vegan pesto cauliflower Featured

Pesto Cauliflower (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Pesto tastes amazing on just about anything, and cauliflower is the perfect vehicle! This simple side dish features this versatile vegetable and a homemade vegan pesto.

vegan pesto cauliflower

Have you made homemade pesto before? If not, now is the time! This vegan pesto is incredibly flavorful and easy to make. I love making homemade sauces, including pesto. Preparing them myself allows me to control the quality of ingredients I use, making them healthier versions of store bought options without compromising on taste.

How to Make Vegan Pesto

All you need is six ingredients and a blender or food processor to make this vegan pesto. While traditional pesto uses parmesan cheese, you will use nutritional yeast in this vegan version. This gives the pesto a cheesy, umami flavor without the use of cheese! Blend together lemon juice, fresh basil, garlic, salt, nutritional yeast, and olive oil to make the freshest vegan pesto ever.

vegan pesto

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast is a type of yeast rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins. It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete plant-based protein. It is also one of the only plant-based sources of vitamin B12.
  • Cauliflower: A member of the cruciferous vegetable family, cauliflower is rich in different antioxidants, which help fight free radical cell damage and inflammation. It’s also a great source of fiber.
  • Basil: Basil, and other fresh herbs, are excellent flavor additions to any meal. Using fresh herbs in your cooking reduces the need for added sodium! Plus, basil is actually a good source of vitamin K, like other leafy greens.
  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • Olive Oil
vegan pesto cauliflower

I’ve had this pesto on all sorts of things: pasta, pizza, salmon, and now cauliflower! I’m always trying out new ways to eat this delicious vegetable, and this really might be my new favorite. It would taste amazing on pretty much any other vegetable, so feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand!

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vegan pesto cauliflower

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: side dish


Pesto tastes amazing on just about anything, and cauliflower is the perfect vehicle! This simple side dish features this versatile vegetable and a homemade vegan pesto.



  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Vegan Pesto

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3 handfuls fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 2 tbsp cold water


  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss cauliflower florets in avocado oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Roast for 35-30 minutes, until fork tender and slightly browned.
  4. While cauliflower roasts, prepare pesto. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend until ingredients are combined, but still a bit chunky.
  5. Toss pesto with cooked cauliflower until well coated.


  • This recipe can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Keywords: vegan, pesto, pesto cauliflower, vegan recipe

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vegan pesto cauliflower

Creamy Curry Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk

Now that I am working full time while finishing my masters, quick and easy batch cooking is even more essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Training has been great, but I come home absolutely exhausted with little motivation to cook. It is a life saver to have meals like this curry butternut squash soup ready for me when I get home.

This soup is filled with warming flavors that is perfect to come home to on a chilly night. Butternut squash, ginger, curry powder and coconut milk meld together for a creamy, flavorful, nutritious meal. Top with Thai basil pesto for an added punch and texture!

This dish features one of my new favorite products, Thrive® Algae Oil. I love this cooking oil for many reasons. First, it has a high smoke point – 485 degrees to be exact. This means the fats will not oxidize into harmful substances when cooked at a high heat. It also has an excellent fat profile – full of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) that are good for our hearts. It even has more MUFAs than olive oil - Thrive® has 90% compared to the 70% in olive oil. Finally, Thrive® has a very neutral taste, lending itself well to so many different recipes. It definitely helped enhance the wonderful, complex flavors in this soup and pesto!

I hope you all try this soup and/or pesto. The pesto is great with pasta or on eggs, as well. Remember to tag #Daisybeet so I can see your creations!


  • 1 large butternut squash (3-4 pounds)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • ½ bag riced cauliflower (I used frozen)
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 ½ tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1-2 tbsp Thrive® Algae Oil
  • 8 oz unsalted or low sodium veggie stock
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • Batch of Thai Basil Pesto (Optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Pierce butternut squash with a fork several times. Cut butternut squash in half by separating the long, narrow part from the wide part. Cut each piece in half. Scoop out seeds (discard seeds or save for roasting).
  3. Drizzle squash flesh with 1-2 tsp Thrive® Algae Oil and a little salt. Place cut side down onto foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until squash can easily be pierced with a fork.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp Thrive® Algae Oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and salt to taste, and cook 3-5 minutes until translucent, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add garlic, ginger, thyme and cauliflower rice and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add more salt, turmeric and curry powder and stir to coat mix.
  7. Scoop out roasted butternut squash from skin and add to soup pot.
  8. Add veggie stock and stir, letting flavors combine for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Transfer contents to blender (I recommend a high-speed blender like a Vitamix) and blend on high until smooth and silky.
  10. Pour soup into large container or back into soup pot, and stir in the can of coconut milk until well combined.
  11. Serve as is, or topped with a scoop of Thai basil pesto (optional).


Ingredients for Thai Basil Pesto:

  • 2 cups Thai basil
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Thrive® Algae Oil
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp water
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1-2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp peanuts
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • Shake of crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions for Thai basil pesto: Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until combined. I like to keep a little texture in my pesto, but if you prefer a smoother pesto, blend for longer.