Pesto perfect and oil-free too!Jump to Recipe
Vegan Oil-Free Pesto made with 3 greens is great whether you have a garden or not. It’s a perfect way to get a variety of fresh raw green things in our diets, right? Who doesn’t need to eat all the greens they can possibly eat?!
I have to admit that I do feel fortunate that we have a little garden, though. Our greens are doing crazy good right now because of all the rain we had over the winter here in Northern California.
For the month of March, my husband and I ate oil-free. That really made it so I had to come up with recipes that we enjoyed without missing the oil.
Oil is a carrier of flavors, so it’s not a small thing to make oil-free recipes always taste good. I think this one was a success.
Variety of Uses
Depending on the amount of liquid you add, this vegan oil-free pesto can be used a variety of ways. If you don’t add much water or broth and keep it quite thick, it makes an excellent sandwich spread with fresh sliced tomatoes – yum!
If you make it a little thinner, it’s excellent as a dip for veggies or crackers. It’s also really good on noodles like these cute little bow-ties aka farfalle.
Pesto is yummy on any shape and size of noodle! It’s actually very good on rice too.
This pasta dish is topped with some oven-roasted cherry tomatoes that I think are such a fresh addition. If you don’t make oven-roasted tomatoes, fresh chopped tomatoes or fresh cherry tomato halves, would be a delicious topping. I added fresh chopped basil as a topping also and I actually ate much more than it shows here – munch munch – fresh basil that is! 😉
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 3 - 4 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 3 - 4 large garlic cloves
- 4 Tbsp shallot, diced
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1/2 - 1 cup water or oil-free broth
- 1/2 - 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, large stems removed, packed tightly
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup torn kale or arugula, large stems removed, packed tightly
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup baby spinach leaves, large stems removed, packed tightly
- more water or oil-free broth as needed
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
Place the sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds on a baking tray and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until just lightly toasted**(see below)
While the seeds are in the oven, prepare the rest of your ingredients and set aside
After the seeds are done, let them cool slightly and then put in a food processor with the metal S blade or high speed blender
Process or blend until somewhat chunky or smooth depending on your preferance
Add all the other ingredients and process or blend to the consistency you like - stop a few times to scrape the sides - I processed mine for about 3 - 5 minutes - taste to adjust the seasonings or the thickness - add more water or broth is you want your pesto thinner
Remove from the processor or blender and use right away or put in an airtight container so the flavors will blend a little more and refrigerate
Use as a spread, a dip or a sauce and ENJOY!
**If you prefer, keep the seeds raw and don't toast them - it's very good that way too!**
Inspired by: The Plant Philosophy
I also wanted to mention that I’ve made a vegan pesto before without oven toasting the sunflower and pumpkin seeds. It’s also very good this way if you prefer not to toast your seeds.
Take care folks, have a good one – it’s a rainy one here in NorCal!