Pesto Recipe | Homemade Vegan Pesto Sauce

Pesto recipe with step by step photos – a simple and delicious recipe of vegan pesto sauce made with fresh basil and almonds.

I prepare pesto on occasions when I plan to make Pesto pizza or prepare Pesto pasta. I learned to prepare pesto from one of my friend and I still use her recipe even now.

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pesto recipe, pesto sauce

Pesto is a sauce from italy made with crushing basil leaves, pine nuts and garlic blended in olive oil and cheese. It can be had with pasta, sauteed or boiled vegetables, salad or even as a topping on toasted breads/buns.

Tips for making pesto sauce

  • Traditionally pine nuts are used to make pesto, however one can use other nuts like almonds, cashew nuts, walnuts. Feel free to add your choice of nuts.
  • Almonds give a nice creamy feel to the pesto. With cashews also the pesto tastes good. With walnuts there can be slight bitter tones.
  • I have not added parmesan cheese to the pesto and thus this pesto stays good for a longer time.
  • At times I also black peppers and you can also add them. if you don’t have whole peppercorn then substitute with black pepper powder.

Having an Indian taste, the pesto reminded me of the various herb chutneys we make in India like the Mint chutney, Coriander chutney. at least for me it tasted like a chutney and in the west its called a sauce. What a world?

I remember having european and American visitors to the house and when they would see any Indian chutney, then they would call it a sauce. E.g. Coconut chutney would be coconut sauce.

In my mind, I have a different perception of sauce. For me a sauce would be liquidy and smooth and soft, like a Tomato sauce or pumpkin sauce. But calling coconut chutney, a coconut sauce is beyond my comprehension and common sense.

How to make pesto sauce

1. Heat a pan and add ¼ cup almonds in it.

almonds for pesto

2. Keep the flame to a low and roast the almonds lightly stirring often for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the lightly roasted almonds in a separate plate or tray and let them cool.

badam for pesto sauce recipe

3. Once the almonds cool down, add them in a food processor or food chopper or a small to medium grinder jar. I used food processor.

making pesto sauce recipe

4. Crush them coarsely.

making pesto sauce recipe

5. Add 2 cup basil leaves (50 grams) which has been rinsed first and then dried naturally. Add also 2 small to medium garlic cloves. Optionally you can also add 4 to 5 whole black peppers. Season with ⅛ teaspoon salt or add as per taste. The basil leaves can be kept in a colander or strainer and then dried naturally or you can use a salad spinner to dry the leaves.

making pesto sauce recipe

6. Begin to crush the leaves and from top add olive oil in parts. Overall add ⅓ cup olive oil. You can also add olive oil directly in the jar.

preparing pesto sauce recipe

7. Grind to a semi-fine or fine consistency. It’s your choice. You can also add a few drops of lemon juice to preserve the green colour.

pesto sauce recipe

8. Remove the pesto in a bowl or a small glass jar. Use a spatula to remove the pesto from the sides and bottom of the food processor, food chopper or grinder jar. Cover and refrigerate. Use as required. Pesto Stays for good a week in the refrigerator. one can also freeze the pesto in cubes and then use the cubes later. Enjoy the fresh basil pesto.

pesto sauce recipe
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STEP BY STEP PHOTOS ABOVEMany of my recipes have detailed step by step photos and useful tips to help you make it easily and perfectly.

Pesto Recipe (Vegan)

5 from 1 vote
A simple and easy pesto recipe made with crushing basil leaves, almonds and garlic in extra virgin olive oil. 
pesto recipe, pesto sauce recipe with almonds
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:5 mins
Cook Time:3 mins
Total Time:8 mins
Course:condiment,side dish
Cuisine:world
Servings (change the number to scale):1 small size bowl
(1 CUP = 250 ML)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves or 50 grams fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup almonds, lightly roasted
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small to medium sized garlic cloves
  • 4 to 5 black peppercorns - optional
  • teaspoon salt or add as per taste

Instructions

  • First roast the almonds in a pan on a low flame for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove aside and let the almonds cool down. 
  • Add the almonds in a food processor or food chopper or a grinder jar. Coarsely crush the almonds.
  • Then add the basil leaves, garlic, black pepper and salt. 
  • Crush the basil leaves and add the oil while crushing and blending the whole mixture. You could make the pesto a little coarse or fine. Its your choice.
  • Remove and store pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Info (approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Pesto Recipe (Vegan)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 863 Calories from Fat 810
% Daily Value*
Fat 90g138%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Sodium 296mg13%
Potassium 400mg11%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 2638IU53%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 2mg10%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 11mg13%
Vitamin E 20mg133%
Vitamin K 251µg239%
Calcium 194mg19%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 52µg13%
Iron 3mg17%
Magnesium 128mg32%
Phosphorus 201mg20%
Zinc 2mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to vegrecipesofindia.com which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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6 comments/reviews

  1. Can basil leaves be substituted? We do not get fresh basil leaves in guwahati:-(

    • actually no. pesto is authentically made from basil. but i have seen some recipe made with other herbs like coriander or mint. you can try with these leaves.

    • I make it w/ spinach leaves all the time. I also use almonds or walnuts too. Yum!!

  2. Rating this recipe 5 stars. This recipe turned out beautifully. I toasted a combo of walnuts and unpasteurized almonds. I added a ton of fresh basil both purple and green from our garden plus a little peppermint. It was excellent- the family loved it over brown rice pasta. Thank you5 stars

    • thanks a lot sonya for your feedback. in fact even i make these with walnuts and almonds at times. its alright if you cannot rate the recipe.

  3. Hmmm Looks yummy :)…………… I want them now