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The Easiest And Most Delicious Vegan Pesto (Oil-free)

This vegan pesto recipe is made with fresh basil, garlic, and lemon juice. It’s healthy, bright, and full of flavor. Perfect for dipping bread, on pizza or pasta, and more!

  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x


Units Scale
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts or pine nuts
  • 3 large cloves of fresh garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup aquafaba
  • 12 Tablespoons of water or more as needed


  1. To a food processor add all of the ingredients except for aquafaba and water. Blend on high until a paste-like consistency is formed. Stop and scrape down the sides.
  2. Turn the food processor back on and slowly pour in the aquafaba, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Once you have added all of the aquafaba turn the food processor back on and begin adding 1 Tbsp of water at a time if needed until the pesto reaches your desired consistency. It should be slightly thick but pourable.
  3. Taste and adjust the flavor as needed: lemon juice for brightness, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, or garlic for a little more bite.
  4. Great as a pasta sauce, dip, or spread on toasted bread.
  5. Store leftovers in a sealed container for up to 1 week in the fridge. To freeze, pour leftovers into an ice cube tray and store for up to 1-2 months in the freezer.


Freeze: A great way to store it is by pouring it into ice cube trays until you’re ready to use it. Simply heat up the number of “pesto cubes” you’ll need and place the rest back in the freezer. This pesto can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Nutritional Yeast: If you don’t like nutritional yeast but still want the cheesy creaminess, replace the walnuts with cashews.

Greens: I used basil and spinach for the green in this recipe. But, other greens like kale and arugula are great. Toss in some chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, or even mint for adding an extra depth of flavor.

Garlic: I tend to like a lot of garlic so I would suggest you start with 1-2 cloves and add more if you prefer. Garlic can have a bit of sharp bite.

Nuts: You can use any of your favorite nuts or seeds. I prefer walnuts but pecans, cashews, pine nuts, or even almonds are excellent choices.

  • Author: Shane Martin
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Dressing and Sauces
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: Vegan
  • Diet: Vegan


  • Serving Size: 2 Tbsp
  • Calories: 34
  • Sugar: 0.2 g
  • Sodium: 76.5 mg
  • Fat: 2.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.7 g
  • Fiber: 0.7 g
  • Protein: 1.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg