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vegan pesto in black bowl with walnuts and almonds

Omega 3-Rich Vegan Pesto Recipe

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A bright, zesty vegan pesto recipe that packs an anti-inflammatory punch thanks to a mix of cilantro and curly parsley with whole lemon (skin and all!). Easy to make and so flavourful on pasta.
Course Sauces
Cuisine Italian
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword easy vegan pesto, parsley walnut pesto vegan, vegan cilantro pesto, vegan parsley pesto, vegan pesto recipe
Dietary Preference dairy free, Gluten-Free, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 4 people


  • Food Processor


  • 1 cup curly parsley, leaves and tender stems lightly packed
  • 1 cup cilantro, leaves and tender stems lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup walnut halves
  • 1/4 large lemon skin on, seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons hemp hearts
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin


  • In a small food processor or large cup for blending, add the parsley, cilantro, walnuts, lemon, hemp hearts, nutritional yeast, garlic and salt. Pulse until finely chopped and uniform - or puree if using an immersion blender.
  • Next, drizzle in olive oil while pulsing the mixture, to emulsify the pesto. If using an immersion blender, the mixture will have a creamier consistency when you blend.
  • If adding pesto directly to pasta, toss pasta with a tiny drizzle of olive oil first to coat the strands so the pesto spreads a bit easier. Or store pesto in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to three days...if it lasts that long!


The flavour of this recipe really varies depending on the ingredients. If your lemon has a thicker skin with thick white pith, it could be a bit bitter. A tiny pinch of sugar will balance this out...or cut the pith from the lemon, reserving peel. You can vary the amount  of garlic depending on how much you like it. And make sure to buy fresh walnuts and store them in the freezer! They shouldn't be overly bitter.