Recipe: Vegan Pesto

3 min

Fresh ingredients for my vegan pesto. Picture: Erin Chapman.
Jump to Vegan Pesto Recipe

Over the years I have tried to find a jar of pesto at the store that I can actually eat. Having something like this handy in the cupboard makes preparing a weeknight meal super easy when you have other things on the go. The one ingredient that always foils me is dairy. Every type of pesto seems to have cheese in it, something I can’t eat.

I gave up looking and did a little research before attempting to make my own. Most types of pesto have some form of nuts. Most of them use pine nuts, which are so expensive! With my food allergies I am limited to only walnuts or pecans so I opted for using walnuts in this recipe.

I had to experiment a few times getting the ratios right. Too many walnuts gives the pesto a bitter flavour.

I always thought making pesto would be complicated and was amazed it only takes 5 minutes. I think a lot of people are unaware of how quick and easy it is to blend up some fresh ingredients.

This vegan pesto is delicious on top of some zoodles. If you haven’t tried those either or know what zoodles are, check out my post that explains zoodles for beginners.

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Zoodles with vegan pesto. Picture: Erin Chapman.

This marks my first recipe published on The Paleo Penguin! I was inspired by a lovely lady named Jennifer in a Facebook group called Dairy-Free Recipe Club. She explained how her husband was dying for a dairy-free pesto recipe as all the ones they found in the stores have dairy in them. Obviously I am not alone with this problem.

One of my goals with this site is to help others with their food struggles and help them enjoy things they can actually eat. I know from experience how challenging life can be concerning food having a bunch of food allergies myself.

The Paleo Penguin

Vegan Pesto

Erin Chapman
This vegan pesto is dairyfree, glutenfree, and eggfree, but full of flavor. Overload your senses with fresh thai basil, garlic, walnuts, spring onions and lemon.
Prep Time 5 d
Cook Time 0 mins
0 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2


  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup Walnuts
  • 1 bunch Thai Basil
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 onion Spring Onion
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper


  • Prepare all ingredients. Clean and cut basil, garlic cloves and spring onion.
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  • Add all ingredients in food processor. I usually put the olive oil in first to ensure everything mixes on the bottom.
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  • Puree all ingredients until it forms a paste. Takes about 1 minute. Open the processor and scrape the sides to ensure all ingredients are mixed well.
  • Add another splash of olive oil and puree again for another minute. All ingredients should start to slip down the side of the processor at this point.
  • Once finished pour on top of favorite pasta or use as a dip.
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I use 3 cloves of garlic in this recipe as I love garlic. If you aren’t a fan, you can drop it down to 2 cloves. This vegan pesto tastes great on pasta or zoodles. You can store it in the fridge for a couple of days or freeze it to have a hassle free easy meal during the week. 
Keyword Dairyfree, Eggfree, Glutenfree, Vegan, Wheatfree

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Erin Chapman

Erin is the owner and creator of The Paleo Penguin. She has multiple food allergies and cannot eat eggs, beans, most nuts, dairy, wheat or gluten. If you are looking for recipes with those ingredients, keep scrolling as you won't find it here.

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