Sicilian Pesto (The Raw Version)

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Believe it or not, not all pesto is green. The classic green pesto that you know and love is from Genoa, Italy, and it typically consists of basil, pine nuts, olive oil, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. If you peruse our recipe section, you will find many pesto variations, many of which are raw vegan. Your love for pesto doesn’t have to stop at the color green, though. There are many kinds of pesto sauces from various regions throughout Italy. This recipe is inspired by the traditional Sicilian pesto.

What makes a Sicilian pesto different from the classic green pesto is that it uses almonds instead of pine nuts. It also uses fresh tomatoes, which prominently grow in the south of Italy and Sicily. Traditionally, Sicilians use the small Pachino tomato, but this recipe calls for grape or cherry tomatoes. Adding tomatoes to the sauce brightens the flavor and gives the sauce a lighter consistency.

This is a great condiment and sauce to have on hand, especially now that the weather is warming up. You can use it as a dip or pour it over your zucchini noodles to enjoy a light raw vegan entree. If you aren’t cleansing, feel free to spread this pesto on a crostini, or serve it alongside roasted or grilled vegetables. It also makes for an excellent cheese board condiment. Try it out and let us know if you like Sicilian pesto more than a classic Genovese pesto!

Sicilian Pesto (The Raw Version)
  • Prep Time:10m
  • Total Time:10m


  • 1/2 c raw almonds
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • 1 c basil leaves (packed)
  • 1 pt cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 c olive oil


  1. Add all of the ingredients, except the olive oil, to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until you achieve a chunky consistency.
  2. While blending, pour in the olive oil so that it blends evenly. Once it is smooth and luxurious, stop blending, taste to adjust seasonings if needed, and then pour into a jar to store.
  3. Alternatively, use your pesto immediately and store leftovers in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to three days.


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