Vegan Beet Almond Pesto

Vegan Beet Almond Pesto

I’ve never utilized beets as much as I have in this past year. I told you in my last recipe post, beets and I have this whole love-hate relationship going on. And it’s not just a consequence of their stain power.

Their taste is simply not something I crave, at least in large doses. I do enjoy a few roasted beets now and then, and a little grated raw on top of my salads. I find though that a little goes a long way.

What I like most about beets is their color. And here, too, a little goes a long way. (Hello gorgeous pink tabbouleh!) Just one beet was needed to create that vibrant bowl above.


I make a ton of pesto in the summer, both to eat and to freeze. It’s always so beautiful while spinning away in the food processor. And smells so good, too.

Slow it down, however, and it’ll undress itself from its vibrant green outfit faster than you can get it into a bowl. The air cuts right to the chase. Brownish or not, it still tastes great, but I always find it to be a slightly disappointing sight.

With many recent beet successes, I decided to keep running with the ingredient. Slowly, I’m discovering, perhaps I do love beets after all. How can you not love the site of that pesto up above? Rather than swapping out the basil, I simply added a beet to a variation of my traditional vegan pesto recipe. It by no means becomes the main flavor dominator in this pesto. It will, however, add a small hint of sweet earthiness, and a large dose of stunning, disappointment-free color.

The following makes enough for just over 1 box of pasta. I like to always have a little extra to store in the fridge for sandwich spreads and other various uses.

Vegan Beet Almond Pesto


  • -2 medium cloves garlic
  • -1 1/3 packed cup of basil
  • -1 medium beet, grated
  • -1/3 cup toasted almonds
  • -1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • -1 tsp. salt, plus to taste
  • -1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • -2 Tbsp. reserved pasta water, optional


  1. Pulse garlic cloves in a food processor.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, slowly drizzling in the olive oil and adding the pasta water, if needed/desired. Continue to pulse until smooth.
  3. Toss with pasta, or use as a sandwich spread, soup topping, etc.

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  • Reply
    The Candid RD
    September 25, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Oh how I LOVE beets! This sounds so fantastic. Who would have thought to make pesto with beets?! Brilliant I tell you (but of course, beets contain fodmaps. SUCH a bummer.)

    • Reply
      September 25, 2013 at 11:04 pm

      Thanks Gina! Would a small amount bother you?

  • Reply
    September 26, 2013 at 8:00 am

    I can only do beets in small doses also…but this pretty purple pesto has got me craving them! Beautiful!

  • Reply
    Irina @ wandercrush
    September 29, 2013 at 1:46 am

    Ah the beet, always making things pretty and striking. I love how many clever recipes you have using nutritional yeast. That stuff is golden!

  • Reply
    September 30, 2013 at 1:33 am

    Wow, the color is just gorgeous! I love beets so much, this is right up my alley!

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