Vegan avocado pesto is a quick and easy way to get in your greens in no time. Made in less than 15 minutes, it’s perfect as a pasta sauce or toast topper. Blend up cashew parmesan in just a minute and you’re set for a light but filling meal.
How do you make vegan avocado pesto?
Avocado pesto is made the same way regular vegan pesto is, just with the additional of a whole avocado! The avocado makes this pesto so creamy and smooth. Avocados also carry a wealth of nutrients:
- They’re loaded with fiber, which is important for a healthy gut
- Over 20 (!!) vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin K and potassium
- Healthy fats found in avocados (omega-3s, omega 6-s) help the body absorb fat soluble nutrients like Vitamin K and Vitamin A
Another way I like to “bulk up” my avocado pesto (or pesto in general) is to add spinach. Spinach blends in beautifully with pesto and it’s a powerhouse of nutrients. It’s also an inexpensive way to stretch the amount of pesto you have without sacrificing texture or flavor.
How do you make vegan pesto?
The main difference between regular pesto and vegan pesto is that vegan pesto has no cheese. This pesto still has all of the basic ingredients like basil, garlic, nuts, and a bit of olive oil.
Making the pesto is super easy. All you do is:
- Throw the ingredients in a food processor
- Turn on the food processor
- Add pesto to preferred food
How do you make cashew parmesan?
Cashew parm, aka cashew parmesan, is an essential “cheese” alternative. But it shouldn’t be treated as just that! Cashew parm can go on anything you’d normally top with cheese, but it’s also a delicious toast topper or a great seasoning on sandwiches.
Cashews don’t have to be soaked for cashew parmesan, which is one the reasons I love making it! Seriously, just throw all the ingredients in a blend, pulse for a few seconds, and tada: you’ve got cashew parm. Savory, nutty, and just a little bit cheesey.
What should you do with all this avocado pesto?
I usually eat pesto on pasta, and lately I’ve been experimenting with bean pastas. This time I tried Trader joe’s red lentil pasta (that’s what is used in the photos). If we’re being honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of the texture. But it’s neat to have protein packed pasta!
Vegan avocado pesto goes well on pasta, toast, crackers, or even in this vegan pesto lasagna. Top your pesto snack or meal with some cashew parm and you’re set up for a delicious flavor experience.
Vegan Avocado Pesto with Cashew Parmesan
- 1 medium avocado
- 1 and 1/2 cups basil, loosely packed
- 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 2 tablepsoons lemon juice
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- salt, to taste
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- For the cashew parm, blend together cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt until coarsely ground. It should be about the size of the parmesan that comes in shakers.
- For the pesto, blend together all pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender. Taste and add lemon juice, black pepper, and salt as needed. Toss with pasta or spread on toast. Garnish with basil and cashew parmesan if desired.