This vegan hemp seed pesto is one of my favourite recipes to make! It’s nut, dairy, and gluten-free. Modifications, storage instructions, and recipe pairing ideas included.
This post was updated with helpful content + fresh images on 04.22.2020.
Looking to bring any dish from average to AMAZING?! One of the best ways to elevate your salads, grain bowls, toasts, pastas, and even snacks is to add a delicious sauce, like this vegan hemp seed pesto.
This homemade pesto is nut and dairy-free, using hemp seeds instead of pine nuts and nutritional yeast instead of parmesan. If you don’t happen to have hemp seeds, keep scrolling for some simple recipe modifications.
This recipe is great to add to your weekly meal prep routine. It stores for 4-5 days in the fridge, and can be added to so many different meals, as mentioned above. I’ve been making it at least once a month for YEARS. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
How To Make Pesto From Scratch
If you like the pesto a little bit runnier, simply add a splash more olive oil or water. Blend until it meets your desired consistency and adjust salt + pepper to taste. That’s it!
While I love this base recipe, one great thing about homemade pesto is how easily modifiable it is. You can switch the hemp seeds and basil with a number of ingredients, depending on what you have on hand.
Hemp seeds can be swapped with any nut or seed. For example, try this pesto with pumpkin seeds, pistachios, walnuts, or almonds.
Basil can be swapped with another leafy green, such as spinach, kale, or arugula. You can even do a mixture of different greens if you’d like!
How To Store Pesto
Homemade pesto can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
To further extend the shelf-life of pesto, you can freeze it for up to 4 months. Pesto can be frozen in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
One great way to freeze pesto is to pour it into silicone ice cube trays. Once frozen, you can pop the pesto out and place in a freezer bag. This way, you have easy portions of pesto that you can reheat!
What To Pair With Pesto
Pesto tastes amazing with so many different dishes. For some ideas, check out my favourite recipes using pesto below:
- Easy Baked Pesto Pasta
- Pesto Quinoa Bowl With Broccoli & Sweet Potato
- 25-Minute Baked Salmon With Pistachio Pesto
- Basil Walnut Pesto Linguine With Shrimp
- Crispy Smashed Potatoes With Hemp Seed Pesto
- Roasted Broccoli Pesto Pizza
Recipe Nutrition Notes
Hemp Seed Nutrition. Hemp seeds are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also rich in plant-based protein, with just 3 tablespoons providing 10 grams!
Nutritional Yeast Nutrition. This cheesy, vegan pantry staple is an excellent source of B-vitamins, like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, and B12. Nutritional yeast is also a source of trace minerals like zinc, selenium, and manganese.
Olive Oil Nutrition. This heart-healthy oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. It’s also a source of vitamins E and K as well as antioxidants.
Basil Nutrition. Fresh basil is a source of antioxidants and micronutrients like vitamins C, A, K, B6, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron.
More Easy Vegan Sauce Recipes
- 5-Minute Miso Tahini Sauce
- Cashew Cream Tomato Sauce
- Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream
- Mushroom Cashew Cream
Vegan Hemp Seed Pesto
- 2 cups (or large handfuls) fresh basil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt + pepper, to taste
- Wash and dry basil leaves.
- Store in a glass container in fridge. Use on pastas, grain bowls, salads, pizzas, toasts, and more!
- Hemp seeds can be swapped with any nut or seed. E.g. pumpkin seeds, pistachios, walnuts, or almonds.
- Basil can be swapped with another leafy green, such as spinach, kale, or arugula. You can even do a mixture of different greens if you’d like!