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A jar of sauce sitting on top of a wooden table, with Pesto
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5 from 12 votes

Vegan Pesto sauce Recipe

This vegan pesto recipe is easy, nutritious, and very delicious. Something you should try tonight!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Vegan
Allergen: Dairy free
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 4
Calories: 251kcal
Author: Uma Srinivas


  • 2 cups steamed kale stems removed
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup Nutritional yeast
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1- 2 tbsp water optional


  • Start by steaming the kale in a pressure cooker or stovetop.
  • Strain all the excess water. Add cold water and squeeze excess water out with your hands. Set it aside.
  • Place a pan over medium heat and dry roast pine nuts until you get a nice aroma and they turn crispy. Place it aside.
    A pile of nuts
  • In the same pan, dry roast garlic until they turn golden. However, this step is optional. You could use raw garlic too.
  • Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend to a smooth paste as you add the olive oil gradually. You can vary the olive oil quantity to your preference depending on how thick you like your pesto.
    A blender filled with food
  • You could add some water to make the recipe lower in fat, but it’s generally better tasting and longer-lasting if you use just olive oil.
  • Vegan Kale Pesto sauce is ready! Use it on your favorite pasta and store the rest in a sealed container. It can last up to a week in the refrigerator.


  • For an oil-free version of this recipe, use tahini or any nut butter instead of olive oil.
  • Add 2 tbsp of any nut butter and 2 - 3 tbsp of water, instead of oil. I would add 2 tbsp of almond butter and 2 tbsp of water, instead of 4 tbsp of oil, but it’s up to you.
Note: The nutrition values I show here are my best estimates. Please be sure to check your preferred nutrition calculator, if you are relying on accurate calculations in your diet.


Serving: 4tbsp | Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 185mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 317IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg