This healthy homemade pesto recipe is quick, easy, and so flavorful. Making your own pesto is worlds better than store bought in my opinion. And as a bonus, this recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free!
healthy homemade pesto ingredients
Olive Oil: First and foremost, olive oil is the base of this pesto sauce. I find that a high-quality, high-grade olive oil makes a big difference in flavor, but any olive oil will do.
Basil & Spinach Leaves: For that beautiful green color and classic pesto taste. You can use any fresh herbs or greens of your choosing, but I typically stick to basil, spinach, parsley, or kale.
Pine Nuts or Cashews: I’ve used both cashews and pine nuts- separately and together in this recipe. They’re both delicious options! The cashews and pine nuts will add a slightly nutty flavor and an amazing texture to your sauce.
Garlic: Always garlic, right?!
Nutritional Yeast: If you don’t know, nutritional yeast is a dairy-free and vegan substitute for creating a cheesy flavor. I love using it in recipes that call for parmesan. Additionally, it’s paleo and whole30 friendly.
Lemon Juice: For a tangy contrast to the other ingredients. You can always add more to taste as well.
how to use homemade pesto?
As a pasta sauce. The most classic way to use homemade pesto is as a pasta sauce. It’s fresh, flavorful, and you can’t go wrong!
As a dip. Pesto is absolutely delicious to use as a dip for veggies! I love using carrots, cucumbers, or cherry tomatoes. If this sounds good, check out my homemade pesto hummus recipe!
As a topping for bowls and sandwiches. Adding a bit of pesto to a toasted sandwich of warm grain bowl is so good!
For pesto rice. Something new I’ve been having for dinner is something I call “pesto rice” (see photo below). I combine cooked rice, cooked chicken breast, homemade pesto, cherry tomatoes, and top with drizzled balsamic glaze. It is so simply and a delicious dinner option! To see more, check out my Instagram reels (@livehealthywithlexi)
In pesto pasta salad. In the springtime, I love making this pesto pasta salad, warm or cold!
Healthy Homemade Pesto
- Food Processor
- 1/4 cup olive oil high quality
- 1/2 cup pine nuts or cashews
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves packed
- 1 cup spinach leaves
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast or parmesan
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/4 tsp salt more to taste
- cracked black pepper to taste
- Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth! Serve with pasta, rice, on sandwiches, etc. Enjoy!
2 thoughts on “Healthy Homemade Pesto”
I made this alongside your wrap recipe and it was amazing! I’ve used it to marinate chicken thighs and over pasta now too and it’s delicious! So simple, but tasty!
Amazing! So glad you’ve enjoyed it and thanks for sharing!