Meatless Monday: Plant Based Pesto

Today is the first Monday in our Meatless Monday recipe series. Each week in the morning I will be posting a plant based recipe for you and your family to try. Some of the recipes will be my own and some will be from chefs I love.

This week Meatless Monday also falls on Election Day here in Canada so Ive come up with the most simple Plant Based Pesto to have dinner on the table in 15 minutes and hopefully won't involve an extra trip to the grocery store, leaving you more time to vote!

If you are new to plant based cooking Nutritional Yeast (with its weird name) may be something new to you. Basically its a vegan substitute for that "cheesy" flavour. If you know anyone who is a vegan they probably put "nooch" (as it is more commonly known) on absolutely everything. I personally don't love the taste (or the smell) however I do like adding it in moderate amounts for that cheesy flavour and I especially think it works well in this pesto. Nutritional Yeast is a good source of B vitamins including folic acid, selenium, zinc, and even protein. Its gluten free and a healthy substitute compared to much larger amounts of cheese added normally to pesto. You can find Nutritional Yeast in most major grocery stores and health food stores.

Plant Based Pesto


2 cups of fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup of pine nuts (raw sunflower seeds also work well)

juice from 1/2 of a lemon

2 tbsp of nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp sea salt

about 4 tbsp olive oil

water as needed (about 4 - 6 tbsp)


add basil, pine nuts, lemon, nutritional yeast and sea salt to a food processor. process until chopped and mixed.

while the machine is on slowly add oil as desired and then water until desired consistency is reached

taste, and make flavour adjustments adding more of anything as needed


If you do not have access to Nutritional Yeast substitute with a good quality parmesan cheese and the recipe will still be vegetarian

©2018 Whole Health Kitchen by Jessica McQuoid RHN