Raw Vegan Basil Pesto Sauce

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Not only is this vegan pesto oil-free, but it is also nut-free and dairy-free. Don’t worry, though, because you get that signature cheesy flavor from nutritional yeast. That’s your parmesan cheese replacement and you will be hard-pressed to tell the difference between that and the real deal. In fact, every vegan needs nutritional yeast in their cupboards at all times.

It seems strange that a pesto could be made without oil, but you simply substitute with water. If you are watching your caloric intake, substituting with water lowers the amount of calories in pesto. Additionally, the fact that this pesto doesn’t have nuts means that it doesn’t have as many calories as a walnut or cashew pesto, for example. It does, however, contain pumpkin seeds, so this pesto does contain some calories, but not to a point of worry.

To make the blending process easier, we recommend that you blend this pesto in a food processor, as opposed to a blender. If you have a high-speed blender and feel confident in its ability to blend, then you can absolutely use that. Food processors don’t require a lot of liquid and tend to blend very easily. Once you make this pesto, make sure to store it in an airtight container in the fridge and consume it within five days. Use it as a dip or sauce your raw zucchini noodles with it. You can always freeze leftovers if you feel that you cannot finish it before it expires.

Raw Vegan Basil Pesto Sauce
  • Prep Time:5m
  • Total Time:5m


  • 1 c basil
  • 8 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 4 tbsp. raw hemp hearts
  • 4 tbsp. raw pumpkin seeds
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/3 c filtered water


  1. Add all of the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Serve and enjoy. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and use within five days.
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