This basil mint pesto combines fresh herbs with pumpkin seeds, olive oil and garlic for a flavourful dip, spread or sauce for pesto pasta. Easy to make, it comes together in less than 20 minutes and is a tasty vegan mint pesto made without nuts or cheese.
I know that when time is tight, I always have a go-to meal in mind - pesto pasta. It'a always a crowd-pleaser as a tasty comfort food dinner idea. Love pesto too? Then you may also like to see my pistachio pesto and macadamia nut pesto for other fun twists on this recipe.
My Thai basil pesto has a lovely aniseed, and more savoury flavour that is very delicious, and my lemon balm pesto is so zingy and fresh!
This basil mint pesto uses both herbs for a flavourful sauce. While basil is the traditional herb, adding in the mint makes this feel like a spring pesto with its light and fresh taste. I definitely suggest growing some if you can!
⭐ Why this recipe is so good
Full of flavour. Pesto is always packed with taste, and this mint pesto is no exception. Herbs, garlic and a good extra virgin olive oil really do pack a punch with their flavours!
Healthy. All the ingredients are bursting with health benefits, making for a dip or spread that is so good for you!
Versatile. Use this pesto for pesto pasta, as a dip or a spread for sandwiches or rice cakes. Or stir it into my pesto orzo salad for a tasty side dish!
All the ingredients needed and their quantities are in the recipe card below, but some suggestions for a few of them:
- Pumpkin seeds - this a twist on the pine nuts that are typically used for pesto, and makes this a nut free pesto. They have a great taste, but be sure to use plain ones not salted! Check out my substitutes for pine nuts in pesto post for more ideas!
- Olive oil - I suggest using a good quality extra virgin olive oil if you can for its better taste.
- Basil and mint - you need to use fresh mint leaves and basil rather than dried to make pesto.
📖 Variations to the recipe
Increase the garlic. Love garlic? Feel free to add another clove (or two!) to the blender!
Swap apple cider vinegar for white distilled vinegar. My low histamine readers may wish to use white distilled vinegar for a lower histamine option, or leave vinegar out entirely.
Swap apple cider vinegar for lemon juice. If citrus works for you (probably not for my low histamine readers) then lemon juice works well in place of vinegar.
🔪 Step by step instructions
Making this mint basil pesto is super easy to do and comes together in around fifteen minutes. Just a two simple steps to the recipe:
Dry fry the pumpkin seeds in a pan (image 1). This is without any oil. Toast them until they start to very slightly brown, and they may also pop. Be careful not to let them burn, and toss frequently.
After letting the pumpkin seeds cool slightly, add all the ingredients to your food processor or blender, and blend to a thick pesto (image 2). Adjust with more olive oil to preference, and more basil or mint.
💭 Recipe tips and notes
Adjust ingredients to taste. Pesto is quite individual to taste preference, but easily adaptable. This recipe makes quite a thick pesto. You can add more olive oil to thin, more herbs and garlic for an even punchier flavour or leave out garlic altogether.
Use good quality fresh herbs. I know this may sound obvious, but you want to use fresh herbs that aren't drooping or have brown spots or discolouration.
Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil. As well as giving a much better taste than regular olive oil, it's very good for you too!
📋 Frequently asked questions
It isn't essential to toast the pumpkin seeds, but it brings out their flavour and I find them easier to blend.
Pesto can vary in its consistency from quite thick to thinner. You can adjust the texture by adding more olive oil to thin, or more nuts or seeds to thicken.
Pesto is so versatile! Use it as a sauce for pesto pasta, as a spread for sandwiches or on rice cakes or as a dip with crudites and crackers.
🥣 More tasty sauce recipes
As well as pesto recipes themselves, there are lots of ways to use pesto here on the blog from pesto chicken skewers to coriander pesto pasta and more. We also have delicious sauces such as my carrot ketchup and these recent recipes:
I’m always in the kitchen, so come join me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to be the first to hear of new recipes. And please do leave a star rating ⭐⭐⭐ if you tried the recipe!
Basil Mint Pesto
- Frying pan
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup basil packed
- ¼ cup mint packed
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 garlic clove more to preference
- pinch salt
- Add the pumpkin seeds to a dry pan (no oil) and toast on a low heat for around five minutes until they become slightly brown and fragrant (they may also pop).
- Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend to a thick pesto. Adjust to taste, with more herbs or garlic for a punchier flavour, or more olive oil to thin.
- I suggest not skipping dry toasting the pumpkin seeds as this brings out their flavour.
- You will likely need to scrape down the sides of you blender a few times. Using a spatula is helpful here.
- Adjust the amount of garlic to taste preference, or leave out completely.
- This is quite a thick pesto, so adjust with more olive oil and/or vinegar to thin.
- Please note that nutritional information is offered as a courtesy. It is auto-generated and should be understood to be an estimate.
- garlic, which scores 1.
- apple cider vinegar, which scores 1.
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