Transform your meal with this 5 minutes homemade vegan cilantro pesto sauce. A quick and easy way to enjoy fresh and flavorful sauce, it’s the perfect addition to pasta, sandwiches, or as a dip. Upgrade your pesto with this delicious recipe that’s sure to beat any store-bought version.
My kiddos have got a special request for this Cilantro Pesto Pasta every week!
Learn how I make this quick and easy Vegan Cilantro Pesto sauce step by step in just 5 minutes!
About the Vegan Cilantro Pesto
With just 8 simple ingredients and minimal prep time, you can have a delicious sauce in just 5 minutes. This recipe delivers so much flavor and is the perfect solution for a quick and tasty dinner. Simply spoon the pesto sauce over cooked pasta or use it as a dipping sauce for bread, the possibilities are endless.
I use cilantro pesto in many recipes and there is nothing wrong with store-bought options, but homemade pesto sauce is the way to go. Not only is it loaded with fresh, bold flavors, but it’s also free from preservatives and artificial ingredients.
This healthy, plant-based pesto is perfect for any one looking for gluten-free and dairy-free one.
- Fresh Cilantro: All parts of cilantro are edible, chop both the leaves and stalks to add a vibrant flavor to the sauce.
- Jalapeños: Adds a kick of heat, substitute with red chilli flakes or green chilies if desired.
- Pinenuts: Adds creaminess to the pesto.
- Cashews or Almonds: Both work well in the pesto, silvered almonds are a good option for Keto Friendly and Paleo diets. I personally prefer Cashew nuts.
- Garlic: Essential ingredient for pesto, avoid using shallots or onions if not preferred.
- Lemon Juice: Adds a tangy and helps in retaining bright color of the sauce.
- Olive Oil: Use good quality extra virgin olive oil for the best taste.
How do you make Homemade Cilantro Pesto sauce?
Here’s a step by step guide to make pesto sauce recipe.
- In a food processor, combine the cilantro, pine nuts and cashews, jalapeño, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and 2 tablespoon of water.
- Pulse the ingredients until they are finely chopped. While the food processor is running, slowly pour in a little more water if desired until the mixture forms a smooth consistency.
- Season the pesto with salt and pepper to taste.
- Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days for best flavors.
Tips for the perfect sauce
You only need a handful of ingredients to make fresh pesto. Use the tips below to make the best tasting sauce.
- Use fresh cilantro, not the frozen variety, to ensure the best taste and texture in your pesto sauce.
- Don’t forget to chop both the leaves and stalks of the cilantro, as both are edible and add flavor to the sauce.
- Use high-quality ingredients, such as extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice, to make the sauce taste even better.
- Experiment with different proportions of ingredients to find the flavor that suits your taste buds best.
- Store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within four days for best flavors.
Variations ( Change it up)
Get creative with your cilantro pesto with these simple variations:
- Cilantro Walnut Pesto: For a nuttier flavor, add 1 cup of walnuts to the recipe and process until you have a thick sauce. Simply blend the ingredients with 1/4 cup of water to reach the desired consistency.
- Peanut Pesto Spread: Make a delicious spread for your sandwiches by swapping the pine nuts with peanuts. This variation is perfect for those who love a nutty and slightly crunchy texture in their pesto.
- Cilantro Chutney: For a tangy twist, omit the pine nuts and cashews from the recipe and blend the remaining ingredients with a small piece of ginger. This chutney is perfect for samosa, onion bhaji and pakora.
- Keto-Friendly Pesto: Following a keto diet? No problem! Simply replace the cashews with silvered almonds for a delicious pesto sauce that fits within your dietary restrictions.
Here are some serving suggestions for your cilantro pesto sauce:
- Stir it into soups for a burst of flavors.
- Toss with pasta and cheese for a delicious dinner.
- Add a unique twist to your standard basil pesto dishes.
- Elevate your tacos with a tangy cilantro sauce dressing made by stirring in yogurt.
- Use it as a base for your favorite pizza.
- Serve it alongside white soda bread or garlic knots for dipping in.
Storing leftover Fresh Cilantro pesto
Storing in the Fridge: To extend the shelf life of your cilantro pesto, transfer it to an airtight container or a mason jar and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Freezer: For longer storage, portion the pesto into serving-sized containers, then transfer it to freezer-safe containers. Label and date them, then freeze for up to 3 months. Note that the quality of the pesto may change after this period.
Thawing: When you’re ready to use the frozen pesto, place the container in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. As an alternative, you can also thaw the pesto by placing the container in a bowl of warm water.
Frequently asked questions
What can I do with lots of fresh coriander?
You can make a variety of dishes with fresh coriander, including Garlic Coriander Naan, Carrot Coriander Soup, Coriander Chutney, Coriander roti and Coriander Mint Pulao. It’s also great as a garnish for fresh onion salad, vegetable raita, paneer curries, and more.
Why does my Cilantro pesto sauce taste bitter?
Cilantro pesto may taste bitter if the cilantro used is old or not fresh. Other factors that can cause the pesto to taste bitter is the use of too much lemon juice or out of date olive oil, which can overpower the flavor. It is important to use the right balance of ingredients to achieve the desired taste.
How long does Homemade Pesto last?
Homemade Cilantro pesto will keep well up to 4 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.
What can you use instead of pine nuts in pesto sauce?
Pine nuts can be substituted with other nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or cashews in pesto sauce.
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Easy homemade cilantro pesto sauce recipe below
- 2 cup Cilantro Leaves + Stalks
- 1 clove Garlic
- 2 tbsp Pinenuts
- ¼ cup Cashew nuts
- 1 – 2 Jalapenos
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
- Salt to taste
- Place all the ingredients in a blender jar or bowl of a food processor.
- Blend or process until desired consistency is reached, adding 2-3 Tbsp of water if necessary. Add salt to taste.
- Transfer the pesto to a mason jar or airtight container and refrigerate. The pesto will stay fresh for up to 4 days.