DIY Basil Pesto

Pesto makes everything better (am.i.right?)  But here's the deal: Jarred pesto is almost always a load of C.R.A.P.  Take a look at the ingredient list, and you'll often find highly processed, nutrient deplete oils (i.e. sunflower oil, soybean oil), and an interesting collection of preservatives.  The good news is, DIY pesto is crazy easy to make, and actually tastes wayyyy better than store-bought wannabes (like, not even in the same ballpark).  Plus, by making your own, that puts you back in the driver's seat and in control of your health and what goes into your body.  

I know, the idea of lugging out the good ol' food processor makes you squeal and squirm (me too).  That's why I ALWAYS maximize my food processor efforts by doubling or tripling my production.  Meaning, if I am going to make a pesto, hummus, romesco sauce, or any sauce or spread that requires the FP, I make a huge @$$ batch, *freeze half, and use the other half in my immediate recipe.  You know those days when you come home and have "nothing to eat"??  Well that frown is instantly turned upside down when you remember there's homemade pesto at-the-ready (...because pesto makes everything better, remember?)   Top it on some eggs, spread it on a veggie burger, toss it over beans, whole grains, or roasted veggies, or whisk in a splash of vinegar and turn it into a salad dressing -  Seriously, whatever "slim pickings" are in your fridge will suddenly go from boring to when there's pesto in your freezer. 

And for those of you who, like me, have noticed that dairy does not necessarily "do your body good" (contrary to a strong marketing campaign effort), this recipe is for you: 100% dairy free!


  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 3-5 generous handfuls of fresh basil
  • 1-2 (maybe-3-if-your-crazy) cloves of garlic
  • 2 lemons (juice and zest)
  • 1 tbsp miso
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • salt + pepper

Add everything to the food processor and give it whirl! I like mine pretty rustic and chunky, so I just pulse it.  Or let it run for a super creamy texture.  Taste and add more acid, salt, oil as needed to reach desired taste and consistency.  Enjoy!


  • add some avocado or tahini
  • swap out walnuts for other nuts and seeds
  • swap out basil for mint, parsley, or cilantro - or go crazy and add a medley of herbs
  • roast your garlic instead of using fresh
  • add some sundried tomatoes for a twist