Pesto tastes amazing on just about anything, and cauliflower is the perfect vehicle! This simple side dish features this versatile vegetable and a homemade vegan pesto.

vegan pesto cauliflower

Have you made homemade pesto before? If not, now is the time! This vegan pesto is incredibly flavorful and easy to make. I love making homemade sauces, including pesto. Preparing them myself allows me to control the quality of ingredients I use, making them healthier versions of store bought options without compromising on taste.

How to Make Vegan Pesto

All you need is six ingredients and a blender or food processor to make this vegan pesto. While traditional pesto uses parmesan cheese, you will use nutritional yeast in this vegan version. This gives the pesto a cheesy, umami flavor without the use of cheese! Blend together lemon juice, fresh basil, garlic, salt, nutritional yeast, and olive oil to make the freshest vegan pesto ever.

vegan pesto

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast is a type of yeast rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins. It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete plant-based protein. It is also one of the only plant-based sources of vitamin B12.
  • Cauliflower: A member of the cruciferous vegetable family, cauliflower is rich in different antioxidants, which help fight free radical cell damage and inflammation. It’s also a great source of fiber.
  • Basil: Basil, and other fresh herbs, are excellent flavor additions to any meal. Using fresh herbs in your cooking reduces the need for added sodium! Plus, basil is actually a good source of vitamin K, like other leafy greens.
  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • Olive Oil
vegan pesto cauliflower

I’ve had this pesto on all sorts of things: pasta, pizza, salmon, and now cauliflower! I’m always trying out new ways to eat this delicious vegetable, and this really might be my new favorite. It would taste amazing on pretty much any other vegetable, so feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand!

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vegan pesto cauliflower

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Pesto Cauliflower (Vegan, Gluten Free)

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  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: side dish
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Pesto tastes amazing on just about anything, and cauliflower is the perfect vehicle! This simple side dish features this versatile vegetable and a homemade vegan pesto.


  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Vegan Pesto

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3 handfuls fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 2 tbsp cold water


  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss cauliflower florets in avocado oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Roast for 35-30 minutes, until fork tender and slightly browned.
  4. While cauliflower roasts, prepare pesto. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend until ingredients are combined, but still a bit chunky.
  5. Toss pesto with cooked cauliflower until well coated.


  • This recipe can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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vegan pesto cauliflower