Vegan Pumpkin Seed Pesto

I LOVE pasta, pesto, Italian food in general, and one of the hardest parts about being lactose intolerant is that a lot of my favorite Italian foods are off limits (RIP burrata).

I’ve recently realized that vegan recipes (although I have no problem eating meat, eggs, etc.) can be perfect for me. I have to admit that anything labelled as “vegan” (same as with anything gluten-free, etc.) puts up red flags for me. I do not like to cook with substitutes or have to buy special ingredients that you can’t use anywhere else. For example, a recipe for gluten-free bread (it’s bread, come on) or a vegan quiche (really?) sound really off-putting. I do appreciate and try to find recipes that might be naturally gluten-free, or dairy-free, etc. without having to add so many substitute ingredients. I’m sure some will disagree, but I would much rather use real, natural ingredients and make recipes that happen to not have meat, or not have dairy, flour, etc.

To that end, I’m realizing that just because something is “vegan” doesn’t mean that it has substitute ingredients at all, but perhaps just a lack of certain things or the use of one natural ingredient in place of another. It’s a learning process and I’m getting on board 🙂

Case in point, this Vegan Pumpkin Seed Pesto. It’s delicious, uses just a handful of great ingredients, and long story short, does not have cheese in it and you wouldn’t even miss it! The pumpkin seeds – apart from being fun to buy – add a bit of a different flavor, and as with all pesto recipes, this one is perfect to freeze in small portions and use for future recipes!

Also, I get to use my current favorite kitchen item: the food processor 🙂 I think this pesto will become a kitchen staple at our house!

This Jess ranking:

  • Making it: 10/10 so easy, you can’t beat it!
  • Eating it: 10/10 great flavor, you don’t even miss the cheese, and you could make this with any oily nut and get a slightly different variation
  • Looking at it: 10/10 gorgeous!

You can find the full recipe here.

FYI, the limes in the picture were used in the dish that I made with this pesto: Summer Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables and Pumpkin Pesto!

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