Basil pesto is one of the best-o condiments. Savoury, herby, garlicy, with a touch of bright lemon. This pea pesto fits the usual basil pesto criteria, plus it has the addition of green peas, a little parsley for extra herb-y goodness and it’s dairy-free!
You can put plant-based pea pesto on pasta, use is as the sauce on pizza, have it as a dip, or spread it on a sandwich. Do you have a favourite way to use pesto? Let me know in the comments and tag me on Instagram when you make it!
Pesto is best made in a food processor, as you want to use as little liquid as possible while blending. You could make a saucier pesto in a blender by adding more olive oil or even a little water. If you don’t have a food processor and you’re in the market for a new kitchen appliance, I highly recommend getting one. I use this one and it’s one of my most used kitchen appliances.
Also, be sure to adjust this recipe to your taste. If you want a saltier spread because you're only going to be using a small amount of it, add more salt! If you want it to be a tangier and smoother to use as a dip for veggies, add a little extra olive oil and lemon juice.
Vegan Pea Pesto
- 2 cups fresh basil
- ½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 cup green peas (fresh or frozen, defrosted)
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast*
- 3-4 cloves garlic (roughly chopped)
- ⅓ cup pecans (sub for walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds, if desired)
- 1 lemon, juiced (~2 tbsp)
- ½ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper (to taste)
Optional: toast your pecans in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Stir regularly to ensure that they don't burn.
Add all ingredients, except olive oil, to a food processor and blend until roughly chopped.
Scrape down the sides of the food processor and add in the olive oil. Continue to blend until you reach your desired level of smoothness.
*If you are not familiar with nutritional yeast, it is a plant-based ingredient that adds a cheesy/umami flavour. It is NOT the same yeast that you use in bread. Check it out here.
- If you prefer a more acidic pesto, add more lemon juice. I usually do.
- Adjust the quantity of olive oil to change the consistency of the pesto. For a saucier pesto add more, for a drier pesto add less.
If you can't get enough basil, check out this avocado basil salad dressing recipe!