A meal prep staple, a weeknight go-to, and a nourishing sauce. This superfood vegan pesto is packed to the brim with nutrients and it’s so easy to make!

Bonus: not only is it dairy free, it’s also nut free! In place of pine nuts used in classic pesto, this pesto uses pumpkin seeds to make it both allergy and more budget friendly!

Pesto is SO easy to make, it’s really a no-brainer when you need a simple meal. Plus, the flavor truly never gets old. It’s so bright, fresh, and full of the best flavors. While classic pesto isn’t necessarily lemony, I love making this lemon version. It adds the best extra flavor and acidity to the sauce.

What can I serve this pesto with?

So many different ways! Pesto is so versatile. Some of our favorite ways to enjoy this pesto:

  • Chickpea or brown rice pasta
  • Pizza
  • Toast
  • Salads
  • Drizzled on veggies
  • Add a dollop to soup

You really can’t go wrong! I love that it makes a big batch, too (2 cups worth)! Perfect for feeding a group, or for prepping some and saving for later.

I have been throwing this superfood pesto together for some time now, and I’m so happy to finally get it written down as an actual recipe for the blog. I know it will be a staple in your kitchen like it is ours 🙂

While this recipe is super easy, be sure to still follow the directions! There is a specific order to add your ingredients into the food processor in order to get the best texture!

This superfood vegan pesto is simple, delicious, and full of nutrients from a variety of greens and healthy fats. It’s the perfect sauce to make for any occasion or quick weeknight meal!

Be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make this so that I can see 🙂 Enjoy!

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Superfood Vegan Pesto

  • Author: Mia Zarlengo
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Lunch, Dinner

Description

Superfood vegan lemony pesto! Nut free, dairy free, and easy pesto for pasta, veggies, salad, or toast!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast (can sub with parmesan if you don’t need vegan)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 2 packed cups fresh basil
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 handful arugula 
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice (or more, to taste)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

For pasta:

  • 1/4 cup-1/2 cup reserved pasta water.

Instructions

  1. Add your pumpkin seeds, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt, and pepper to a food processor. Pulse into a meal (make sure not to over pulse into a paste).
  2. Add your basil, spinach, arugula, and lemon juice. Turn your food processor on and slowly pour in the olive oil. Process until mostly smooth. Taste and add more lemon juice if desired (I like to add a bit more usually). Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or store in the freezer for longer.
  3. If serving with pasta, drain your pasta, add desired amount of pesto, then add reserved pasta water to thin as needed.

Appetizers + Sides, Gluten Free, Lunch + Dinner, Paleo, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Category:

Apr 13, 2021

Superfood Vegan Pesto

Did you make this recipe? Be sure to tag @gatherednutrition on INstagram so I can see what you made! Leaving a rating and review on the site is a huge help too!

  1. Kirsten says:

    I made this recipe exactly as is and it is sooo delicious! Sometimes I think the flavor of nutritional yeast can over power a dish but this is perfectly balanced! It makes a large batch and I thought I’d have to freeze some but I’ve been putting it on EVERYTHING this week..so that’s not gonna be necessary????

  2. Eliza says:

    Loving this!! I made it without nutritional yeast (I just don’t like) and it’s tangy and the flavors are perfectly balanced! I can’t wait to put this on everything

  3. Meg says:

    This is honestly my favorite pesto I’ve ever had!!! I love the use of pumpkin seeds instead of pine nuts – cost effective and delicious. I used parmesan instead of nutritional yeast and the flavors were incredible. I already can’t wait to make this again!!

  4. Grace says:

    So easy and delicious! Such a great way to pack in some extra greens.

  5. Cgw says:

    I love pesto and feel like I’ve tried every recipe-this one is definitely a favorite! The bright green color is so stunning and the lemon is just perfect. The nutritional yeast adds a flavor I didnt know I was missing from other pestos. And I love that this is vegan!!

  6. Madeline says:

    We made this pesto with Parmesan (we didn’t need vegan) and served with chicken and pasta and it was a HUGE hit! I’m allergic to nuts and haven’t been able to find a nut free pesto that works for the family. Thank you for this Mia!!

  7. Emma says:

    Delicious! I made with chickpea pasta and did find that it needed some more acidity so I squeezed some lemon on top – I feel like a bit of lemon zest would be a great addition! My whole lunch came together in 15 minutes.

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Simple. Attainable. Gathered Nutrition.