Learn how to make pesto sauce that’s VEGAN, super creamy, and loaded with flavor! Plus, variations to make it oil-free + a recipe for our favorite 15-minute pistachio pesto pasta!
The first time I tried pesto pasta was at Maggiano’s when I was 17 (I know, how did I go so long without trying it?!). At first, I was a little hesitant to taste it because it was so…green. However, I did try it and I fell in love with pesto after that first bite! I loved the bright flavor of the basil mixed with the tangy parmesan and the buttery pine nuts combined with hot noodles…ohhh be still my beating heart!
After that, I taught myself how to make pesto sauce at home and I started trying all kinds of substitutes for the pine nuts because they are very expensive. Cashews, almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are all great substitutes for pine nuts in pesto. I’ve also used pumpkin seeds in a pinch and that was yummy too. The only version I didn’t love was pesto made with hemp seeds, it just had a weird flavor that I couldn’t mask with other ingredients.
When Travis and I transitioned to a vegan lifestyle, I thought that I would have to give up pesto because we couldn’t eat dairy anymore. I wondered if pesto would still be as delicious without the parmesan cheese?
Great news, it’s still delicious!
After trying a bunch of vegan pesto ingredient variations, I’ve found that learning how to make pesto that’s vegan is SO simple– and it’s really not that much different than the regular version.