Black Garlic Vegan Pesto

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Glass pot filled with rich black garlic vegan pesto, adorned with whole black garlic cloves to the left, vibrant fresh parsley in the foreground, with two blurred small plants in the background.

As someone who values flavor and nourishment, this black garlic vegan pesto has become a beloved staple in my kitchen. Whether I’m tossing it with pasta for a quick weeknight dinner or spreading it on sandwiches for a leisurely picnic, its versatility and depth of flavor never cease to amaze me, sharing this recipe with my family and friends brings me joy, knowing that I’m spreading kindness one delicious bite at a time.

Vegan: Suitable for vegans and Vegetarians
Easy to Make: Simple preparation
Doesn’t Repeat on the Breath: Leaves no unpleasant aftertaste
• Dairy-Free: Contains no dairy products
Only 7 Ingredients
Versatile: Can be added to many dishes, adaptable, and complements various dishes
Protein-Packed: The pine nuts make the sauce high in protein
High in Antioxidants: Contains antioxidants due to the black garlic
• Soy-Free
Made in 6 Minutes: Quick preparation

In this recipe, we marry the vibrant greens of basil leaves with the unique savory notes of black garlic, creating a pesto that’s as visually stunning as it is delicious. As you gather your ingredients, select fresh basil leaves, vibrant in color and aroma, to serve as the foundation of your pesto. With the addition of pine nuts for creaminess, nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor, and a touch of lemon juice for brightness, each component plays a vital role in achieving the perfect balance of flavors.

Fresh basil leaves: Vibrant in color and delivering all that aroma, they serve as the foundation of your pesto.
Pine nuts: Adding creaminess and protein.
Nutritional yeast: Provides that cheesy flavor and is rich in Vitamin B12, an important nutrient for vegans.
Lemon juice: Adds a tangy touch.
Black garlic: With its fermented umami flavor, it gives the pesto an exclusive taste unlike any other.

A picture of all the ingrients with a written label.
  1. ADD INGREDIENTS: Add the basil, black garlic, oil, and pine nuts to the blender.
  2. REMAINING INGREDIENTS: Add the salt and nutritional yeast.
  3. REASY TO BLEND: View ingredients in blender.
  4. BLEND: Blend the ingredients.
Four-process image collage: 1) Ingredients sequentially added to blender, 2) Continued addition of ingredients, 3) Final ingredients being poured, 4) All ingredients blended together in the blender.

5. BLEND: The ingredients are ready to blend.

6. FINAL BLENDED PESTO: The blended pesto with two extra chopped black garlic cloves sprinkled on the top.

An image of two pictures: in the first, the ingredients are in a blender, ready; in the second, the blended pesto is in a small serving bowl.

There are many ways to use this ORIGINAL vegan pesto! These ideas are a great place to start:

Toss it onto a good Roasted Vegetable Salad.
Or, replace the guacamole for the pesto with the Deluxe Sweet Potato Chips
Replace the traditional pesto with the black garlic pesto in my Whole Wheat Pata Recipe.

How do you like to use your vegan pesto? Let me know in the comments below!

A glass jar filled with vegan pesto featuring black garlic, garnished with chopped black garlic on top. The background fades into softness, with a spoon resting inside the jar.

Recommended Tools

• A good reliable blender.

Substitutions and Variations

While basil is the traditional star of pesto, feel free to experiment with other leafy greens such as spinach or arugula for a unique twist on this classic recipe. Additionally, if you’re allergic to nuts or if you prefer a nut-free option, consider substituting pine nuts with sunflower seeds r or pumpkin seeds. For those seeking a lighter version of pesto, you can also swap out some or all of the olive oil with plant-based milk for a creamy yet oil-free alternative.

Storage Tips

To prolong the freshness of your black garlic vegan pesto, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Alternatively, freeze individual portions in ice cube trays for convenient use whenever the craving strikes. Just remember to thaw before enjoying!
Storing your pesto in small portions ensures you have just the right amount for each use, minimizing waste.

Please refer to the FDA Food Storage Guidelines for more information.

Top Tip

For an extra burst of flavor, toast your pine nuts before blending them into the pesto. This simple step enhances their nutty taste and adds depth to the overall flavor profile of the dish.


Curious about the origins of black garlic or wondering if this recipe can be made without nuts? You’re not alone! Check out our FAQs section for answers to common questions about black garlic, pesto ingredients, and substitutions. Whether you’re a seasoned pesto enthusiast or a curious newcomer, we’re here to guide you through every step of the process.

1. Are black garlic capsules good for you?

Yes, they offer a concentrated dose of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds found in black garlic.

2. Are black garlic cloves soft?

◦ Yes, black garlic cloves are soft due to the fermentation process they undergo.

3. How is black garlic fermented?

Black garlic is fermented through a process of low heat and high humidity over several weeks to months, resulting in its distinctive color, flavor, and texture.

4. How does black garlic taste?

Black garlic has a unique flavor profile that is often described as sweet, savory, and slightly tangy with hints of molasses, balsamic vinegar, and garlic undertones. Its taste is mellow and complex, lacking the sharpness and pungency of raw garlic.

5. Is black garlic healthier than white garlic?

Yes, black garlic has more antioxidants than regular garlic.

6. How long does black garlic keep?

Black garlic can typically be kept for several months when stored in a cool, dry place

◦ 7. Can pesto be made without nuts?

Yes, pesto can be made without nuts. Instead of nuts, you can use alternatives like seeds (such as sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds) or omit them entirely for a nut-free version.

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Glass pot filled with rich black garlic vegan pesto, adorned with whole black garlic cloves to the left, vibrant fresh parsley in the foreground, with two blurred small plants in the background.

Black Garlic Vegan Pesto

Want to make the best Black Garlic Vegan Pesto? You're in the right place! Get ready to elevate your dishes with a vegan twist on classic pesto, infused with the umami richness of black garlic.
by Julie Anne Jenks
Prep Time 5 minutes
1 minute
Total Time 6 minutes
Course condiments, dips, dressing, sauce, side dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4
Calories 118 kcal




  • Clean the basil leaves thoroughly, removing any tough stems.
  • In a blender or food processor, combine the basil leaves, black garlic cloves, salt, olive oil, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice.
  • Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed, until you achieve a thick paste-like consistency.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, adding more salt or lemon juice to suit your preference. Chop a black clove or two and sprinkle on top of the pesto, this is optional and only for decoration.
  • Transfer the pesto to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use. Enjoy tossed with pasta, spread on sandwiches, or drizzled over roasted vegetables.

Notes & Suggestions

The recipe holds 12 full table spons of pesto and each one serving is approxamatley 3 table spoons of mixture.
Though basil typically takes the spotlight in pesto, don’t hesitate to explore alternative leafy greens like spinach or arugula for a distinctive variation of this timeless dish. Furthermore, if you have a nut allergy or simply favor a nut-free alternative, contemplate replacing pine nuts with either sunflower or pumpkin seeds. For individuals desiring a lighter rendition of pesto, consider replacing some or all of the olive oil with plant-based milk for a creamy yet oil-free option.
To extend the longevity of your vegan pesto featuring black garlic, shift it to a hermetic receptacle and refrigerate it for approximately a week. Alternatively, portion it into individual servings and freeze them in ice cube molds for easy access whenever the urge arises. Just bear in mind to defrost prior to eating!
By storing your pesto in petite quantities, you ensure there’s precisely enough for each occasion, reducing unnecessary waste.
For an added explosion of flavor, lightly toast your pine nuts before incorporating them into the pesto. This straightforward process elevates their nutty essence and enriches the overall flavor spectrum of the dish.

Nutrition Profile:

Serving: 3TBSP | Calories: 118kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.6g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 11.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3.5g | Sodium: 60mg | Potassium: 180mg | Fiber: 2.2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 5.5mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 8mg

The Nutritional information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically per serving

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  1. 5 stars
    This was the first time I had eaten black garlic and I loved the flavor together with basil and nutricional yeast.

5 from 4 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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