Pea Pesto Sauce

Vegan Pea Pesto Sauce, a super simple basil pesto sauce recipe made with fresh or frozen spring peas. Ready in under 10 minutes and freezes well!

green pea pesto in a white bowl with a gold fork on a white table

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Love spring peas? Put them in a pesto! Great as a topping for vegetables, pasta salads, or even pizza, this fresh pea pesto with basil is a tasty way to use up peas that would otherwise go to waste.

👉 Ready to learn how to make pesto with spring peas? Let’s do it!


🌿 Ingredients you’ll need

  • Basil: Fresh basil leaves are the base of this recipe. Not only do they add a burst of herbal flavor to pesto, they also provide important nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, and folate.
  • Peas: Both fresh and frozen peas can used to add flavor, texture, and a burst of green color to pesto sauce
  • Nuts or seeds: Pine nuts are used in traditional pesto, but you can make it with other types of nuts, like cashews or walnuts. You can even make it nut-free with pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
  • Cheese (or alternative): Parmesan or pecorino cheeses are traditional, but you can also use a vegan cheese-alternative like nutritional yeast.
  • Olive oil: Adds flavor to pesto and helps maintain its texture so that it doesn’t become too thick.
  • Seasonings: Lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper are common pesto seasonings that you can adjust to your liking.
  • Recommended tools: A food processor or blender, knife set, cutting board, and salad spinner
bowls of peas, nuts, oil, spices, and basil for pea pesto

🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)

1️⃣ Step One: Wash basil and prep peas

Start with washing the basil by running it under water or submerging in a bowl of water. Remove any dirt from the leaves, then take it out of the bowl and lay flat on a plate or kitchen towel to dry. You can also use a salad spinner to dry the leaves.

Then prep the peas by either removing them from their pod if they’re fresh, or thawing them in the microwave for 30-60 seconds if they’re frozen.


2️⃣ Step Two: Blend the basil, peas, nuts or seeds, garlic, and oil

Toss the basil and peas in a food processor. Add nuts or seeds and garlic cloves, and pulse until finely chopped.

As the ingredients are being blended, slowly drizzle in olive oil and continue to pulse until the chopped ingredients are well coated in oil but not completely smooth (you will want the pesto to be a little chunky)

Slowly drizzle in olive oil while pulsing the ingredients. Pulse until the chopped ingredients are well coated in oil, but still chunky.

peas, basil, nuts, garlic, and other ingredients for pesto inside a food processor before blending
Add ingredients to a blender or food processor

3️⃣ Step Three: Mix in cheese and spices

Finish off the pesto by slowly adding cheese or nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Give it a taste and add more seasoning until the pesto is flavored to your liking!

blended pea pesto inside a food processor

💡 Ideas for serving

There are so many fun ways to enjoy pesto! Here are some ideas for how to serve it:

  • Use as a sauce or spread. Pasta salads, as a base on pizza, drizzled on bowls, or spread on sandwiches.
  • Use as veggie dip. Pesto and veggies pair perfectly! You can mix pea pesto into hummus or use it on its own as a dip on a veggie platter.
  • Add to salad dressings. Pesto can easily be mixed into salad dressing. Simply combine it with more olive oil and drizzle on salad.
a bowl of green pea pesto on a white table with a bowl of fresh spring peas

🧊 How to store

  1. Refrigerator storage: Keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  2. Freezer storage: Store in a sealed freezer-safe container for up to 2 months.

Pro tip: To prevent browning, it is a good idea to drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on the surface of pesto before putting it in the refrigerator or freezer. You can add pesto to ice cube trays, freeze, and transfer to a freezer-safe storage bag. Having small amounts on hand are perfect for when you need a quick flavor enhancer!

a bowl of spring pea pesto on a white table with a gold spoon

👉 More pesto sauce recipes

Can’t get enough of plant-infused pestos? Look no further! Try Lemon Pesto Sauce, Oregano Pesto Sauce, and Dandelion Greens Pesto.

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a bowl of green pea pesto on a white table with a bowl of fresh spring peas

Vegan Pea Pesto Sauce

Kristina Todini, RDN
Vegan Pea Pesto Sauce, a super simple basil pesto sauce recipe made with fresh or frozen spring peas. Ready in under 10 minutes and freezes well!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sauces, Dressings + Dips
Cuisine Gluten Free, Vegan
Servings 8 servings
Calories 203 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 food processor or blender

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • cup peas fresh or frozen
  • cup pine nuts or seeds if nut-free
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Prep basil and peas: Start by washing fresh basil leaves under running water or submerging them in a bowl of water and shaking them to remove any dirt. Use a salad spinner to dry leaves or lay them flat on a plate or kitchen towel to dry. Then prep the peas by either removing them from their pod if they’re fresh, or thawing them in the microwave for 30-60 seconds if they’re frozen.
    2 cups fresh, ⅔ cup peas
  • Blend ingredients: Toss the cleaned and dried basil in a food processor with the peas. Next, add nuts or seeds and garlic cloves. Pulse until finely chopped, slowly drizzling in olive oil until the chopped ingredients are well coated in oil but still chunky.
    ⅓ cup pine nuts, 2 cloves garlic, ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Add seasonings to finish: Finish by adding in the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Give the pesto a taste and add more seasonings until it's flavored to your liking.
    ⅓ cup nutritional yeast, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, ⅛ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper

Notes

Tools needed: food processor or blender, knife set, cutting board, salad spinner
Prep ahead: Make this simple pesto up to 2-3 days before serving, or freeze until ready to use.
Leftovers and storage: Leftover pesto should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days, and in the freezer for up to 2 months (possibly longer).
Nutrition notes: This recipe was made as written (with nutritional yeast and pine nuts). Using other nuts, seeds, cheese, or cheeses will change the nutrition information of this recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 203kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 3gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0.003gSodium: 52mgPotassium: 198mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1178IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 1mg
Keyword pea pesto
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