Made with fresh basil and beautiful pumpkin seeds, this vibrant Vegan Pumpkin Seed Pesto can take any meal from boring to delicious!
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We eat pesto almost every week in our house.
My kids love pesto.
My husband and I love pesto.
I'm pretty sure everyone loves pesto!
While I often make my Classic Vegan Pesto Sauce Recipe, I also love this Vegan Pumpkin Seed Pesto recipe!
It's vibrant, flavorful and a fun spin on a classic sauce.
🤔 What is Pesto?
Pesto, originally pesto alla genovese, is a sauce which originated in Genoa, Italy.
The word pesto comes from the Genoese verb which means to pound and that is how pesto originally was prepared.
Since pesto really refers to anything that is made by pounding, there are multiple variations of pesto.
Yet pesto alla genovese is still the most popular type of pesto and it's probably what you're able to find most easily at the grocery store.
📖 Pumpkin Seed Pesto Ingredients
This pumpkin seed pesto is really similar to regular pesto, except instead of pine nuts or walnuts, we'll be using pumpkin seeds!
Usually, pesto also contains parmesan cheese, but since this is a vegan recipe, we'll be using vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast instead.
To make this Vegan Pumpkin Seed Pesto, you'll need the following ingredients:
- Pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas)
- Vegan parmesan (or nutritional yeast)
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Sea salt
🧑🍳 How To Make Pumpkin Seed Pesto
As I mentioned previously, pesto was originally made using a mortar and pestle.
Nowadays, the ingredients for pesto can be simply blended together using a food processor or blender.
If you have a small food processor that works best, but use whatever you have!
To make this pumpkin seed pesto, simply follow the step-by-step instructions below:
STEP 1: Place the garlic, a pinch of salt and the pumpkin seeds into a food processor. Process until a meal forms.
STEP 2: Add in the basil and blend again until the basil is finely chopped and everything is well combined.
STEP 3: Next, while your food processor is running, slowly stream in the olive oil.
STEP 4: Add in the lemon juice and salt and pulse until just combined.
🧊 How to Store Homemade Pesto
Thanks to the lemon juice and salt, homemade pesto stores fairly well.
FRIDGE: To store this pumpkin seed pesto in the fridge, simply transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for about 1 week.
FREEZER: To make your pesto last longer, you can also freeze it! Place the pesto in a freezer-safe jar or container and freeze it for up to 3 months.
To thaw frozen pesto, simply remove it from the freezer the day before you use it and allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge.
I also like to freeze my homemade pesto in ice cube trays so I can add a couple tablespoons at a time when I want to add some extra flavor to certain dishes.
🥗 Healthy Recipes with Pesto
There are lots of ways to incorporate pesto into your meals.
Although it's delicious and always a hit in our house, pesto doesn't just have to be enjoyed over pasta.
You can use pesto as the
- spread for sandwiches (try the best savory vegan breakfast sandwich!)
- dip for crackers and/or veggies
- base for pizza
- salad dressing
You can even create a new dip by mixing pesto into plain, non-dairy yogurt or even guacamole!
Get creative and discover lots of new healthy recipes using pesto!
Vegan Pumpkin Seed Pesto
- 1 large clove garlic
- ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 cups fresh basil medium-packed
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons vegan parmesan cheese OR nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Place one clove of garlic, a pinch of salt and the pumpkin seeds into a food processor. Process until a meal forms.
- Add in the basil and blend again until the basil is finely chopped and everything is well combined.
- While your food processor is running, slowly stream in the olive oil.
- Lastly, add in the nutritional yeast, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and the salt. Process one more time until everything is combined.
- Taste and add more salt for saltiness or lemon juice for tartness.
I can hardly wait to make your pesto,. I like to use seed pesto as a sauce for pizza.
I take walnuts, melted butter or vegan spread, salt, pepper, a few other spices and pulse it in the food processor. Thank you.
This pesto would taste amazing as a pizza base! Let me know how you like it Laura!
Looks delicious, how much pesto does this make?
Thanks Tracey! And good question. I'd say around a cup or a little more, but I'm not positive! I should have measured the final product!
Ok, thank you!
I would love to make this, but I am oil free. I was thinking of subbing aqua faba. Do you think that will work? Do you have another suggestion?
Faith VanderMolen says
I've never tried that, but I really want to now! I did a quick search on google and it seems like aquafaba pesto is a thing, so I'd say go for it! https://shaneandsimple.com/the-easiest-and-most-delicious-vegan-pesto-oil-free/