I expressed my love for all things pesto a couple of months ago with this classic pesto recipe. I just loved how easy it was to make and how flavorful it was – it was perfect for chicken, pasta, as a condiment or whatever else. I loved how versatile it was! I used this recipe to make this Pesto Chicken Pasta and it was delicious (I know adding chicken doesn’t make it a vegan dish – but the pesto is vegan)!
But things have changed for me. Due to some stomach issues, my doctor recommended that I no longer eat cheese. Not to be dramatic, but this was kind of heart breaking news for me. Cheese makes everything better! Cheese is my number one reason for not becoming vegan. I just did not want to give it up. I didn’t want to believe that cheese was the cause of my stomach pains but I was desperate enough to give it a try. So I stopped eating cheese for a couple of weeks. Then I tried it again and the stomach pains returned. I had to break up with cheese. It’s not you cheese, it’s me. Actually it’s both of us together….it’s just not working.
I haven’t worked up the nerve to try vegan “cheese” yet but that may be in my future. I hate the thought of having to give up some of my favorite foods like pizza. At least I don’t have to give up pesto though!
This pesto recipe doesn’t even need cheese to make it amazing. It’s just as incredible as the classic version I made before. The extra bonus with this recipe is that it doesn’t have any oil in it so it’s not as high in calories. The nuts still add calories but the healthy fats are important and a valuable addition, in my opinion. Basil and spinach give it a rich green color and make it super tasty. And garlic always adds a nice flavor to anything it is added to.
All you have to do to make your own vegan pesto is to add the ingredients to your food processor, process until the ingredients are well combined and you’re done. You don’t even need to worry about exact measurements with the ingredients! It really takes less than 5 minutes to make your own pesto!
Easy Vegan Pesto
2 handfuls of baby spinach
1 handful basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup pine nuts
salt, to taste
Add all ingredients to food processor and blend until well combined.
Enjoy on sandwiches, meats or in pasta.
What is your favorite way to use pesto? Tell us in the comments below!