Our 6-ingredient spicy vegan pesto sauce takes only 10 minutes to make and you’ll never guess that it’s vegan. We use the freshest basil, toasted pine nuts, vegan parmesan, garlic cloves, hot giardiniera, and olive oil, and it’s so darn delicious! It goes great with our homemade pasta , gnocchi, or spread it on toasted bread.
Published March 11, 2014 and updated January 5, 2020.
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Hi there! We’re Linda and Alex, the mother daughter duo and creators of Veganosity. Thanks for visiting us, we’re so happy you’re here. If you’re looking for Southern inspired vegan comfort food recipes, you’ve come to the right place.
We love vegan comfort food and we’re really good at making it. Take a tour through our site and you’ll find all of the recipes that scream, stretchy pants required!
The good news, they’re all plant-based recipes, so you don’t need to feel guilty eating them. Now sit back, relax, and eat happy. 🙂
Also, in case you didn’t know, we’re published cookbook authors. We’ve written two vegan cookbooks that will help you make amazing vegan BBQ (you don’t even need a grill) and everyday meals, from breakfast to dessert.
VEGAN PESTO RECIPE WITHOUT NUTRITIONAL YEAST
As much as we love nutritional yeast, and we even added it to our single serving oil-free pesto sauce,we didn't use it in this recipe.
The reason many vegan pesto recipes have nutritional yeast is because until recently, it was almost impossible to find a good vegan parmesan in the grocery store.
So, many recipes used nutritional yeast because of its cheesy flavor.
Now that there are a few great vegan options available, such as Violife vegan parmesan, you can make vegan pesto that tastes like the real deal.
WHAT IS PESTO SAUCE USED FOR?
Pesto makes everything taste better.
The combination of basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan, and olive oil is magic.
When you add the giardiniera to the mix, it’s the perfect dressing for anything.
Add it to the following:
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN PESTO SPICY
Rinse and dry the basil. Remove the thick stems and put the leaves in the food processor.
Put all of the ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth.
FOR SPICY PESTO
Add hot giardiniera. The flavor of this condiment is perfect with pesto.
If you don’t like too much heat, start small and build the heat until you get the desired result.
MORE PESTO RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
Make our spicy vegan pesto recipe and let us know what you think. We love to hear from you! And, don’t forget to take a picture of your gorgeous creation and tag us @veganosity on Instagram.
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Spicy Vegan Pesto Sauce
- food processor
- 2 cups basil leaves Washed and patted dry. Remove the thick stems and pack the leaves into the measuring cup.
- ½ cup pine nuts Toasted. Toasting enhances the flavor of the nuts, but you can add them straight from the bag.
- ½ cup vegan parmesan grated
- 2 garlic cloves Peeled and chopped. Chopping ensures that there won’t be large pieces of garlic left in the pesto.
- 1 tbsp hot giardiniera If you’re not into a lot of heat, add by the tsp and taste until it’s to your liking.
- ½ to ¾ cup olive oil If you like a thick pesto paste, use less oil. Continue adding the olive oil until you get the consistency desired. If you’re tossing it in pasta, it should be thinner. If it’s to spread on toast, you won’t need as much olive oil.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add the 2 cups basil leaves, ½ cup pine nuts, ½ cup vegan parmesan, chopped garlic, giardiniera (see note in ingredients), and olive oil (see note in ingredients), and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor.
- Process until smooth.
Pesto can be spread on garlic toast or tossed on pasta, rice, gnocchi, or anything that requires a flavorful sauce.