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+ servings
Small white bowl with a chunky green paste and a fresh basil leaf on the side. Fresh spinach leaves and sunflower seeds are scattered around.

Vegan Spinach Pesto (Nut-free)

Take a handful of fresh basil and spinach leaves and turn them into a nut-free pesto in 5 minutes! To make this Italian classic condiment vegan you will need SEVEN simple ingredients. No expensive pine nuts or cashews nuts will be required to make this tasty vegan spinach pesto recipe.
Course Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Italian, Nut-free, Soy-free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword basil spinach pesto, vegan pesto, vegan spinach pesto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 8 Tbsp
Calories 179kcal



  • Wash basil and spinach leaves. Peel garlic. Measure the other ingredients.
  • Take a food processor and add all ingredients. Stop and scrape the sides from time to time.
  • Blend until you get a thick, stiff paste-like consistency with a little chunkiness.
  • Serving suggestions are above the recipe card.



What can I use instead of sunflower seeds?

You can use any other nuts and seeds actually. The most popular ones to make vegan pesto is cashew nuts and pine nuts. But almonds, pecans, walnuts and even pepitas (pumpkin seeds) work just fine. We choose sunflower seeds for their budget- and allergy-friendly nature as well as because we just love using sunflower seeds in place of other nuts and seeds.

What can I use instead of basil and spinach?

You can use any combination of fresh green herbs and leafy greens. The original pesto uses basil, but you can use mint, cilantro, or parsley. Instead of spinach, you can use kale, arugula (rocket salad), watercress, or any other collard green. The flavor profile will be slightly different for all combinations.

Can I use dried leaves instead of fresh ones?

Nope, I don't recommend using dried leaves. The consistency will be way off.


Serving: 1Tbsp | Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 153mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1024IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg