Easy Almond Pesto (Vegan Recipe)

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Make this homemade Almond Pesto (Vegan) in just 5 minutes with wholesome, healthy ingredients. With its vibrant green colour and nutty, savoury flavour, this vegan basil almond pesto is a delicious addition to many dishes.

Pesto is a versatile sauce that can be made with a range of nuts and seeds depending on your taste and budget preferences. This almond pesto (vegan) is a great example of that; using almonds instead of pine nuts (which saved us around 70% at our local supermarket!).

This vegan Almond Pesto is quick and easy to make, taking around 5 minutes and using just five ingredients (plus seasoning). You’ll need a food processor to break down the almonds since they tend to have a firmer texture than some other nuts and seeds. Using nutritional yeast adds a savoury, cheesy flavour and vegan protein boost to this pesto (as well as vitamin B12 if you pick one that is fortified).

Use this almond pesto to add a pop of fresh, savoury and herby flavour to any healthy meal; stir it into pasta, swirl it into soup and drizzle it over pizza and ciabatta.

Quick Links:

An photograph of an open jar of almond pesto (vegan) with a gold star spoon poking out

Did you know? In addition to this Almond Pesto (Vegan) recipe, we’ve got several other vegan pesto recipes, including:

Click the recipe name above to head straight to the recipe, if you’re looking for these alternatives.

What is Pesto?

Pesto is an Italian sauce that uses fresh basil to create a vibrant sauce with a herby, bright flavour.  Traditional basil pesto is made with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and olive oil, blended into a spreadable sauce.

The coastal region of Liguria in Northern Italy is believed to be the birthplace of pesto.

Success Tips

Shop-bought pesto can lack flavour and include less-than-healthy ingredients.  Opt to make your own using our top tips for a vibrant and wholesome vegan almond pesto with just a handful of ingredients:

  1. Opt for extra-virgin olive oil for the best flavour. You can use any olive oil, however for the most delicious flavour opt for a good quality extra-virgin olive oil. Also make sure that your basil leaves are fresh, you cannot use dried basil for this recipe.
  2. Toasting is optional. We often recommend toasting nuts and seeds to bring out their flavour in a recipe and for some nuts/seeds in particular (pine nuts, walnuts) this is particularly important. For almonds, however, it doesn’t seem to make a huge difference to the flavour of the pesto so it’s optional for this recipe. If you do want to toast your almonds to bring out some extra nutty flavor, add them to a dry frying pan (no oil) and heat for 5 minutes until they give off a nutty aroma.
  3. Adjust the consistency to suit. If you’re looking for a thick pesto (like you would usually get in a jar), make the recipe as stated. If you’d like a thinner vegan pesto sauce, that you can drizzle over pizza or salad, add a little cold water and briefly blend until it reaches the desired consistency.
  4. How to refrigerate homemade pesto. Keep your almond pesto (vegan) in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Add a thin layer of olive oil on top of the pesto, or cover with a layer of eco-cling film, before adding your container lid to help preserve the colour.
  5. Freeze it into ice cube trays for perfect portions. We love this tip! Once you’ve made your pesto, spoon it into an ice cube tray and pop it in the freezer. Once frozen, remove the pesto cubes from the tray and put them in an airtight container (back in the freezer). Remove one cube (one portion) from the freezer as required and add it to a saucepan of hot, drained pasta along with a splash of pasta water set over medium heat. As the pesto cube melts, stir it into the pasta and voila, a super quick and easy weeknight meal!

A jar of almond pesto (vegan) with a spoonful of vibrant green pesto being lifted out

How to make Almond Pesto (Vegan)

This easy pesto takes just 5 minutes to make and uses 5 simple ingredients (plus seasoning).


Almonds. You can use whole almonds (skin on), blanched almonds (no skin) or flaked almonds (slivered). Toasted or raw almonds are both fine!

Fresh basil leaves. You can use the stalks too.

Nutritional yeast. The secret ingredient used to add a salty, cheesy flavor that is completely vegan. Nutritional yeast adds a protein boost to this pesto, as well as vitamin B12 if you pick a brand that is fortified (such as Marigold Engevita Nutritional Yeast Flakes with B12).  Note: You do not want to use baking yeast or yeast extract spread (e.g. Marmite). Nutritional yeast flakes are different and available in many supermarkets (look for the brand ‘Marigold’).

Olive oil. Ideally extra virgin olive oil

Garlic. Opt for fresh garlic cloves if possible

Seasoning. Sea salt and black pepper


You’ll need a food processor for this easy almond pesto recipe.


Make sure to head to the recipe card below for the full recipe and instructions for how to make this almond pesto vegan!

Gather together your ingredients.

Add all of the ingredients to a food processor. To start with, add 1/4 tsp sea salt (you’ll taste and add more at the end, as needed).

Pulse the ingredients until the almonds have broken down and the ingredients are combined. Scrape down the sides of the processor bowl and pulse again as necessary.

Store the almond pesto (vegan) in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.  To preserve the colour as best as possible, cover the pesto with eco cling film (with the film touching the top of the pesto) or add a thin layer of olive oil before adding an airtight lid.

Alternatively, freeze the pesto into ice cube trays for ready-to-use single servings that will last for 2 months in the freezer.  It’s great to use in pasta!

A food processor full of the (unblended) ingredients needed to make fresh almond pesto (vegan)
Freshly made vegan almond basil pesto in a food processor

What to use this vegan almond pesto with?

Pesto is one of those versatile sauces that can be enjoyed in a wide variety of savoury dishes. Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy this easy vegan pesto recipe:

  • Stir it into pasta. Pesto pasta is a quick and easy weeknight meal that the whole family will love. Keep it simple by stirring pesto into cooked red lentil pasta (for an added protein boost) to create a vegan almond pesto pasta, or try our Crispy Sausage Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pesto.
  • In sandwiches or toasties. Melty vegan cheese, tomato and pesto toastie anyone? Yes, please!
  • Drizzled over pizza. There is something about the combination of pesto, cheese and tomato that is just *chef’s kiss*. Try using pesto spread on your homemade pizza base instead of tomato and then topping it with vegan cheese, sliced tomato and roasted veggies (red pepper, courgette and red onion are all delicious!).
  • Use as a salad dressing. Add flavour and vibrancy to your summer salads and buddha bowls (or warm winter salads) with a drizzle of homemade almonds pesto (vegan).
  • Swirl into soup. Swirl this delicious vegan almond basil pesto on top of a bowl of veggie soup (like this Farmhouse Vegetable Soup) for a flavour burst.

A jar of vegan almond pesto with the lid off, surrounded by fresh basil


Can you substitute almonds for pine nuts in pesto?

We get it, pine nuts are EXPENSIVE. Luckily, cheaper nuts such as almonds and walnuts make great substitutes for pine nuts in pesto. In this recipe we show you how to make Almond Pesto, but we’ve also got several other vegan pesto recipes for you to try, depending on the nuts and seeds you have available to you:

What part of pesto is not vegan?

Traditional pesto uses parmesan cheese, which is not vegan (and often not vegetarian either because it tends to use animal rennet). Our pesto recipes are completely vegan and dairy free.

How much pesto per serving?

This almond pesto (vegan) recipe makes approximately 1 jar of pesto (200ml), which is approximately 6 servings (around 30ml per serving).

How long does pesto last?

Store leftover fresh pesto for up to 3 days in the fridge or up to 2 months in the freezer.

When storing in the fridge, cover the pesto with eco cling film (with the film touching the top of the pesto) or a little extra olive oil before adding an airtight lid.  This will help to preserve the colour.

Can I freeze pesto?

Yes, pesto can be frozen for up to 2 months.  Add the pesto to ice cube trays and, once frozen, transfer these frozen cubes to an air-tight container or freezer bag.  Each cube will make a perfect single-serving that can either be added straight to the pan to stir into cooked drained pasta and warm through, or defrosted in the fridge to drizzle over soups and salads.

Loved this vegan Almond Pesto? Here are some more vegan pesto recipes to try:

I hope you LOVE this recipe for Almond Pesto (Vegan)! Please give this recipe a star rating and share this recipe with someone you think will love it because it’s our goal to encourage as many people as possible to try plant based eating.

Also, don’t forget to tag @aveganvisit on social media when you make this recipe. I absolutely love seeing your re-creations! Enjoy 🙂 x

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The Written Recipe:

A full jar of almond pesto (vegan) surrounded by whole almonds and fresh basil leaves

Easy Almond Pesto (Vegan) (Basil Sauce with Almonds)

Make this homemade Almond Pesto (Vegan) in just 5 minutes with wholesome, healthy ingredients. With its vibrant green colour and nutty, savoury flavour, this vegan basil almond pesto is made without pine nuts.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Serves: 6 servings
Calories: 167kcal
Author: Tara


  • 60 g almonds
  • 60 g fresh basil leaves
  • 7 g nutritional yeast
  • 75 ml olive oil (extra-virgin ideally)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
  • tsp ground black pepper


  • Add all of the pesto ingredients to a food processor*, starting with 1/4 tsp salt.
    60 g almonds, 60 g fresh basil leaves, 7 g nutritional yeast, 75 ml olive oil, 2 medium cloves garlic, 1/4-1/2 tsp salt, ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
  • Pulse until combined, scraping down the sides of the processor bowl as necessary before blending again. Taste and add more salt if desired.
  • If you’d like your pesto to be thinner, more like a sauce, then add a little water (1-3 tbsp) before briefly blending again.
  • To store the pesto, add it to a dish and cover it in eco cling film (with the film touching the top of the pesto) and then add an airtight lid. Alternatively, you can add a thin layer of olive oil on top of the pesto instead of using cling film, before adding an airtight lid.
  • Store the pesto in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze using an ice cube tray for single servings that you can use for a quick meal.


Vegan / Dairy Free / Egg Free / Gluten Free / Refined Sugar Free / Soy Free / Raw
Recipe inspired by: Italy
* In our tests, a cup blender (such as a Nutribullet) wasn’t powerful enough to blend the almonds sufficiently so we recommend using a high-powered food processor for making almond pesto. If your food processor isn’t super-powerful, or if you’d like a smoother pesto, then you could blend the almonds by themselves for around 30 seconds first before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Please check the allergens on the ingredients you purchase before use. The allergen information provided in this recipe is intended as a guide only and is based on the specific ingredients and brands used at the time of creating the recipe, therefore we cannot guarantee that the same will apply to the ingredients you use.
Prep time excludes any inactive time.
We highly recommend you use the metric and 1x options on this recipe card for the best results. Please note that this recipe has not been tested using US measurements or increasing ingredient quantities to 2x or 3x, therefore results may vary.


Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 99mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.5g | Net Carbohydrates: 2g
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Hi, I’m Tara! I’m taking you on a trip around the world in vegan cuisine and bringing the world’s most delicious dishes to your kitchen.