

The BEST plant based Pesto - Healthyish Foods

I recently used this pesto on a thin crust pizza, topped with grilled asparagus and vegan feta cheese. The pesto really made the entire pizza burst with flavor. Served with a simple salad, this is the perfect light summer dinner.

The BEST plant based Pesto - Healthyish Foods

What makes it Healthyish?

Basil is loaded with anti-inflammatory agents and powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants are responsible for removing free radicals from the body; supporting a healthy immune system. (1)

Pine nuts have been known to reduce cognitive decline, and the risk of heart disease. They are also loaded with healthful antioxidants that protect our cells from damage. (2)

The BEST plant based Pesto - Healthyish Foods
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The BEST Plant-Based Pesto

Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pesto, plant based, Vegan
Servings: 4 people


  • blender


  • 1-1.5 cups packed fresh basil de-stemmed
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 large raw garlic cloves
  • Juice from ½ rip lemon or about 1 tablespoon
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup grated dairy free parmesan – Violife
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Grab a food processor or blender and combine the garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, parmesan cheese, salt, pine nuts and basil. Blend well.
  • Slowly add the olive oil until fully incorporated.
  • Taste to see if you need to tweak it at all. I ended up using 4 tablespoons olive oil.
  • Serve and Enjoy!
The BEST plant based Pesto - Healthyish Foods
Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh

Author: Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh

Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh is a home cook, recipe developer and the creator of the brand, Healthyish®. Sarah believes that living Healthyish® is a lifestyle centered around the 80/20 rule. Her beliefs are directly reflected in her recipes which are mostly plant-based. (but sometimes not) Her work can be seen in Healthy-ish by Bon Appetit and Bon Appetit Magazine (digital), Women’s Health Magazine (digital) and Mind Body Green. Sarah is a Pittsburgh, PA native but currently lives in Vail, Colorado with her husband, Dan and rescue dog, Graci!

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