Leafy Greens Vegan Pesto (nut free!)

A delicious pesto made with any of your favorite greens that is smooth and flavorful.  Not only is it vegan, but it is nut free too!  

vegan pesto

Pesto is one of the best sauces ever to be created.  So much great flavor, it is nice and light, and such a fun color!  I went YEARS without letting my self touch it while I was struggling with disordered eating.  Why?  Because the base ingredient is olive oil and I decided that olive oil had “too many calories and too much fat.”  Little did I know that it is GOOD calories and HEALTHY fats.  So pesto is definitely not something to be afraid of!  Plus you need healthy fats in your meals to be able to absorb all of the great vitamins and minerals.

Let’s just say I am glad I came around because I love a good pesto meal! It’s so good on pasta and I love making grilled chicken with basil sauce.  What other creative ways have you used basil?? I am always up for some new ideas!

Once you have tried this and are looking for some other great sauces, I newly created a sauces, dressings, and condiments page on my blog!  I’ve got a great homemade marinara and a cauliflower alfredo that is to die for – you should definitely go check them out!

nut free pesto

Let’s Make Some Leafy Greens Vegan Pesto!

This pesto is super easy to make – all you have to do is take your ingredients and throw it in your food processor and let it do all the work!

The best part – you really can use any leafy green you want to!  Traditional pesto is made with basil so you can definitely go that route.  I have used kale, spinach, even spring mix!  I really think just about any will work.

To make this recipe vegan I substituted cheese with nutritional yeast.  Nutritional yeast is one of my favorite products to use to make dishes taste cheesy without any cheese!  I have a whole blog post on nutritional yeast here so if you want to learn more go check that out!

And then to keep this nut free I used hemp hearts.  They are high in protein and healthy fats and have a great nutty flavor so you don’t miss the nuts at all!  They also create a great texture.

I also added a teaspoon of spirulina to give it that really deep great green color and some added benefits – but you can skip that step if you don’t have any! It won’t affect the taste.

All of these flavors blended together really make a wonderful sauce!  I like to serve mine on top of Banza chickpea pasta 🙂

In addition to the listed ingredients, you will need:

  • a food processor
  • a spoon 
  • Ideally something to eat it with! 🙂 I vote pasta

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

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vegan pesto

Leafy Greens Vegan Pesto

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  • Author: Megan
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: about 1.5 cups 1x


Gluten Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free

A delicious pesto made with any of your favorite greens that is smooth and flavorful.  Not only is it vegan, but it is nut free too!  


  • 3 cups greens
  • 3/4 cup shelled hemp hearts
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Optional: 1 tsp spirulina


  1. Combine greens, lemon juice, garlic, salt, nutritional yeast, and olive oil together in a food processor and blend down, scraping edges as needed.
  2. Once that is fairly blended, start adding hemp hearts slowly, and blend until everything is well combined.
  3. Enjoy on top of pasta, chicken, or off the spoon! 🙂


You can use any leafy greens for this!  I have tried spinach and spring mix.

The spirulina is optional but depending on the greens you used it can help you get a better green color if that matters to you, and it also adds extra health benefits!

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Dressings
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 2 tbsp

If you try this recipe please leave a comment below letting me know what you think! If you remake on Instagram don’t forget to tag me at @donutworry_behealthy so I can see your creation and share in my stories!


vegan pesto

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