The Best Oil Free Pesto (Vegan, GF, low fat, nut free)

Now, I love pesto, but the traditional kind is typical made with nuts, lots of oil, and cheese which doesn’t make it too healthy. I had the idea to make a pesto that is low fat, nut free, and free of oil. Pesto without cheese, nuts, and oil probably sounds like a recipe for disaster to some, but the addition of some healthy unexpected (or maybe not so unexpected for me) ingredients make this sauce a winner.

This sauce is creamy, healthy, and packed with protein and fiber. It is perfect for making Pesto Pizzas (like I did!), mixing into pasta, or dipping with veggies. Using lots of fresh basil is gives this pesto its signature taste. Have an idea what the secret ingredient(s) are yet?

Beans. Yep. I did it again. That is, using beans in a recipe that traditionally does not call for them. I’ve made bean brownies, blondies, truffles, protein bites – you name it! If I can find a way to add beans to a dish, I probably will. Cannellini beans are the star of this sauce. Cannellini beans are a great choice for making pesto thanks to their silky texture and nutty flavor. Their mild earthiness, thin skin, and creamy flesh make them a no-brainer for a creamy sauce like pesto. Plus, they are low in fat, full of protein and fiber, AND cost about 1/10th of the price of pine nuts/walnuts.

The instructions for this recipe are also super simple which I love. All you need to do is add the ingredients to a food processor or high powered blender and blitz it up. In less than 5 minutes you will have a healthy, delicious, hearty pesto sauce for all of your favorite Italian dishes.

Here’s what you will need for this recipe:

1 can low sodium Cannellini beans

1 tbsp nutritonal yeast

2-3 tbsp lemon juice

1 heaping tbsp minced garlic

4-5 tbsp warm water

1 cup fresh basil (packed)

1 cup spinach (packed)

1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions: Drain and rinse the can of beans and add it to the food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until everything is incorporated and the pesto is smooth and creamy. Store the pesto in the fridge for up to one week!

Have you ever made homemade pesto?

Do you like to cook/ bake with beans/ what is you favorite bean dish?

Do you prefer pesto over red sauce?

Let me know in the comments!

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