There is nothing better than homemade pesto. Though it’s typically made with basil and pine nuts, did you know you can use other herbs and nuts or seeds to make pesto? You can!
I love this vegan parsley walnut pesto version because it’s so easy to make! Parsley is available at your local store all year long for when basil is not as accessible. Plus, walnuts are are great swap for pine nuts. They’re cheaper and more versatile, so I tend to always have them on hand!
I’ve always been more of a meat and potatoes girl. However, my mom’s side of my family is Italian so we tend to go out to Italian restaurants for special occasions.
Nowadays, I stick with the chicken and vegetable dishes when we go out, but there was a time when I would order pasta. But it couldn’t just be any kind of pasta.. it had to be covered in pesto.
There’s something about noodles covered in a thick, green pesto sauce that gets me every time. So earthy and rich and everything that is good in the world. Don’t stop there with the pesto though – pesto is great on fish, sandwiches, and pizza.
Why I love this vegan pesto recipe
If you can’t eat dairy, don’t fret! Since dairy traditionally has pesto in it, I thought that my time with pesto had come to an end when I found out about all of my food restrictions.
So when I came up with this recipe for parsley walnut pesto that was also vegan, I was thrilled! You won’t even miss the cheese in this recipe. I started eating it straight out of the jar not sure what else to put it on, but believe me, I have found ways to use this amazing spread in every way possible! I can’t wait to make some cauliflower pizza to spread it on!
The nuttiness of the walnuts pairs so well with the earthy parsley in this recipe! I love to toast my walnuts before making this pesto to really bring out the flavor of the walnuts. If you haven’t tried it before, it’s very easy to learn How to Toast Walnuts! I highly recommend it in this recipe.
Here’s what you’ll need
- Olive Oil
- Food processor
- Measuring cup
FAQs and Tips
It’s best to store homemade pesto in a glass jar with a lid in the refrigerator to keep it as fresh as possible.
Since there are no preservatives in homemade pesto, use it within one week. You will have to stir it before use.
Yes! Freezing homemade pesto is a great way to extend its shelf life. I like to spoon pesto into a silicone ice cube tray and freeze until solid. Then, place in a freezer safe bag or container until ready to use. Just thaw the portion that you need! Frozen pesto will last up to 4 months!
You sure can. Basil, cilantro, arugula, and kale all make great substitutions for parsley. You can swap them out or use a combination of these greens!
I typically opt for a mild nut like walnuts over pine nuts, because pine nuts are SO expensive. Plus, I always have walnuts on hand. However, pine nuts can definitely be used! Almonds and pecans are another good option!
You definitely can. I actually prefer the taste of pesto without cheese (gasp! I know.) because I think it lets the herbs, olive oil and seasonings shine through. However, you can easily add parmesan cheese to this recipe!
Looking for ways to use pesto? Try these recipes
- Try my Prosciutto Wrapped Pesto Shrimp Appetizer for an easy appetizer!
- Pesto Zoodles with Bacon and Roasted Tomatoes
- Pesto, quinoa, and chicken come together in my easy Chicken Pesto Quinoa Bowls that are great for meal prep!
- Baked Sweet Potato Wedges are topped with vegan parsley pesto for a delicious snack or appetizer recipe!
- Drizzle pesto on top of these Cabbage Steaks for a tasty vegetable side dish!
More Homemade Pesto Recipes
Vegan Parsley Walnut Pesto
- 2 cups chopped parsley (about 1 bunch)
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts (roughly chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup olive oil
- In a food processor, combine parsley, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice and salt. Pulse until combined.
- Slowly drizzle in the oil until the mixture is smooth and reaches desired consistency (at least 1/2 cup up to 3/4 cup).
- Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
This recipe was originally posted on June 16, 2015 and updated on July 12, 2020 with new photos, tips and tricks to help you make this easy vegan parsley walnut pesto perfectly every time!