5 Minute Walnut Pesto (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Prep: 5 minutesCook: 0 minutesTotal: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 small jarCategory: Soups/Sides
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This delicious walnut pesto is super simple to make and can be used in an array of different dishes.

Rather than buying a dairy free pesto from the supermarket, why not try this easy vegan version at home? In terms of flavour, you cannot beat a homemade pesto and you honestly will not miss the parmesan in this version!

Traditionally pesto is made using toasted pine nuts which you absolutely can use in this recipe in place of walnuts if preferred. I have experimented with nuts in pesto recently as I have had a few half used packets that needed eating. The walnut version was my favourite, closely followed by a cashew version which has a creamier, more delicate flavour. If you like the sound of the cashew nut pesto then simply swap the 100g of walnuts for the cashews instead.

You will need to use fresh basil in this recipe as opposed to dried. The basil stems hold so much flavour and, as they are getting blitzed, you can add them into the food processor in addition to the leaves to reduce food waste.

I use nutritional yeast in this recipe because I always have some in the cupboard and I am not the biggest fan of dairy free parmesan style cheeses, however, if you woud prefer to use a dairy free parmesan style cheese in this recipe then feel free to. You will just need to use 5 to 6 tbsp of the dairy free cheese in place of the nutritional yeast. I would advise adding this in at the end a few tablespoons at a time until you reach your desired flavour as I find it can be quite overpowering.

I like my pesto to have quite a thick texture, however, if you would prefer a thinner consistency you can also add a few tablespoons of water when bliending until you reach your desired consistency.

Once you have your pesto you can use it straight away. Either throw it into gnocchi or pasta dishes like my Spring Vegetable Gnocchi or my Posh Pesto Pasta, use it in toasties or pizzas or use it to drizzle over new potatoes or grilled vegetables, etc. Alternatively, you can transfer it from the food processor straight into a clean jar, add a little drizzle of extra olive oil to the top and store it in the fridge for up to ten days.

If you have any leftover, why not try it thrown into this easy Broccoli & Pesto Soup to reduce waste. If you like this walnut pesto recipe you may also like my Wild Garlic Pesto Recipe which you can find here.

If you like this recipe and want to show some support please leave a comment below or visit my Ko-Fi account to donate! x


  • 100g 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 handfuls fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice 1/2 lemon
  • pinch sea salt


  1. Place the walnuts in a food processor and blitz briefly until they form a crumb
  2. Peel the garlic cloves and add to a food processor along with the remaining ingredients
  3. Blitz everything together well for a few minutes, allowing the basil to completely break down. If needed, stop blitzing halfway through and scrape the sides of the food processor down ensuring everything gets blitzed well
  4. Perform a taste test and add more lemon juice or salt if desired before scraping out of the food processor


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