Vegan Pesto Sauce- this vegan pesto recipe is SO EASY to throw together and perfect for summer meals that everyone will LOVE!

vegan pesto sauce in pink bowl

I’ve been asked several times recently “is pesto vegan”? The answer is a simple NO since it traditionally has parmesan cheese in it. BUMMER I know. I’ve always LOVED pesto and figured it was time to make a vegan version of it!

I actually created this Beet Greens Pesto a few years ago that is fully vegan and SO DANG GOOD! But I also wanted a more classic version of it here on the blog. So, that’s what we are doing today.

how to make vegan pesto

Instead of regular parmesan cheese, we’re using vegan parmesan alternatives in this recipe. So the recipe will stay pretty classic with that one simple swap.

I recently discovered a vegan parmesan style cheese alternative from Thrive Market and I’m obsessed!!! You can check it out HERE. You can also check out THIS ONE from Amazon (I’ve never tried that particular one).

Those can be a pain to order though so HERE is a great recipe for making vegan parmesan at home. I’ve made her recipe quite a few times and I love the taste! Whenever I make that to be used in pesto, I use a bit less nuts and instead add more nutritional yeast to balance things out.

vegan pesto pasta

How to make vegan basil pesto:

The nice thing about this vegan sauce is that it comes together very quickly and can be made fully in a food processor!

Start by first processing the basil, garlic, and pine nuts to get them nice and finely chopped. Then we’ll slowly pour in the olive oil while the processor is running. Finally, we’ll add in the vegan cheese and run the processor a few more times until the cheese is nice and combined.

THAT’S IT! Super duper easy :)

See how to make the vegan pesto here:

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Vegan Pesto

  • Author: Brita Britnell
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Vegan Pesto Recipe- this vegan pesto is SO EASY to throw together and perfect for summer meals that everyone will LOVE!


  • 2 cups of fresh basil lightly packed
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of vegan parmesan cheese (see notes above for recommendations of brands and homemade recipe)


  1. In a food processor, combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts. Process until finely chopped (see video for reference).
  2. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil with the processor running until full combined. Add in the cheese alternative and processor a few times until mixed together completely.
  3. Store in the fridge and ENJOY!
  • Category: Sauces
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: vegan sauce, pesto sauce, vegan pesto