Walnut pesto

Years ago, I was on holiday in the US and browsing in a book shop when I came across Vegan with a Vengeance. Something about it appealed to me, and I’m so glad I bought it. This walnut pesto recipe is very lightly adapted from it, and it’s our favourite quick-and-easy dinner option.

2012 update: For years we only ate this pesto with pasta, and then one day it occurred to me that I could freeze the pesto in mini muffin trays. We call them pucks of pesto, and now we use pesto in all kinds of things: as a spread on sandwiches, in wraps, in soup…

Walnut pesto 600x449 Walnut pesto


Walnut pesto 


Makes enough for at least four family dinners, giving you plenty for the freezer.

  • 2 cups walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 4 oz basil leaves (the amount we use varies—we just buy four packs, and currently the basil we are buying comes in 1 oz packs)
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil, or more to taste
  • 1 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2–3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (to taste)


  • Combine the walnuts, garlic and salt in a food processor, and process until the walnuts are finely chopped but not yet a paste.
  • Lift the lid and inhale. It’s awesome!
  • Add the basil, oil, nutritional yeast and lemon and process again until everything is mixed together.
  • Add additional oil if necessary.

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