Vegan Basil Pesto

It’s no secret that I have a thing for pesto. Although I never had a go- to version available on the blog….. Until now!

Finally, the recipe is here and it takes no longer than 5 minutes to make! I love the plant based version as we skip the cheese, however it does not lack any depth of flavour.

The recipe is an easy nut free, home made pesto using sunflower seeds, lemon juice and nutritional yeast. I add pesto to pretty much anything, slathered on toast, served with roast veggies, mixed into noodles, you name it.

Basil pesto is traditionally made with pine nuts. However, I have recently seen the price of pine nuts at the grocery store and wowza, a bit expensive.

I can say with all honesty, I don’t really notice much of a significant difference using the sunflower seeds, the consistency is still very smooth and creamy.

Basil pesto is also traditionally made with fresh garlic cloves, however in this recipe I give you the option. I prefer this Vegan Pesto recipe without the garlic, however it is really just a personal preference.

The recipe calls for 1/3 cup light olive oil, you might use less, you might use more. You can chose the consistency you like. I like to use a light olive oil if you can find one as some olive oils are very bitter and dark and that can affect the taste of the final product.

Vegan Basil Pesto

Gluten Free, Organic, Vegan Friendly, Nut Free, Raw
Serves 8 or makes 1 small jar


2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed and dried

1/3 cup light olive oil

1/2 fresh lemon juiced

3 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds

Himalayan salt to taste

1 garlic clove optional


Add the basil, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, salt and lemon juice to the blender cup. Blitz and slowly add the other olive oil in bit by bit.

Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to 1 week in an airtight container.


The colour may slightly change to a brownish colour from oxidation. Just mix it all together.

Have you tried this recipe?

I would like to know if you tried this recipe at home. I would love your thoughts and feedback in the comments below. Don’t forget to share your creation on Instagram and tag @chefdot

Dot you later! X