Is anyone else Italian and LOVE their pesto? One of my favorite dishes to make when I first started cooking was pesto pizza. I would put a layer of pesto, grilled chicken, lots of mozzarella cheese and fresh tomatoes. I adored that pizza! My family would grill the pizzas which was even more special.

Being a vegan now for almost two years, I’ve had to revamp my beloved pesto pizza to meet my expectations with my new diet. This is an extremely quick and easy pesto recipe and it and really packs a basil punch! It only has 5 ingredients (not including salt and pepper- let’s not get too technical) and can be whipped up in a flash. Let’s get to pesto!!!


Quick and Easy 5 Ingredient Basil Pesto

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews soaked
  • 1 TBSP nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Start by soaking the raw cashews in boiling water for about 20 minutes or until soft. 

  2. Once soft, add the cashews, basil, nutritional yeast, garlic and olive oil into a small food processor. Process until smooth or desired consistency. I like mine a little chunky sometimes 🙂 

  3. Taste the pesto and if you want to add in some salt and pepper go ahead.

    * I usually add some salt since it takes place of the saltiness you would get from the cheese. 


This pesto can be used in a variety of recipes. I love it on pizza, cold pasta salads, use it as a salad dressing, veggie sandwiches, get creative with how you want to use it and don’t forget to tag me in your photos! @thewholecrowe

See here in my pesto pizza recipe! This recipe is SO simple and mighty tasty.

Xo, Melissa

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