Instead of parmesan cheese in traditional pesto recipes, this recipe calls for nutritional yeast as a plant-based alternative. It has a similar palate and consistency to cheese, especially when blended with nuts, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Pesto is also fairly smooth, and the cashew butter here helps make the paste creamy and balances out the bitterness from the basil.
Pre-spiralized zucchini noodles are fairly easy to find at the store, both fresh and frozen, but I find taking a few minutes to grate them yourself is worth the fresh taste. You can eat the zucchini noodles raw for a more al dente consistency, but I prefer to give them a quick cook in the pan to soften them so the whole dish melts in your mouth while the extra topping of almonds contrasts with a nice crunch.
- 2 cups fresh basil with stems removed
- 2 tbsp walnuts
- squeeze lemon juice
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp smooth cashew butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp water
- salt and pepper
- garlic powder
- 1.5 cups zucchini, spiralized
- slivered almonds
1. Add basil, walnuts, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, cashew butter, olive oil, water, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to a food processor or blender until a paste forms.
2. Using a spiralizer or peeler, grate zucchini into desired noodle shape.
3. Sauté noodles over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until they are softened and warmed through.
4. Let cool for 10 minutes, stir in preferred amount of pesto, and top with almonds.
Also by Addie: One-Bowl Vegan Carrot Pecan Bread
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Photo: Addie Zoller