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Vegan pumpkin seed pesto with miso

How To Make Pesto Vegan

A tasty pesto with toasted pumpkin seeds, spinach, basil and white miso.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, pasta
Cuisine American, Japanese
Servings 4 people


  • Food processor


  • 300 g spinach washed and dried
  • 1 clove garlic grated (through a garlic press or microplane)
  • 100 ml olive oil roughly
  • 100 g toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 3 tbsp white miso paste
  • 1-2 ice cubes
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1 bunch green basil leaves picked
  • salt and pepper


  • Toast pumpkin seeds in an oven on a tray at about 200C/400F for about 6 minutes or until nicely browned. Transfer to another plate to cool.
  • Place all of the spinach in a food processor and combine with everything except for the pumpkin seeds. Blend until smooth, being careful to not let the sauce get too hot from the heat of the motor. Keeping the sauce cold means our sauce will keep its beautiful green colour.
  • Now add the pumpkin seeds and pulse a few times until a nice texture is achieved. Pesto should still be slightly rough and never completely smooth. The secret ingredient here is ice cubes and a splash or two of cold water. If the pesto is too thick add some cold water and if it is too thin add more pumpkin seeds. Aim for a texture similar to hummus.
  • Before you are finished give it a good taste. It should be salty from the miso, not too garlickly and have a delicious freshness from the spinach and basil.
    Once finished, pack it in a container with a lid and it will keep nice in the fridge for up to three days. Also freezes really well.
    Add a couple spoonfuls to cooked pasta and adjust the thickness with some hot pasta water.
Keyword basil, easy, green sauce, healthy, no cheese, olive oil, pasta sauce, pumpkin seeds, quick, spinach, vegan