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bowl of vegan pesto without pine nuts

Easy Pesto Recipe without Pine Nuts

This vegan basil pesto is easy to make without pine nuts! Use walnuts, basil, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice to make a quick healthy pesto in just minutes. Great for dinner to top chicken or fish, or mix together to make delicious pesto pasta. Delicious vegan recipe without cheese, using nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Servings 1 cup
Author Lyndsey


  • 2 cups basil
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • cup walnuts
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt + pepper to taste


  • Using a food processor, pulse basil until chopped into small pieces.
  • Add in nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice and walnuts.
  • Pulse pesto until it is well incorporated.
  • Add olive oil in a constant stream until basil pesto is smooth and consistency is to your liking.


Pesto Substitution Ideas:
Pine nuts and parmesan cheese are not necessary to make delicious pesto. Here are a few substitution ideas for making pesto without pine nuts or parmesan:
You may substitute any of the following for pine nuts: cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, pistachios or hazelnuts all make excellent substitutions.
For parmesan cheese, consider substituting: asiago, pecorino romano or nutritional yeast for a dairy free pesto.
Consider replacing olive oil with avocado oil or avocados for a delicious fat alternative.
How to Store Pesto
Store pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Pesto can be easily frozen in ice cub trays and then stored in a freezer proof container for up to 6 months. Alternatively, pesto can also be stored frozen in an airtight container for 6-9 months.