Vegan Pesto to Freeze

Ah, all too soon the first signs of fall are emerging.  That bitter frost is starting to make its move on the garden and assassinate many of the helpless plants.  For the summer produce, this means time is beginning to dwindle, particularly for the dainty leaves left shivering on the basil.

While I’m not yet ready to embrace the cold days that lay ahead, I’ll open up my kitchen to fall and winter squashes with welcoming arms.  But before I say my farewells to the summer garden, I’m taking as much of it as I can with me to the freezer.

Every year, as the first frost sets in, I harvest all the remaining green-outfitted basil in my garden and get my food processor going.  It’s a tradition my mom always carried out since before I can remember, continually gracing our plate with a taste of summer even in the coldest of winter days.  For me, after the first few snows, the only way to get through the rest of winter is to remember summer’s on its way.  A little summer heaven in the kitchen always helps to feed this fire.

While I love all of the nuances and variety that each east coast season brings, I’m a warm weathered girl at heart.  Which is why I’m not wasting one bit of these last few days of short-sleeved temps.  And I’m not wasting my precious basil either.  Besides, the more filled the freezer is, the less your fridge has to work to keep items cold.  Just another reason to freeze up some pesto.

Fresh pesto can be an all-year around treat if you just do a little planning ahead.  If you make enough, it will last you well into the late winter months without going bad.  Use tape on the containers to mark the date it was made if you plan on making several batches before summer’s end.

Vegan Pesto to Freeze

Yield: Makes 3 batches to freeze, suitable for 3 lbs. of pasta


  • -6 medium cloves garlic
  • -3 heaping, packed cups of basil
  • -1 cup walnuts or pine nuts
  • -1 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • -3 tsp. salt
  • -1 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Pulse garlic in a food processor. Add in basil, nutritional yeast, walnuts/pine nuts, and salt. Begin to puree ingredients, slowly drizzling in the olive oil through the top of the food processor. Add a few additional Tbsp. of olive oil or warm water if pesto needs thinned.
  2. Divide into container and freeze immediately. Or toss with pasta, use on bread/pizza/etc.

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  • Reply
    Tom Baker
    October 15, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Can you tell me what the nutritional yeast is for? What does it add to the dish? It is a very easy recipe and I need some new ideas (I’m a new vegetarian).

  • Reply
    October 15, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    OH MY GOD, I have the exact same le creuset spatula! Isn’t it just amazing?! My best buy ever. Also, what a great pesto.Though I too am not sure why you’ve included yeast!

    • Reply
      Grace@ FoodFitnessFreshAir
      October 16, 2011 at 10:22 am

      Traditional pesto has Parmesan cheese, but I don’t eat a lot of dairy. So, instead, I use nutritional yeast, which both adds flavor add body to the sauce. Try it out! You’ll barely notice the difference.

  • Reply
    foodie @ Tasting Spot
    October 17, 2011 at 1:18 am

    i really like your food pictures and want to invite you to try out it’s for anyone that just wants another place to submit photos and share it will other foodies. It’s still in beta version, but would love for you to start adding some photos and help get it going.

  • Reply
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