4 Vegan Pesto Recipes That Are An Absolute Cinch To Make

Healthy pesto with a twist!

five signs your vegan diet isn't working for you, bowl of vegan food
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Pesto is just one of those things that can make anything taste better. Traditionally made with basil leaves, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic and parmesan—any nutritionist will tell you that there’s nothing really unhealthy about your beloved pesto. It is a staple in the Mediterranean diet, after all.
Toss it through your pasta, drizzle it on your salads, spread it over your cauliflower pizza base, use it as a dip for your veggie sticks or even as a condiment to your favourite protein—the options really are endless.
So if you follow a plant-based diet or simply just feel like getting a little more creative in the kitchen, keep scrolling for 4 healthy pesto recipes, straight from the pages of Donna Hay’s Autumn Fresh + Light Cookbook.

vegan pesto
Image: Donna Hay

#1 Broccoli, Toasted Almond & Mint Pesto 

Ingredients
300g broccoli florets
1 cup mint leaves, plus extra to serve
½ cup (80g) almonds, toasted, plus extra, chopped, to serve 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
⅓ cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup (60ml) water
sea salt and cracked black pepper
Method
Place the broccoli, mint, almonds, lemon rind, oil, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until finely chopped and well combined. Top with the extra mint and almond to serve. MAKES 2¾ CUPS.

#2 Spinach, Peanut & Coriander Pesto

Ingredients
200g baby spinach leaves
1 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves, plus extra to serve
1 cup (140g) unsalted peanuts, toasted, plus extra to serve 1 teaspoon finely grated lime rind
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper
lime wedges, to serve
Method
Place the spinach, coriander, peanuts, lime rind, lime juice, oil, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until finely chopped and well combined. Top with the extra coriander and peanuts and serve with lime wedges. MAKES 2 CUPS.

#3 Carrot, Caraway, Pine Nut & Chilli Pesto

Ingredients
3 cups (450g) grated carrot (about 3 carrots)
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes, plus extra to serve 1⁄2 cup (80g) toasted pine nuts, plus extra to serve
¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup (60ml) water
1 small clove garlic
sea salt and cracked black pepper
Method
Place the carrot, caraway, chilli, pine nuts, oil, water, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until finely chopped and well combined. Top with extra pine nuts and chilli flakes to serve. MAKES 2 CUPS.

#4 Beetroot, Walnut, Sage & Sumac Pesto

Ingredients
3 cups (300g) grated beetroot (about 2 beetroot) 1 cup (100g) walnuts, toasted
½ cup sage leaves, plus extra to serve
1 small clove garlic
¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sumac, plus extra to serve
sea salt and cracked black pepper
Method
Place the beetroot, walnuts, sage, garlic, oil, vinegar, sumac, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until finely chopped and well combined. Top with extra sage and sprinkle with extra sumac to serve. MAKES 2 CUPS.
Note: Each pesto will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
*Recipe extracts from p.46 of Donna Hay’s Fresh + Light 12
donna hay vegan pesto
 

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