This delicious vegan parsley pesto made with pistachios will make you want to break up with your standard basil pesto! It's super simple to make, parsley is readily available in huge bunches and it keeps for up to a week in the fridge. Yum!
Pesto is incredibly versatile, not only is it great served tossed through pasta, but you can smear it on toast or bagels instead of butter, use it to dab over grilled veggies, toss it through pesto or swirl it through soups and stews such as with my Chickpea, Potato & Red Pepper Summer Stew .
I love making pesto with all kinds of herbs, such as my wild garlic pesto, it's a great way to use up odds and ends of herbs. You can get creative with the types of nuts you use too, this recipe uses pistachios, but I have also made it with cashews and even a nut-free version with pumpkin seeds!
The ingredients for this pesto are pretty simple...
- Parsley: I used flat Italian parsley because I prefer the flavour.
- Pistachios: Choose pre-shelled plain unsalted and unroasted pistachios. You can also use any other nut you fancy!
- Nutritional Yeast: This is a dairy free recipe, so I use nutritional yeast in place of the more common parmesan cheese.
- Fresh Garlic: A single clove of fresh garlic is more than enough! It adds that all important garlicky flavour we love!
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Choose a good quality olive oil when making pesto! As the pesto does not get cooked, is really worth while using a nice one as you can taste the difference!
- Flakey Sea Salt: Lovely flakey salt seasons the pesto perfectly.
- Lemon Juice: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice brightens up the flavours and keeps the pesto tasting fresh.
See recipe card for quantities.
It's super simple to make pretty much any pesto! Follow along with these instructions and you'll have your own pesto ready to use in no time.
- Toast the pistachios in a dry pan.
2) Whizz up the pistachios and garlic clove until they are a rough rubble.
3) Add the fresh parsley (Make sure it is washed then dried very well), the lemon juice and nutritional yeast. Whizz.
4) Bit by bit add the olive oil. Season and taste. Add more nutritional yeast or lemon juice if you think it needs it.
The parsley pistachio pesto should look like this once it is ready. Lovely green and vegan!
Hint: Make sure you wash and then dry the fresh parsley very well. Wet herbs will result in a soggy unlovely pesto.
Make this pesto recipe to suit yourself!
- Pistachios -instead of pistachios use cashews, walnuts or pine nuts.
- No Nuts - make this recipe nut free by using sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
- Vegetarian -choose a vegetarian or vegan hard style cheese instead of the nutritional yeast.
Traditionally pesto was made with a mortar & pestle and pounded to the correct consistency. Fun Fact! Pesto comes from Pestare in Italian, which means to pound or crush!
These days we find it easier to use a food processor or blender. I love using my Kenwood processor. It's very old now, but you can find a similar one on Amazon. It makes creating recipes like this vegan parsley pistachio pesto a total breeze!
This parsley pesto will keep for a week or even a bit longer in the fridge. Pop it into a clean airtight container and add a little olive oil over the top of the pesto. This keeps the pesto fresh and from oxidizing.
No, you can use any nut you like best. Pine nuts, walnuts or cashews are all delicious.
Parmesan cheese is the traditional cheese used in making pesto. You can use a vegan alternative parmesan cheese if you would like to keep it vegan and dairy free.
Absolutely! Either will work well in this recipe.
Swirl this parsley pesto through pasta, use instead of tomato paste on pizza, spread it on toast or bruschetta, or use it to make a sandwich. It's super versatile!
Yes this is a gluten free recipe. You can choose a gluten free pasta to swirl it through if you like!
Vegan Parsley Pesto with Pistachios
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
- 55 g (3.¾ oz) Fresh parsley (About two big handfuls or one bunch.)
- 75 g (¾ cups) pistachio nuts (you can also use cashew nuts, pumpkin or sunflower seeds. )
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon Maldon or Kosher Salt
- 2-3 Tbs Olive oil
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon)
- Wash the parsley then dry it really well.55 g Fresh parsley
- Toast the pistachios in a dry pan75 g pistachio nuts
- Put the pistachios and garlic into the food processor and blitz to a fine rubble.1 clove garlic, 75 g pistachio nuts
- Add in all the other ingredients and blitz.55 g Fresh parsley, 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon Maldon or Kosher Salt, 2-3 Tbs Olive oil, 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Stop every now and then and scrape down the sides of the processer
- Blitz until smooth- taste for salt. Add more olive oil as needed.
- Transfer to a glass jar & add a bit of olive oil over the top
- Keep in the fridge and use in everything!