Vegan Spinach Basil Pesto

It’s amazing what a few plants can do to a home. Our apartment feels much more alive and “homey” these days which I believe is mostly due to our little urban garden. When the gardener gets home from work, he goes straight to the kitchen balcony to check on his plants while I start dinner. I tell him what herbs I need for the evening and he cuts me some (I’m still banned from harvesting after the last time). When we go away for the weekend, upon return, we are occasionally greeted by a few new tomatoes or jalapeños. It’s nice to have a few things to take care of…but fish and plants are about as much as we can handle for the time being. 

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As much as I wish I loved the process of gardening, I’ll admit that I really only care about the results. I don’t have to buy herbs anymore! I find it so awesome that we are growing plants on our little balcony that we can use as sustenance. Last week, I made a quinoa salad with only ingredients from our garden (besides the quinoa of course). And most recently, our basil plant was tall, full, and ready to be harvested so I did what had to be done: made pesto. 

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I’ve been making this spinach basil pesto for a while now and it’s so good that I can eat it by the spoonful. First off, it’s unnoticeably dairy-free. Nutritional yeast is a perfect cheesy-flavored substitute for parmesan in this pesto. Second, it sneaks in 2 cups of vegetables for the veggie-averse. Lastly, pesto is great on so many things…not just pasta! I slather mine on top of salmon, use its as a dressing for a grain salad, or layer it onto pizza dough as the sauce. 

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Pick some basil. Grab some handfuls of spinach. 

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Throw everything in and blitz away. 

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That’s it! 

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No need for store-bought when you can make it how you want it in minutes. 

Vegan Spinach Basil Pesto
The vegan spinach basil pesto is so flavorful, you will never guess it's dairy-free!
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Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
  1. 1 cup (or 1 small handful) loosely packed basil leaves
  2. 2 cups (or big handfuls) firmly packed spinach leaves
  3. 3-4 garlic cloves
  4. 1/3 cup // 50g pinenuts
  5. 2/3 cup // 150 mL extra virgin olive oil
  6. 1/4 cup // 20g nutritional yeast
  7. Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place all ingredients into your immersion blender bowl (or another high bowl) and use the immersion blender to blend everything to a creamy sauce (a food processor or regular blender also work well). Taste and add salt and pepper accordingly.
  2. Use as a pasta sauce, on top of fish, on a baguette...get creative!
Adapted from All Recipes
Adapted from All Recipes
Caitlin Ball


8 Responses

  1. This pesto is so pretty! Nice and bright and green. I love having fresh herbs in my garden too. Makes all our food taste so fresh and summery. Great idea using nutritional yeast instead of cheese! I’ve got to try that : )

  2. Love your healthy and delicious spin on traditional pesto! It’s even more vibrantly beautiful (and healthier) than the classic variety! Plus I ADORE that you snuck in nutritional yeast – YESSS!!!! Cheers and thanks for sharing the YUM!♡

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