Home-made Pesto

Making your own pesto is simple and it tastes divine. It’s also a lot cheaper than shop-brought vegan brands. You can use any green leaf – not just basil and also different nuts or seeds. Traditionally we use basil and pinenuts (see recipe). Other varieties include Kale and Walnut, Rocket, Spinach and Mixed Seeds or Spinach, Parsley and Sunflower Seed.

Vegan parmesan? Not to be confused with vegetarian parmesan! VBites ‘Hard Italian-style cheese’ or Violife’s Prosociano are both block dairy-free, vegan alternatives. Alternatively, use a vegan ground parmesan cheese in a tub – or nutritional yeast flakes. We’ve even got a super quick recipe for you to make your own crumbled vegan parmesan! Click or right-click here

Gluten free
Wheat free
Quick meal
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Total time

10 minutes




  • sides-light-meals-and-salads
  • vegetable-side-dishes




  • 50g/2oz fresh basil leaves
  • 25g/1oz pine kernels OR raw cashews (unroasted)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • black pepper
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan or vegan ‘parmesan’ or nutritional yeast flakes – see above for product details or home-made options
  • A little water if the pesto is still too dry – add a splash at a time


1. Put all ingredients together in a food processor and blend until the pesto becomes as smooth as you like.

2. Taste it, then add in more oil or seasoning if you wish.

3. Stir though warm pasta.

4. Make other varieties by adding different ingredients; sun-dried tomatoes, olives, nuts, different herbs.


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