Plant-Powered Pesto

A vegan pesto? Yes! I promise you won’t miss the parmesan. In fact, I served this without reservation to my foodie friend, who was shocked to learn it didn’t have cheese.


 Most pesto recipes are really heavy, but what about a pesto that’s tasty, light, and . . . . wait for it . . . fights infections?! With all the colds and flu bugs coming, this is the perfect time of year to introduce this recipe into your life.

 Aside from being plant-powered, this pesto features fresh oregano in addition to traditional basil. Both basil and oregano have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-yeast and anti-mold properties. Oregano, in particular, has such strong infection-fighting properties that many of my patients take Oil of Oregano in liquid or capsule form to help with infections . . . and it works! One of the most common uses for Oil of Oregano is in battling intestinal bugs including righting the wrongs of dysbiosis (imbalance) in the intestinal microbiome. 


If you can’t find fresh oregano, no worries. Just use basil. You’ll still love this recipe. Don’t have pine nuts? No big deal. Use walnuts instead. Toasting the nuts definitely makes the flavor more robust, but if you’re short on time it’s not necessary.

 At my house, we use this pesto on everything from homemade pasta (seriously, my husband’s homemade pasta is THE BEST and one of my favorite gluten indulgences) to zucchini noodles to sautéed vegetables or atop roasted chicken. It also makes a delicious dip for crudités. I always convince my kids to eat pesto by telling them it’s monster sauce. Ha!

 Here’s to your health this cold and flu season!



2 cups packed fresh basil, fresh

1/4 cup packed fresh oregano, optional

4 Tbsp EVOO

4 Tbsp nutritional yeast

½ tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

4 cloves garlic

4 Tbsp pine nuts, roasted

Juice of ½ lemon

1-2 Tbsp water (if needed)



Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend to desired consistency, about 20 seconds. Add water as needed to thin the sauce.