Easy Vegan Pesto Rosso Recipe

Updated on: 29.12.2020
vegan pesto rosso
vegan pesto rosso

Before going vegan, pesto rosso was pretty much a staple food for us.

We always had multiple jars ready for those moments of tiredness, laziness or extreme hunger, when whipping up lunch in 5 minutes felt like a blessing.

Unfortunately, as we went vegan, we found out all the pesto rosso brands at the store had non-vegan ingredients such as parmesan cheese.

But we did not let that stop us. We told ourselves – improvise, adapt, overcome! – and came up with our own vegan pesto rosso recipe.

It not only fills the gaping hole the non-vegan pesto rosso had left behind but completely steals the spotlight.

vegan pesto rosso
vegan pesto rosso

Inspired by the list of ingredients of our childhood favorite pesto rosso and the vegan staple foods we always have at home, this vegan pesto rosso recipe is everything we’ll ever need on a lazy Monday evening.

Simple vegan ingredients and no-fuss preparation that takes less than 5 minutes are the qualities that have put this recipe into our hall of fame.

The Health Benefits of the Vegan Pesto Rosso Recipe

Not surprisingly, the ingredients that go into this vegan pesto rosso are very healthy.

With the exception of plant oil, which we shouldn’t overdo on a regular basis, the consumption of the other ingredients promises many health benefits as well as a fulfilling flavour. Want optimal smooth consistency? Make sure to use a high-quality blender for best results. Don’t have one yet and don’t know where to start? Check out our best blenders for everything buyer’s guide.

Sun-dried Tomatoes

The main ingredient of this pesto rosso are sun-dried tomatoes.

Just like fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes are an excellent source of many important vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

They are not nutritionally barren compared to fresh tomatoes. On the contrary, this study has shown that even vitamin C, which is most influenced by the drying process, only falls to about 50% after months of storage.

Additionally, tomatoes, whether fresh or sundried, are an amazing source of carotenoids, which have been shown to have protective effects against heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

People that eat a lot of tomatoes are at a decreased risk for many cancers, such as prostate, lung, and stomach cancer. You can read more on the topic here.

Fresh Garlic

The fresh clove of garlic is what gives this recipe its special zing.

Humans have been using garlic medicinally for thousands of years. It was a popular healing ingredient for many ancient peoples such as the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Babylonians, and the Romans.

During the two World Wars, people used as an antiseptic against gangrene.

Praised for its cholesterol-lowering, antineoplastic and antimicrobial properties, more on which you can read here, it is also known to help with a myriad of other health problems.

Additionally, garlic is also an excellent source of important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins B and C, selenium, copper, iron, manganese, and potassium.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast, or what we often refer to as ‘nooch’, is another vital ingredient of this vegan pesto rosso.

Famous and praised for its cheesy aroma and umami flavor, it is a staple of many vegan and vegetarian households.

It boasts with a large concentration of B vitamins, especially B6, and is low in calories and sodium.



Another vegan staple food, cashews are a great snack or a multi-purpose ingredient when it comes to making anything creamy and fatty.

In the vegan universe, cashews are famous for their use in vegan cheesecakes, vegan parmesan, cultured cheeses, such as our cultured goat cheese or cultured cottage cheese, and various sauces.

Not only are they delicious, but in randomized clinical trials such as this one, regular consumption of cashew nuts has been proven to reduce total cholesterol and LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol.

Furthermore, they can boast with great amounts of copper, manganese, magnesium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, selenium, thiamine, vitamin K and B6. You can read more about their nutritional values here.

Cashews are the vital ingredient that makes the pesto pop and gives it a nice fatty creamy undertone.

If you don’t have cashews on hand, you can alternatively also use a quarter of a block of firm tofu. The flavor will leave a lot to be desired, though.

As a side note – did you know that cashew nuts are actually seeds and grow like this?

cashew growing
cashew growing

And now without further ado, here is our vegan pesto rosso recipe.

How to Make Vegan Pesto Rosso

vegan pesto rosso
vegan pesto rosso

– 5 sundried tomatoes
– 4 tablespoons of oil (olive or oil in which tomatoes were soaked)
– 1 clove of fresh garlic
– 15 cashews (or substitute with 50g of firm tofu or walnuts)
– 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (nooch)
– 1 tsp tomato paste (optional)
– 1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
– chili to taste (optional)
– 1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
– salt and pepper to taste

Total Time: 3 minutes

Add all ingredients to a small blender or mixer and blend until desired consistency.

If your blender is of bad quality, you may want to chop the fresh garlic into several pieces before blending to ensure it is actually blended.

(Optional) Add more spices to taste and blend again.

Serve over freshly cooked pasta or pour into glass containers and store in fridge

The pesto keeps up to 3 weeks in the fridge but you can also freeze it and it will last you several months. For the best taste, eat it fresh.

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