WW Recipe of the Day: Simple Low Fat Vegan Basil Pesto
(35 calories | 1 1 1 myWW *SmartPoints value per serving)
Pesto, which simply means paste, is native to Italy and came thundering in to our culture several decades ago.
For a while it was all the rage with variations from cilantro-walnut to tomato to various nut pestos. The list would fill a volume. I reckon there are more flavors than in Baskin-Robbins.
There IS a reason for it; it remains wonderful in nearly all its guises.
The classic basil pesto is still my all-time favorite of the group. Lots of garlic, parmesan, those pine nuts. Is there anything it can’t improve?
Recently I had a soup in Montbrun, France, a mountain town, near my village of Mollans; a cold tomato soup was topped with a basil pesto sorbet. As I ate the soup, the pesto melted and each bite held a small enchanting moment!
How Many Calories and WW Points in this Cheeseless Low Fat Pesto?
According to my calculations, each serving 28 calories and:
1 *SmartPoints (Green plan)
1 *SmartPoints (Blue plan)
1 *SmartPoints (Purple plan)
1 *PointsPlus (Old plan)
Curious about Weight Watchers new myWW Green, Blue and Purple plans? Watch this short video to learn more:
Basil Pesto Recipe Notes
Consider growing a pot of basil on your patio, in your yard, on a sunny window sill. You’ll find all kinds of delicious uses for it—in salads, soups, salad dressings as well toppings for grilled vegetables, chicken, pork and fish. And you’ll want to have a stash of pesto at the ready in the fridge.
Pesto freezes beautifully in ice cube containers so that you can use a small amount at a time for your dish.
Pine nuts (AKA piñón or pinoli) can be purchased already toasted; if you have raw ones, then slip them into a 350F degree oven for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. This step is important as it brings out the oil in the nuts.
Since you’re only using 1 tablespoon of olive oil, go for the best quality you can find and make certain it is extra-virgin.
Simple Basil Pesto Serving Suggestions
Serve this vegan pesto with simple crudités (sliced or whole raw vegetables).
Basil pesto makes a nice addition to any sandwich, wrap or BLT.
Serve with your favorite pasta or zucchini noodles
Ways to use Leftover Pesto
Spread on an English muffin with some shredded chicken breast and a sliced of tomato, then bake for a simple English Muffin Pesto Pizza.
You’ll want to have a stash of pesto at the ready in the refrigerator, for when the mood strikes. It freezes beautifully in ice cube containers so that you can use a small amount at a time for your dish.
This recipe makes about 1 cup of pesto, so put about 2 tablespoons each of the leftovers into the ice cube trays and freeze.
If you’ve made this Simple Dairy-Free Basil Pesto, please give the recipe a star rating below and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. And stay in touch on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.
Low Fat Vegan Basil Pesto
- 1 cup tightly packed basil leaves
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Place the basil, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest and pine nuts in a food processor and blend until smooth and still slightly chunky.
- Add the olive oil and water and process until nearly smooth.
- Remove pesto from the processor bowl to a small serving dish and season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir to mix.
- Serve immediately or let sit for 30 minutes to let flavors blend.
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT each plan's ZeroPoint Foods (Green plan, Blue plan, Purple plan) using the WW Recipe Builder.
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