This delicious Vegan Spinach Pesto Recipe is a lighter, less intense version of pesto since it’s made solely with spinach instead of basil. With spinach pesto, you won’t have the sharpness of basil, for a more casual blend of flavors.
Spinach Pesto vs. Traditional Basil Pesto
Pesto has been made for centuries and is usually made with basil, cheese, pine nuts and oil.
Naturally, I love basil pesto but we don’t have any basil ready for harvest. I’ll be trying this recipe again, using all basil. I’m an all-opportunity purveyor of pesto!
Spinach is a great substitute for basil and it doesn’t have that intense flavor. If you’ve never tried pesto, I recommend that you start off with spinach. You can use a lot of different herbs and vegetable leaves to make pesto, but spinach is one of the milder versions.
Vegan Spinach Pesto
As a non-vegan, I am learning new things about being a vegan all the time. Just last week, I learned that Parmesan cheese isn’t a vegetarian cheese since it’s made with animal-produced enzymes. This never would have occurred to me, but I’m so glad to learn it because it helped me develop this new Vegan Spinach Pesto Recipe.
While you can purchase Vegetarian Parmesan, I’ve been unsuccessful in finding it in markets around me. This brought on a search for a vegan substitute.
I found this interesting recipe for Grateable Vegan Parmesan Cheese by Sophia DeSantis of Veggies Don’t Bite. Thank you, Sophia!
The Vegan Parmesan Cheese has a base of cashews. Since I LOVE cashews, I was all for giving it a try and I went straight into adapting it for this Vegan Spinach Pesto Recipe.
It takes no time at all to crush these cashews to fine little crumbs using the food processor.
To Garlic, Or Not to Garlic
If I’m going to use my pesto fresh (raw), I prefer it without garlic. Garlic is fairly strong when it’s raw. If I’m going to eat pesto on crackers or instead of mayonnaise on a sandwich, I would rather not have that loud garlic taste.
If I plan on using it with pasta, pizza or anything that will require cooking, I don’t mind using a couple of cloves of garlic. It’s wonderful, in fact!
Try it both ways to see which you prefer.
How to Use Vegan Spinach Pesto
- Spread it on a cracker
- Serve it as a dip with crackers or vegetables
- Use it on a pizza instead of tomato-based sauce
- Spread it on bread for a sandwich in place of mayonnaise
- Toss with freshly cooked pasta
Keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Try this Vegan Pesto Pasta Recipe with one of these other recipes at 24Bite:
Vegan Spinach Pesto Recipe
- Food processor
- 1 cup Raw Cashews
- 2 1/2 teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 1 teaspoon White Vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
- pinch Ground Mustard Powder
- 11 ounces Baby Spinach washed and pat dry
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- Place the chopping blade in the food processor and process the cashews until finely chopped, about 10 seconds
- Add lemon juice, vinegar, salt, pepper and mustard to processor bowl. Pulse once or twice.
- Add enough basil and spinach leaves to fill the processor bowl and process until finely chopped. Continue adding more leaves to bowl to process further, until all leaves are in the bowl and processed.
- Remove the pusher from the sleeve at the top of the processor and while the blade is still processing, slowly pour in the olive oil.
- Makes 2 cups or 16 two-tablespoon servings.