Nothing truly beats a homemade pesto. So here’s my easy pesto recipe that anyone can do at home. All you need is a food processor to blend it all up. Making your own pesto is the easiest way to fancy up some regular old pasta and add some extra veggies.

vegan pesto pasta

what you’ll need for this easy pesto recipe

  • food processor or professional blender – you’ll blend everything up in this
  • basil – this will be where all the tasty freshness comes in.
  • garlic – I’m a big garlic lover, and you can’t have pesto without lots of garlic in my opinion
  • lemon juice and zest – for some fresh acidity
  • olive oil – to cream it all up and get the food processor moving
  • avocado – extra creaminess and added nutrition and good fats
  • pine nuts
  • pepper + salt
  • hemp hearts – get in those omegas and some added protein (optional)
  • pea shoots (optional)
  • fresh or frozen peas (optional)
  • arugula or baby kale (optional)
easy pesto pasta

how to make this homemade easy pesto recipe

You will literally just toss it all in the food processor or professional blender! Add more olive oil as needed to get the processor going to cream it all up, and scrape down the sides as needed.

why you’ll love making homemade pesto

It’s WAY easier to do than it initially seems, and basically any ratios still yield a delicious pesto product. For example, if you don’t have a ton of basil, toss in a bit more arugula. Or missing pine nuts? No problem, you can easily substitute for plain walnuts or cashews. Maybe you have some leftover zucchini? Great, toss some of that in as well! It makes your pasta seem super fancy, especially if you serve it with something else green like steamed broccoli or fresh peas. Plus, homemade pesto on top of a standard pasta adds really nice healthy fats and great vitamins and aminos.

vegan pesto pasta


makes 4 servings

  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped, or minced
  • 1 cup packed basil
  • juice of half a lemon (~1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (more as needed to get the processor going)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
  • lemon zest to garnish
  • optional add ons: 1/4 cup peashoots, 1/4 cup fresh peas, 1/2 cup arugula or baby kale


  1. Pile it all into the food processor (minus the lemon zest) and blend
  2. Put your cooked pasta back into the large pot, or a large bowl and top with dollops of the pesto and stir.
  3. Serve pasta into individual bowls and top with a garnish of lemon zest
  4. Bonus to make it all green and serve with some peas, broccoli, zucchini or broccolini!

easy pesto recipe

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