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Vegan Parsley Pesto Recipe [Pesto Z Pietruszki]

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Vegan bread topped with pesto and fresh parsley on a wooden cutting board.

Pesto originally came from Genoa. In fact, the original dish is called Pesto alla Genovese. Genovese refers to the city of its origin. Today, people all around the world indulge in it. In fact, pesto has become remarkably popular in Poland too! A part of the reason is the ease at which you can get the ingredients in our markets. It is also really easy to make and is a great fix if you are short on time to make an intricate dinner.

The traditional recipe involves garlic, pine nuts, basil, cheese and coarse salt. One of the key ingredients is the type of cheese that they use when making pesto. It is usually Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Sardo. Both are hard cheese. The cheese however is the one thing in the whole mix that makes the dish non vegan.

That really got me thinking. Pesto is such an amazing dish but it is really sad that our vegan counterparts can’t enjoy it. While I was working at it, I decided to give the recipe a little twist. The result was vegan parsley pesto. Trust me it is delicious, super easy to make and perfect no matter what the season is!

Why Parsley?

Parsley is a Polish housewife's herb of choice
Parsley is a Polish housewife’s herb of choice

So the question that everyone asked me was why parsley? Well, parsley is fragrant, easily accessible, and it adds a subtle flavor when added to the vegan parsley pesto recipe. While the plant is native to southern Europe, you will find parsley in pantries worldwide. Speaking of which, you will find that parsley is one of the main herbs that you will find in a Polish kitchen. It is known as pietruszka in Polish. Parsley was introduced into our cuisine way back in the 1500s by an Italian princess Bona Sforza. 

We get two varieties of parsley here. One is a curly-leaved variety and the other is a flat-leaved one. The latter is highly coveted because it has a better flavor. 

Many Polish kitchens have a small herb garden and parsley is one of the plants they grow. It is rather easy to cultivate and housewives love to have it handy. Plus, fresh parsley is the best parsley!

Very few people realize that parsley is one of the unsung superfoods that exists in our pantry. It is packed with nutrients like both Vitamin A and C alongside iron and sulfur. Many researchers believe that the antioxidants that parsley brings to our food help destroy free radicals before they cause damage to the cells in our body.

Aside from all the superfood properties, parsley is refreshing. It is probably why I like to use it often in my cooking.

Vegan Parsley Pesto Recipe [Pesto Z Pietruszki]

Part I – Wash The Bunch Of Parsley Well.

I usually run it through two or three washes to make sure there is no mud in it. You can either use the parsley straight off or chop it into fine pieces before you add it to the blender. It largely depends on the blender you are using. 

Part II – Add The Parsley Into The Blender And Blend.

Some people put all the ingredients into the blender at once. I prefer to make sure that the parsley is well ground before adding the rest because it distributes the flavor better.

Vegan Parsley Pesto
The ingredients for vegan parsley pesto ready to be blended.

Once you have a smooth paste, add in 1 garlic clove, ½ tsp of honey, ½ tsp of whole grain mustard, ½ tsp of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Don’t forget to add salt and pepper according to your taste. Blend it all together. 

The blended vegan parsley pesto has a smooth texture.
The blended vegan parsley pesto has a smooth texture.

You will notice that our vegan parsley pesto recipe has no cheese added in till now. For the vegans out there, you can add in a tablespoon of blanched almonds when grinding. It gives it a similar texture to the non-vegan pesto.

If you don’t mind cheese then add a tablespoon of parmesan to the mix. 

Vegan parsley pesto is best served with bread.
Vegan parsley pesto is best served with bread.

Tips For Making The Perfect Vegan Parsley Pesto

  1. Try and get the freshest parsley you can find. Don’t keep it in the fridge. Instead, make the vegan parsley pesto as soon as you get home.
  2. Wash the parsley well. Grit that remains in the parsley can get annoying when you start indulging in your pesto and quite frankly ruins the experience.
  3. If you aren’t a big fan of sourness then add the lime slowly. Taste as you go. This will help you get the perfect balance of taste for your palate.

FAQs About Making Vegan Parsley Pesto

What Parsley Should I Use?

There are generally two types of parsley that are available. You can differentiate them based on their leaves. One has curly leaves and the other has flat leaves. The flat-leaved parsley is the best but in a tight spot, the curly-leaved parsley will do. The key to making good parsley pesto is to ensure that the parsley is fresh.

What Brand Of Olive Oil Should I Use?

Not everyone knows this but the taste of olive oil differs from brand to brand. Pompeian is a popular brand. Just make sure that you choose a brand that you like.

If you aren’t sure if you like the olive oil taste in your pesto don’t add it. Once you are done making your vegan parsley pesto, take a spoon full out. Mix in a little olive oil and taste. If you like it, add olive oil as directed. Otherwise serve as is

How Should I Store The Vegan Parsley Pesto?

Pesto freezes really well. You can store it in the freezer and thaw it out whenever required. A good way to do this is to store it in ice cube trays and then empty them into a zip lock bag. That way you can defrost just how much you need.

Yield: 2 servings

Vegan Parsley Pesto Recipe (Pesto Z Pietruszki)

Vegan bread topped with pesto and fresh parsley on a wooden cutting board.
Prep Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes


  • a bunch of parsley
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ tsp of honey
  • ½ tsp of whole grain mustard
  • ½ tsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt, pepper
  • (optionally) 1 tbsp of grated parmesan
  • (optionally) 1 tbsp of blanched almonds


  1. Wash the parsley.
  2. Blend all the ingredients.
  3. Serve cold with bread or pasta.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 109Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 387mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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