Simple Basil Vegan Pesto

I’m excited to share my favorite basil vegan pesto recipe with you today. This pesto is so rich, nutty and complex, you would never guess that it isn’t the traditionally parmesan-filled stuff!

Simple Basil Pesto

Instead of pine nuts (expensive) and parmesan cheese, I used cashews and nutritional yeast. Cashews and nutritional yeast are often used in vegan cheeses, so they gave the pesto a well-rounded nutty flavor - without breaking the bank! The lemon juice added a touch of brightness and the fresh garlic a bit of heat.

This pesto is easy to make - yet so complex and decadent - it instantly classes up any dish. Enjoy in a fresh Spring Pasta Primavera (recipe coming soon), use as a dip for veggies or spread on toasted baguette slices.

Bon appétit!

Simple Basil Pesto

Simple Basil Pesto

Takes , Serves 4


  • 4 oz basil (about 2 cups, packed)
  • 1 medium lemon, juiced
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Remove basil leaves from the stems and add to a food processor.
  2. Add lemon juice, nutritional yeast, olive oil, cashews and garlic, and blend, stopping to scrape the sides occasionally. Blend until desired consistency - I like my pesto well-blended, but with some texture. (I recommend using the pulse option towards the end as you’ll have more control with consistency.)
  3. Season with salt and pepper and pulse to incorporate. Enjoy!