Mint Pesto

Mint Pesto

Love basil pesto? Try making this vegan mint pesto for a change. It's just as delicious and it literally overflows with summery freshness. It's also so, so versatile. Stir it into pasta or roasted veggies or smear it on toast or or a veggie burger bun.

Vegan mint pesto in bowl with spoon.

Mint, one of the most prolific herbs, puts an appearance in the vegetable garden long before other herbs like basil have had a chance to grow abundantly. There are so many recipes you can make with this versatile ingredient, like this scrumptious mint chutney and pudina paratha.

One of my favorite ways to eat it is in this jewel-green mint pesto.

I love pesto sauces and I make it with so many different greens, including fennel fronds pesto, garlic greens pesto and carrot top pesto. In this mint pesto, I mix up the mint with spinach and a small handful of chives. This not only makes the pesto even more nutritious, it also helps keep the flavor of the mint, which can be strong, from becoming overwhelming. The resulting pesto is absolutely perfect, with just the right, cooling mint flavor that's perfect for a summer dinner.

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Why you will love this mint pesto recipe

  • Fresh and delicious. A pesto sauce can make everything just that much more delicious, and this mint pesto is no exception. It adds the refreshing power of soothing mint to a powerhouse dish.
  • Nourishing. Mint is a good source of key nutrients, including Vitamin A, folate and iron. Spinach, a nutrition star, adds more nutrient power along with healthy fiber.
  • Vegan, soy-free and gluten-free, with nut-free option. If you can't consume nuts, use pumpkin seeds instead.
  • Versatile. This mint pesto is a versatile sauce. You can stir it into pasta, of course, but you can also use it to top bruschetta or you can smear it into wraps and sandwiches. Your imagination is the limit.

Ingredients and substitutions

  • Fresh mint leaves. There are many species of mint and most edible mints would be fine here. I used peppermint leaves.
  • Baby spinach. This tones down the mint flavor while adding a wallop of nutrition.
  • Chives. Chives are optional here, but they add a nice undertone. You can use fresh parsley instead.
  • Garlic. Use as much or as little you like--from one clove to three. I love garlic so I use two cloves of garlic.
  • Almonds. I used sliced just to speed up processing. Whole almonds are fine too. You can use cashew nuts, pine nuts or opt for pumpkin seeds if nut-free.
  • Vegan parmesan cheese. This is also optional. You can substitute with a tablespoon of white miso paste.
  • Extra virgin olive oil. Don't skip olive oil and add water or another liquid instead. Olive oil is a key ingredient in pesto and it helps both preserve the green color of the pesto as well as rounds out all the eclectic flavors in it.
  • Lemon. A squeeze of lemon adds a welcome tang to pesto.

How to make vegan mint pesto

Spinach and mint in food processor bowl for mint pesto.

Place the mint and spinach in the food processor bowl. You can also do this in a blender but if using a high-powered blender make sure you don't make a smooth paste --the pesto should have some texture.

Chives, garlic, vegan parm cheese and salt and pepper added to food processor bowl with mint pesto ingredients.

Add all remaining ingredients except the olive oil: chives, garlic, almonds, lemon juice, vegan parmesan cheese, salt and ground black pepper.

Processed pesto ingredients minus olive oil in food processor.

Process for a few seconds until the ingredients have broken down in a coarse mix.

Mint pesto in food processor-bowl.

With the feed tube open and the blade running, pour the olive oil into the food processor until a coarse paste forms. You can blend the pesto as fine as you like, I like it to have a slightly coarse texture.

Vegan mint pesto in white bowl with a sprig of mint and spoon.

How to use mint pesto

  • Stir it into roasted vegetables.
  • Use as a dipping sauce for toast or crackers.
  • Drizzle it over bruschetta.
  • Use as a salad dressing.
  • Use it to top a vegan pizza instead of a tomato sauce.
  • Bake it into bread. Use a recipe like this garlic pull-apart bread and use mint pesto instead of the garlic mixture to make a pesto bread!
  • Drizzle as a garnish over soup.
  • Mix into pasta.

Storage instructions

  • Refrigerate: Store the pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  • Freeze: Pesto freezes really well. In summer, when you have lots of mint leaves, make a few jars of pesto and freeze them for the winter. The pesto can be stored in the fridge for up to four months. Thaw before using.

More yummy vegan Italian sauce recipes

Love this vegan mint pesto recipe? Check out more vegan Italian recipes on Holy Cow Vegan!

Vegan mint pesto in bowl with spoon.
Vegan mint pesto in white bowl with spoon and a sprig of mint on the side.
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Mint Pesto

This vegan mint pesto is delicious and so, so versatile. Fresh mint adds a pop of summery flavor and spinach adds tons of nutrition. Stir it into pasta or roasted veggies or smear it on toast or or a veggie burger bun.
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian inspired
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 104kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 packed cup fresh mint leaves (trim out tough stems)
  • 1 packed cup spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chives (roughly chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (sliced)
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds (use pumpkin seeds if nut-free)
  • 2 tablespoons vegan parmesan (or 1 tablespoon white miso paste)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Place the mint and spinach in the food processor bowl. Add all remaining ingredients except the olive oil: chives, garlic, almonds, vegan parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt and ground black pepper.
  • Process for a few seconds until the ingredients have broken down in a coarse mix.
  • With the feed tube open and the blade running, pour the olive oil into the food processor until a coarse paste forms. You can blend the pesto as fine as you like, I like it to have a slightly coarse texture.

Notes

Storage instructions
  • Refrigerate: Refrigerate the pesto in an airtight container for up to three days.
  • Freeze: Pesto freezes really well. In summer, when you have lots of mint leaves, make a few jars of pesto and freeze them for the winter. The pesto can be stored in the fridge for up to four months. Thaw before using.

Nutrition

Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Potassium: 37mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 66IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.2mg

The post Mint Pesto appeared first on Holy Cow Vegan.

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