Pizzas and Pastas

Quick Basil Pesto

This is one of our staples for busy weeknight dinners. This batch makes about 3 cups of pesto, so I freeze the leftovers. Then, on Pesto Night, I simply thaw some of the sauce and toss it with hot cooked pasta. We often serve the dish with sauteed vegetables and bites of baked tofu. Add a side of garlic bread, and this a quick, healthy dinner for those busy weekdays.

The original recipe, “Almond Pesto,” comes from the first plant-based cookbook I purchased, “Vegan Cooking for Carnivores,” by Roberto Martin. I’ve made a few ingredient adjustments, added a hint of lemon, and roughly doubled the recipe for our hungry family.

Quick Basil Pesto

Makes 3 cups of sauce.


  • 2 cups unsalted almonds
  • 4 oz. container of fresh basil, leaves only
  • 1  1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1 t. salt
  • Fresh ground pepper


  1. Whirl almonds in a food processor for about 30 seconds until the crumbs are very fine.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and process another 10 seconds or until well combined.
  3. Toss desired amount of sauce with hot cooked pasta. I use about 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup of sauce per pound of pasta. Pesto is rather potent, so a small amount goes a long way!
  4. Freeze leftover sauce.

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