A Healthy Vegan Basil Pesto, hence NO CHEESE!

It was a gorgeous day in the Tri-State region... summery, breezy, and beautiful.  My husband got us bagels and coffee this morning and I made my special low-fat veggie cream cheese to go with it.  In the evening we went for a stroll by the waterfront taking in the incredible views of New York City.  I became so hungry and ended up getting a healthy Baba Ghanoush sandwich from an authentic Middle Eastern shack.  It was so good, cheap, and delicious. 

This past week I had some basil lying around and I didn't want it to go to waste, so I decided to make Basil Pesto without cheese making this sauce, Vegan.  I came up with this recipe and I thought it tasted really good.  This pesto sauce lasted about 3 days in the refrigerator... the lemon helped keep the sauce green and fresh.  Here is how I did it...

NUTRITION: Basil is an excellent source of Vitamin K and a very good source of Iron, Calcium, and Vitamin A.  Walnuts are an excellent source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids.  Lemon is an excellent source of Vitamin C.

  • Fresh Basil - 1 cup (loosely measured)
  • Walnuts - a palmful (demonstrated below)
  • Garlic - 1 clove
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper - 1/4 tsp
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 1-2 tbsp (start with 1 tbsp, add more if need be)
  • Lemon - Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1. Measure a cup of fresh basil.

2. Get a palmful of walnuts.

3. Add basil and walnuts to a Magic Bullet / Blender. 

4. Add a clove of garlic.

5. Add salt and black pepper.

6. Start with 1 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

7. Add the juice of half a lemon.

8. Blend.

9. If you need more liquid to blend, add another 1/2 to 1 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  I used another 1/2 tbsp.

10. Seal with a plastic wrap and store the pesto sauce in the refrigerator... should last up to 3 days.


  1. There are two things I love in this pesto: basil & walnuts! Oh yum, I have to bookmark this :-)

  2. Yummy recipe! Easy too. hope you will submit this to http://www.FindingVegan.com ~Kathy

  3. Excited to try...Lactose-intolerant, here, and pine nuts are practically $5 each! Thanks!

  4. Great recipe. Can hardly wait to try

  5. This is delicious, and you won't miss the cheese!

  6. Just made this recipe and put it on pizza. Wow! Yum! Thanks for posting!

  7. I switched it up with almonds instead of walnuts and didn't add the olive oil (no olive oil allowed as I'm on a special meal plan). This still tasted amazing and the texture is beautiful. Thank you!

  8. @Skinnyfatsky - awesome. so glad you liked it. almonds instead of walnuts, that's a first, glad it was good.

  9. I've just begun a vegan diet. So, I tried this recipe. I love it.

    Skinnyfatsky: I've known people to make really nice pesto with chicken stock or vegetable broth instead of olive oil.

    1. Justine, I'm so glad to hear that. Many times I make pesto without cheese, and it tastes just as good. I've heard people also use balsamic vinegar instead of EVOO for pesto. So many combos.


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