This Creamy Vegan Basil Pesto is an easy go-to comfort food full of flavor and packed with plant-based protein (tofu) and greens. Don’t let the idea of adding tofu to pesto turn your nose. Since tofu is flavorless, it will give that creamy aspect to the pesto and sponge up all the flavors of garlic, basil, and other spices. Plus, this pesto has over 10 grams of plant-based protein in a serving!
If you love pesto, this is a wonderful recipe to make extra to freeze and have on hand to add to whole grain pasta, toast, pizza, or add to a spread, dressing, or a veggie dip. With fresh basil and a few simple ingredients added to your food processor, you will have a mouth-watering dish in minutes!
When I find a quick easy recipe that adds tons of simple but robust flavor and nutrient density, I feel like I have succeeded. Honestly, tofu is not my favorite plant-based protein but it agrees with my gut, so I use it in a few dishes each month. This recipe just came together because I had some tofu leftover from another recipe and a bunch of fresh basil. So I put a few ingredients together and in just minutes I had this delicious plant-based pesto pasta.
Easy Creamy Vegan Basil Pesto
A few tips to make Creamy Vegan Basil Pesto your way: If you wish to omit the milk, you can use water to thin it out. If you avoid nuts you can omit them. If you do not have spinach, you can use kale or other greens, including fresh parsley. Because I am a lover of garlic I have a lot in this recipe, but feel free to adjust that flavor to your liking, and add a bit more spice for a kick. See the freezing tip in the recipe card below.
Creamy Vegan Basil Pesto
- Food Processor
- 1 Cup Basil leaves, washed and chopped
- 1/2 Cup Spinach leaves, washed and chopped
- 1/2 Cup Tofu cubes, extra firm and drained
- 4 Cloves Garlic adjust to taste
- 2 TBSP Nutritional Yeast
- 2 TBSP Walnuts, chopped
- 1-2 TBSP Oat Milk, creamy and gluten-free or other unsweetened plant milk
- 1 TBSP Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Maple Syrup
- 1/2 tsp Salt adjust to taste
- 1 dash Red Pepper flakes or pepper
- 1 Cup Tomato, chopped
- 1 TBSP Parmesan cheese, vegan grated
- 1 Drizzle Balsamic Vinegar Glaze
- Prep all ingredients ahead of time to have ready to process.
- Boil water on stove to cook pasta according to directions on box.
- Add all ingredients to the food processor in order and pulse the leaves and tofu until mixed.
- Next, add the next 5 ingredients (through lemon juice).
- Then, add the last 3 ingredients, and adjust to taste for spicer, saltier or sweeter.
- Scoop the pesto from the food processor and mix about 1/4 cup of pesto with pasta of choice.
- Alternately you can store pesto in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refridgertor or 6 months in the freezer (see tip below*).
I hope you enjoy this quick and delicious take on basil pesto! This would make a great spread blended into avocado toast, such as my Balsamic-Glazed Avocado Toast recipe here.