angled view of a pestle and mortar with bright green vegan pesto freshly made inside

Rustic Almond Pesto

 Ingredient Notes

  • Basil: The main flavour in this pesto is basil so you want to get the good stuff. Either get yourself a plant or even the pre-packaged stuff but check the leaves for a nice bright green vibrancy. You don’t want any leaves wilted as that means the rest of the pack is on the way too. Make sure you remove the stems!
  • Almonds: These act as a replacement for pine nuts. I have nothing against pine nuts, they go great in pesto it’s more their price. You just want to use a little but you end up losing half your bank account balance. Almonds are a bit harder to crush but are a great substitute. Other great options are cashews, walnuts or even sunflower seeds and breadcrumbs.


Cooking Notes

  • Pestle And Mortar OR Blender: The reason a pestle and mortar is used is that…one it is authentic AF but two, you want to bruise the basil a bit so it releases those aromatic oils right into the body of the pesto. A blender with its fine blades just chops the basil leaves instead. So if using a blender give the leaves a little bruising before you add them.
  • Don’t Heat Up The Pesto: I know this is under ‘cooking notes’ but you shouldn’t really cook a pesto. It ruins the delicate light green basil-ness that is pesto and makes it a darker less balanced dish.


Rustic Almond Pesto

A vegan, homemade version of a classic sauce, using almonds instead of pine nuts
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Dinner, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Pasta
Servings: 3 people


  • Pestle and Mortar
  • Or Blender


  • 60 g Basil leaves, large stems removed
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 3 Garlic cloves, peeled
  • 40 g Almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp Nutritional yeast
  • 2-3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil


  • Start by removing any large stems from the basil leaves.
  • Add the basil leaves to the mortar. Using the pestle start pounding the basil leaves.
  • Add in the sea salt to help abrasion and continue to pound.
  • Add in the garlic cloves and almonds and pound until they become smaller pieces.
  • Add the nutritional yeast and mix well.
  • Add in the olive oil a tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency. Sometimes only 2 tbsp is needed instead of 3.
  • Serve with pasta, focaccia, salad, roasted potatoes....everything!