This really is the besto pesto. It will transform your pizzas from good to amazing. You can make this pesto ahead, as it will keep, refrigerated, for several days. This is also a much more healthful version, without the usual copious amounts of oil and cheese.


  • 4 ounces fresh basil leaves, washed and patted or spun dry
  • 1/3 cup raw walnuts, raw pecans, or roasted skinned hazelnuts
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed


1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, walnuts, garlic, nutritional yeast, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the oil and process until smooth. If the pesto mixture is too thick, add another tablespoon or two of oil as needed. Taste and adjust the salt as needed.

2. Use the pesto right away, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days.

Makes about 3/4 cup. Tip: If you have a salad spinner, it's the perfect tool for drying your basil after rinsing. I went and bought myself one after making up a batch of watery pesto. Let's just say the pesto tasted like water, and the subsequent batch made with the salad spinner was spectacular. Yay, kitchen gadgets! Nutritional yeast adds a wonderful cheesiness to this pesto, allowing you to kick Parmesan to the curb. No cheese needed here.

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Submitted 8/20/13.
Source: Vegan Pizza: 50 Cheesy, Crispy, Healthy Recipes by Julie Hasson
Submitted By: B Smith

Zesty Pesto