Vegan Pesto Recipe

Continuing our series of Free-From Recipes,this delicious Vegan Pesto recipe is dairy-free and meat-free.

Like any self respecting mother, I made this pesto then fed it to the children before telling them what was in it. The 13 year old asked for seconds. She’s a great grubber. The picky 4 year old said he loved garlic, spread it on his toast and ate a slice. A big achievement for such a particular eater.

In place of parmesan cheese in this recipe I’ve substituted raw almonds. They are very good match for the texture. Kale replaces basil, which is really a summer herb but when it’s back in season do feel free to use basil instead, it’s good to have a substitute though.

chick peas recipesIngredients

  • 5 large fronds of clean raw kale including the stalks (I used curly but flat leaf is fine)
  • 5 medium cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 100g raw almonds (I used mine with the skin on for more texture)
  • 50ml sunflower oil
  • Zest & juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper


  • 1 handblender & blending cup OR 1 food processor
  • Sharp knife & chopping board


  1. Cut the Kale into chunks the size of the palm of your hand so that they will fit into the blender easier.
  2. Put all the ingredients together into the processor and pulse/blitz until you have the consistency you prefer for your pesto.
  3. I’d recommend you make it quite fine though as larger chunks of Kale can be a bit of a surprise to the palate.

To Serve 

  1. Cook your pasta until “al dente”, which means slightly undercooked.
  2. Turn the hob off and strain the pasta then return it to the hot pot.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of pesto per adult and stir into the pasta and allow the mixture to warm through.
  4. Once warm, serve immediately

Related Recipes: For more Free-From Recipes see Tortilla/Spanish Omelette and Pear & Almond Pudding

This recipe, and more, is available on Wholesome Ireland

You may also like 14 Sneaky Ways to get Vegetables into Kids Meals

If you have tried this recipe let us know what you thought of it in the comments below

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Jennifer, our Editor, has 1 son and admits to munching a Cadbury’s Turkish Delight now and again.