No-Oil Vegan Pesto

oil-free-pestoSo many ways to make a pesto, so many ways to eat it! Traditionally you’d blend basil with olive oil, garlic, and parmesan cheese and toss it with pasta – easy-shmeasy.

This one’s a fresh green version with arugula and spinach, ripe avocado instead of olive oil and a generous blob of mild miso for a “cheesy” flavor. The avocado gives it a great creaminess that sticks to the noodles.

An awesome parmesan cheese replacement for plant-powered peeps is a blend of walnuts and nutritional yeast sprinkled over the whole thing.

Here’s how for 3 cups of pesto you can toss with penne noodles or any pasta, use as a delicious spread on toast, stir it into rice for a creamy risotto or dollup into carved zucchini or cucumber rounds for an elegant raw h’ors d’oeuvre.

2 ripe avocados

1/2 pound of organic arugula

1/2 pound of organic spinach

1 small bunch of basil

1 small bunch of parsley

5 cloves of garlic

3 Tbsp mild white miso

1 cup of hemp seeds

Blend all ingredients except hemp seeds until creamy. Add hemp seeds and pulse.

If you like it a little thinner, add a drop of water. For a little “zing” add a squeeze of lemon.

for vegan “parmesan”, pulse together about a cup of organic walnuts with half a cup of nutritional yeast and a tsp of Celtic sea salt. mmm


  1. Hello,
    I just made this recipe from the Forks Over Knives cookbook and in there it says one avocado. (if you read further into the recipe it says peel the avocados, which was a little confusing). The recipe is good with only one avo so I am leaving the other out. Just thought you might want to know! Delicious either way, really good.

  2. p.s. it also says 1/2 cup hemp seeds rather than 1 cup mentioned above. Is the one in the book an updated recipe?

  3. hey megan!

    sorry to be so long in responding! have been on hiatus and just saw this ~ this pesto is all about your preferred consistency and flavour. depending on the size of your avocados, you can use one or two. if you use two, you’ll probably need a full cup of hemp seeds. with only one avocado, half a cup is good. the fok recipe was adjusted for a “lower fat” content. sounds like you figured out exactly how to make it work for your taste. hope you’re enjoying the fok book! thank you for your comments!

Speak Your Mind