This homemade vegan wild garlic pesto recipe is super quick and easy to make in just 5 minutes! It’s a flavorful, versatile green pesto sauce that’s healthy, plant-based, nut-free, dairy-free and very delicious! Perfect as a sauce, spread or marinade for pasta, vegetables, grilled foods or on bread!
The Best Vegan Wild Garlic Pesto Recipe
I’m always excited for the wild garlic season in springtime, because wild garlic is healthy, aromatic, and grows everywhere here in Europe from mid-March to May! I always collect fresh wild garlic myself on a walk in the woods, but you can also buy it in the supermarket or at the farmers market.
Just like chives and spring onions, wild garlic is great for adding flavor to all kinds of dishes. However, the best way to preserve wild garlic is to make a quick and delicious pesto with it!
If you harvest wild garlic yourself in the forest, please be careful, because it can easily be confused with the poisonous meadow saffron and lily of the valley!
The best way to identify wild garlic is that the leaves have a characteristic garlic smell.
Quick Vegan Pesto without Cheese
To make the traditional vegan wild garlic pesto without parmesan, I use nutritional yeast flakes in this recipe for a cheesy flavor. However, if you have any vegan parmesan left over, feel free to use it up, of course.
By the way, it’s worth preparing a larger amount of homemade pesto right away to create a stock. So you can refine your meals with the healthy flavorful wild garlic sauce all year round!
- Fresh wild garlic: If you don’t have wild garlic, check out my basil pesto recipe. Feel free to substitute parsley or other herbs for some of the wild garlic to make the pesto milder.
- Seeds and nuts: For a nut-free pesto, use only seeds as per the recipe (sunflower seeds and pine nuts) or try pumpkin seeds or hulled hemp seeds. Otherwise, you can use walnuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios, cashews, or any other type of nut you like! You can also combine several kinds.
- Nutritional yeast flakes: are optional, but add a slightly cheesy flavor to the pesto. Feel free to add other spices or use vegan parmesan for variety.
- Olive oil: basically you can use any type of olive oil, but high quality extra virgin olive oil is the best. Alternatively, you could use another vegetable oil like sunflower oil, canola oil, walnut oil or avocado oil.
- Fresh lemon juice: or lime juice or a little vinegar is also suitable.
- Salt and pepper: to taste.
All you need for this 5-minute recipe are 6 plant-based ingredients, a pan to roast the pine nuts, and a food processor or blender! As always, I recommend checking out the recipe video and these step-by-step instructions first. Then you’ll find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
First, toast the pine nuts until golden brown so they release their flavor. Then put them in a food processor or blender with the other ingredients (sunflower seeds, wild garlic leaves, nutritional yeast flakes, salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil) and blend to a paste.
If needed, you can add more olive oil until you reach the desired consistency. Then you can use your delicious green wild garlic pesto immediately or pour it into a clean jar and cover with olive oil to keep it longer in the fridge. Enjoy!
- Dry the wild garlic well after washing. A salad spinner is good for this. You can also simply pat the herbs dry with paper towels. The drier the leaves, the longer the pesto will keep.
- Be sure to stir the pine nuts often so they don’t burn. Roasting the nuts is optional, but it makes them much more flavorful!
- To make the flavor a little milder, you can substitute parsley for some of the wild garlic.
- Adjust the consistency to your liking and add more olive oil if needed. You can blend the pesto into a smooth sauce or leave it a little coarser.
- Feel free to adjust the flavors by adding more salt and pepper, vegan parmesan or different spices.
The homemade wild garlic pesto can be made ahead and stored in a cool place or in the refrigerator for up to a week. However, make sure you put it in a clean jar (preferably rinsed with boiling water beforehand) and cover it with olive oil so that no air gets to the pesto. If you use it, you should always cover it with olive oil afterwards. Also, do not reduce the amount of salt, because salt is also responsible for the shelf life.
Can you freeze Pesto?
Yes, of course! You can freeze the pesto in convenient silicone molds or in ice cube trays for up to 2 months. Then you can thaw small portions whenever you want.
Homemade pesto is super versatile, because you can use it for many dishes. Here are some serving suggestions:
- pasta (e.g. spaghetti, penne, macaroni, fussili) or as a filling for ravioli.
- risotto and other rice dishes
- boiled or baked potatoes, mashed potatoes or gnocchi
- as a spread or dip for bread, baguette, wraps, patties, fritters, burgers and sandwiches
- for seasoning and refining vegetable stir-fry recipes
- oven-roasted vegetables or asparagus
- as topping on pizza, naan and casseroles
- as a seasoning sauce for pasta salad and potato salad
This Vegan Wild Garlic Pesto Recipe is:
- Quick and easy
- Without parmesan cheese
- Nut-free possible
- Fresh and tasty
- Ideal for meal prep!
- Aromatic and flavorful!
More easy vegan pesto recipes to try
- Avocado Pasta (Creamy Guacamole)
- Homemade Basil Pesto
- Gnocchi with Wild Garlic Pesto
- Ribbon Noodles with Garlic Parsley Pesto
- Gnocchi with Spinach Pesto
- Pull Apart Bread with Wild Garlic Herb Butter
- Spaghetti with Pesto Rosso
- Fusilli with Pesto al Arrabiata
- Chickpea Pasta with Coconut Curry Cashew Pesto
If you try this easy vegan wild garlic pesto sauce recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a review! And if you take a picture of it and share it on Instagram or Facebook, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your creations! Have fun trying this out! 🙂
The Best Wild Garlic Pesto (Vegan & Easy)Author:
*Note: Check out the recipe video + step-by-step photos above!
- Toast the pine nuts in a non-stick pan without additional oil for about 1-2 minutes until lightly golden brown, stirring often to prevent the nuts from getting too dark.
- Place wild garlic, toasted pine nuts, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast flakes, salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil in a food processor or blender and blend to a paste. Add more olive oil if needed, or until desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
- Use immediately or fill into a clean jar and cover the top with olive oil for longer shelf life.
- How to use: Serve the pesto with pasta and gnocchi or use it as a spread for bread, tortillas, wraps or as a topping on pizza, naan, casseroles, patties, burgers and more!
- Storing: The pesto can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks if the is always covered with olive oil. You can also freeze the pesto as instructed here.
- Seeds / Nuts: You can use any seeds and nuts you like.
- Nutritional yeast flakes: are optional, but add a slightly cheesy flavor to the pesto. Feel free to add vegan parmesan or other spices for variety.
- Wild garlic: if you don't have wild garlic, check out my basil pesto recipe.
- More information about the recipe is mentioned in the blog post above!
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