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This is one of those so-easy-forgot-it-was-a-recipe kind of recipes, that I make all the time but have never thought to share! Introducing my Best-o Pesto, that’s healthy, vegan, oil free and nut free. This is a light and fresh pesto sauce made with whole food plant based ingredients. To make this sauce, all you need are 5 ingredients (plus salt + pepper to taste) and a food processor or blending unit.
In this recipe, we’re using 2 unique ingredients that are not traditionally used in a pesto–avocado and tahini. Instead of using the standard olive oil + pine nuts, I opted for some of my favourite whole plant fats instead. Both avocado and tahini are such rich healthy fat sources, and using tahini is what makes this recipe nut free. Instead of using nuts, we’re essentially using seeds (sesame seeds ground up to make tahini). I also find that using tahini is much easier on the blender and takes some of the work out of it too! The avocado adds serious creaminess to the sauce, you just need to make sure it’s a truly ripe avocado.
Aside from the avocado and tahini, we’re adding water to thin, garlic and of course basil. I added more basil than I typically would, because I find that sometimes tahini can be a bit strong in flavour, especially if you’re new to using it. I also list an optional ingredient that you can add if you’d like for some extra vegan cheezy-ness, however I typically make it without and love it nonetheless.
The how-to is so simple: add to processor/blender, blend until smooth. That easy! This sauce goes well with pasta of course, but can also be used as a spread or dip for crackers and veg. Perhaps my favourite use is to mix with quinoa, which happened by accident one day when I was convinced I had pasta in the pantry and needed some kind of grain or carb to mix it with.
Long story short, this is the Best-o Pesto in my book, and the best-o for your health too! Despite the ingredient swaps, this sauce is nothing short of rich, creamy and packed with flavour.
Best-o Pesto (healthy, vegan, oil free, nut free)
- 1 + 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 very ripe large avocado
- 1/4 cup tahini + 1/4 cup water
- 2 cloves raw garlic you can use roasted garlic if you prefer
- 1/2-1 tsp salt + pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- grated vegan parmesan cheese to top
- Transfer all ingredients into a blender or food processor.
- Pulse until smooth and ingredients are all broken down.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.