Are you up to your ears in garden zucchini yet? How about a fresh-tasting Zucchini Pesto to help you get through it? It’s quick, easy, oil-free, vegan and delicious!
You know, I wish I can say that I’m growing the garden of my dreams, but things aren’t going as planned. I really want to have that green thumb, but my plants seem to hate me. Well, except for my bell peppers…they really love me this year, and I have a colorful selection of them everywhere.
However, my neighbors, THEY have the garden of MY dreams, and it’s overflowing with fresh fruit and vegetables. I get to see it EVERYDAY from my kitchen window. On the positive side, I get to enjoy the fruits of their labor (literally).
They are always dropping off a basket of goodies for us, and around this time of year, they start loading us up with zucchini. I don’t mind at all, because I love making zucchini boats, zucchini corn fritters, zoodles and this zucchini pesto!
My healthy addiction
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a total pesto addict. I’m in love with the zesty, garlicky and cheesy flavors. I pile it on everything from, soups, salads, sandwiches, pizza, pasta and more. Traditional pesto is made with lots of olive oil, and although I’m not oil-free, I don’t like to overdo it. Especially, because I eat a hefty serving of pesto almost daily. So, I learned how to make a tasty oil-free version with the classic flavors that I love. It’s not exactly the same, but I feel so much better eating it without the oil. It’s just as tasty too!
Making zucchini pesto wasn’t my clever idea, I was inspired by this recipe on Epicurious. It’s not a vegan recipe, but I loved the idea. I typically use avocado for pesto (like in this avocado pesto pasta), but zucchini seemed like a nice change. The results were fantastic! It had such a nice texture and the freshest taste. I’ve been hooked ever since! It takes less than 15 minutes to prepare too. My kind of recipe 🙂
Pesto without cheese?
Yessiree, it’s possible! You don’t need dairy to have a cheesy tasting pesto. Just add a little nooch (a.k.a nutritional yeast) and you’ll be in pesto heaven! Nooch is a straight-up vegan miracle for foodies and it should be in everyone’s pantry. If you’d like to learn more about it and how to use it, check out this article by Cadry’s Kitchen.
So there you have it… a healthy, vegan, and oil-free version of the well-known classic. Go enjoy it…guilt free! I know I will 😉
I’d love to hear from you
If you make this Zucchini Pesto, I’d love to hear what you think. It would really make my day. You can also follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @veganhuggs and hashtag #veganhuggs so I don’t miss it.
Summer Zucchini Pesto (Oil-Free & Vegan)
- 1 cup basil leaves , tightly packed
- 1 cup zucchini , peeled & diced
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice , freshly squeezed
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast , more to taste
- 1-2 cloves garlic , more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt , more to taste (or preferred salt)
- Fresh cracked pepper , to taste
- 3-4 tablespoons water
- Add all the ingredients (except the water) to a blender or food processor. Pulse for 10-20 times to combine and chop. Add the water as needed, and keep pulsing until you've reached desired consistency. I prefer my pesto with texture, but if you want it smooth, just blend on high for 30-60 seconds. Taste for seasoning and add more as needed.
- Store in airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.