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Perfect Pesto

Perfect Pesto

Serves: 6

Category: Salads, Dressings, Dips and Sauces
Author: Marian Fanok
Tags: Athletic/Higher caloric

Average Rating: 
Rated by: 31 members

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The possibilities are endless with this oil-free pesto. Serve it as a salad dressing or dip, use it to top cooked vegetables or mix it with a bowl of bean pasta or farro.

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2/3 cup raw almonds
2/3 cup pine nuts
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
2/3 cup fresh parsley or cilantro leaves, packed
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon coconut aminos
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped tomato


In a blender or food processor, pulse to grind almonds and pine nuts finely (do not puree). Remove and place in a mixing bowl. Blend remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Combine with nut mixture.

Use as a dip for fresh cut veggies, or as a topping for cooked vegetables or bean pasta

Calories 186; Protein 6 g; Carbohydrates 8 g; Sugars 2 g; Total Fat 16.4 g; Saturated Fat 1.2 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 28 mg; Fiber 2.7 g; Beta-Carotene 778 ug; Vitamin C 16 mg; Calcium 74 mg; Iron 2.2 mg; Folate 33 ug; Magnesium 84 mg; Potassium 304 mg; Zinc 1.6 mg; Selenium 1.1 ug

Comments (12):



04/19/2010 10:20 PM

Rated this recipe:

This pesto is wonderful! It's the first vegan pesto recipe I've ever found that tastes delicious!


06/23/2010 12:50 PM

Rated this recipe:

This is so good that I'm having a hard time not eating by the spoonful out of the bowl! Ended up mixing it with steamed kale. I think it would be great on a veggie burger.
This comment was last edited on 06/23/2010 01:01 PM


10/17/2011 09:30 PM

Rated this recipe:

I made this from the cookbook. The recipe called for a teaspoon of nutritional yeast instead of Braggs and a whole cup of chopped tomatoes. I used cilantro instead of parsley. It was excellent. I put it over a water stir-fry made with no spices or vinegar and it was one of the best foods I've ever eaten.


10/23/2011 08:37 PM

Rated this recipe:

Good but expensive. I hope it will be better tomorrow and the flavors mix.


11/13/2011 03:51 PM

Rated this recipe:

This is excellent on a salad as dressing; I think it will be my new salad dressing. I like the flavor and the crunch from the nuts. Next I'm going to try it on whole grain pasta.


02/09/2012 09:44 PM

Rated this recipe:

I didn't have lemon so I used 1 T white balsamic vinegar and 1 T regular vinegar and it was fantastic! Also, I used a little extra cilantro and basil and one extra clove of garlic.

I also tasted it before I added the nuts and thought it would be good that way as a salad dressing as well, if one had already had enough nuts for the day.


06/30/2012 11:36 AM

Rated this recipe:

This does freeze well! I put it in cupcake molds, about 1/4 to 1/3 c each and froze it and put it in ziploc baggies. Now I add it to blended salads or green smoothies to add the delicious basil flavor. I think the tomato is mandatory as it compliments the basil and nuts so well. I could eat it with a spoon....yum!

9/26/12 Second batch: Substituted arugula instead of cilantro/parsley and addedmacadamia/walnuts to the pine nuts and almonds.
Holy Cow, even better!
This comment was last edited on 09/26/2012 07:44 PM


11/19/2012 09:47 PM

Rated this recipe:

I was supposed to bring pesto to a pizza party tonight and forgot until the last minute. In 7 minutes I snagged the almonds, a portion of the pine nuts, all the basil I had, garlic, lemon juice, tomato, and soy sauce instead of aminos. I had no parsley. I threw it all in the Cuisinart at once and hit the ON switch. Voila! Pesto! Our pizzas were loved by all, and that fast and crazy instant pesto really was fantastic spread on our whole wheat "pizza" tortilla under all the other toppings. Next time I'll have all the ingredients and do it right. Can't wait!
This comment was last edited on 11/19/2012 09:56 PM


10/07/2013 07:38 PM

Rated this recipe:

My husband and I really love this one! I did not have enough almonds so I used almonds, walnuts, and pine nuts. I did not have parsley so I used spinach - and I did not measure the greens, just approximated. I also did not have enough lemon juice/lemons so I used 1 T lemon juice, 1 T white balsamic vinegar. And finally, I forgot the garlic. So this was a really flexible and great recipe! I love it when the flavors all come together! I did it all in the food processor. We had it on raw ravioli (mandolin slices of red and white striped beets with cashew scallion cheese inside). I will be making this again!


07/12/2017 12:40 AM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

Love this recipe and that it is oil free. I use it with pasta, as a dip, with hot or cold vegetables and so on. If I do not have pine nuts I use all almonds. I like to make a lot and freeze it in  small batches so I can whip it out when needed on a hurry.


07/30/2017 07:26 PM

Rated this recipe:

I was skeptical about this recipe. However, I had a lot of basil and parsley in the garden so I gave it a try. It took several times to process this in the blender so I kept adding more lemon and stirring it down until it processed. It was creamier than a regular pesto, but the basil flavor was outstanding. I added nutritional yeast and did not miss the parmesan at all. I used it as a spread on a whole wheat pita with some sliced tofu. I also used it as a veggie dip. This is a great way to use basil.


07/26/2018 09:59 AM

Rated this recipe:

This was amazing. Used it to top off a bowl of water sauteed courgettes and green beans from the garden, absolutely delicious. This recipe is a keeper.