Are you a pesto fan? This nutritious broccoli pesto is packed with plant power and perfect spread on sandwiches or tossed with pasta. Vegan, gluten free and easy to adapt to whatever you have on hand so it’s a great low waste recipe too.

hand stirring broccoli pesto in food processor

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As a dietitian, I love creating plant-based recipes that show you just how easy – and delicious – it is to eat more plants. Whether you are just trying to lead a healthier life or even if you are trying to heal from a digestive issue like irritable bowel syndrome or ulcerative colitis, food should be as good for your body as it is for your soul. Which is why every recipe in my new Good For Your Gut cookbook was created with the intention that food should be joyful, even when you aren’t feeling your best.

What does this have to do with pesto? Well, there are few sauces as perfect + useful as pesto. You can adapt them to use up whatever greens or herbs you have on hand – like my cilantro and parsley pesto. Add any nut or seed rolling around in your pantry. Add umami with nutritional yeast, miso or a little vegan parmesan. And a good pesto will make a lacklustre meal way more exciting.

Have you ever heard the one about a vegan’s favourite food? It’s sauce, of course.

How to make vegan broccoli pesto step by step

Pestos are such a quick and easy way to get more green veggies into your life. Minimal chopping, minimal fuss…maximum nutrition! Packed with healthy fats from the walnuts and olive oil, rich in anti-inflammatory phytochemicals from the broccoli, basil and garlic…this is one of the most delicious ways I can think of to eat more plants.

  • Step One: roughly chop the broccoli (leave it raw!)
  • Step Two: process broccoli and walnuts in the food processor until finely chopped
  • Step Three: add the basil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, salt and process until well combined
  • Step Four: drizzle in extra virgin olive oil while motor is running to create a loose hummus-like paste
  • Step Five: taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking

What to serve with broccoli pesto

This vegan pesto recipe is super versatile! Because it’s a bit thicker, you can thin it with a little extra water or oil if you want a different consistency depending on how you choose to use it.

Vegan Pesto Recipe Storage Tips

If you have some extra greens languishing in your fridge, pesto is the perfect way to use them up to reduce your food waste!

  • The pesto will keep well, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days. A bit of separation is normal, just stir before use.
  • You can also freeze pesto in ice cube trays. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag and use within 1-2 months for best flavour. Either thaw overnight in the fridge or warm gently in a small pot on medium low.

More delicious vegan sauces + dressings

hand stirring broccoli pesto in food processor

Nutritious Broccoli Pesto (Vegan)

This vegan broccoli pesto recipes is packed with nutrient-dense plants like walnuts and basil. Takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and makes a great sandwich spread or pasta sauce.
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  • 2 cups chopped broccoli, raw
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • ½ cup raw walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly cracked pepper, to taste


  • Food Processor


  • Process broccoli and walnuts in a food processor until finely chopped. Then, add basil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic and salt and process. With the motor running, start drizzling in olive oil until it resembles a loose hummus.
  • Taste and adjust salt + pepper if desired.
  • This recipe creates a thick pesto, for spreading on sandwiches, pizza crust or adding to other sauces. If you want to use the pesto with pasta, loosen with a bit more oil or water (pasta cooking water is ideal!) to your desired consistency before tossing.


Pesto keeps well, covered in the fridge, for up to 5 days. A little separation is normal. Just stir before using.