5 from 1 vote

Low Fat Vegan Basil Pesto

Sigh! The question is can you get supreme flavor with less oil, less nuts, those heavy calorie hitters? The one in my fridge which took about 5 minutes to make has a mere 28 calories per tablespoon, a far cry from the classic one. The small amount of oil is enhanced and evenly blended with just a splash of water.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Servings: 8
Calories: 28
Author: Hallie | Simple Nourished Living


  • 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.

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 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 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.
Serving size: 2 tablespoons
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: *1
Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints: *1
Nutrition Facts
Low Fat Vegan Basil Pesto
Amount Per Serving (2 tablespoons)
Calories 28 Calories from Fat 20
% Daily Value*
Fat 2.2g3%
Carbohydrates 0.8g0%
Fiber 0.2g1%
Protein 1.6g3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: easy basil pesto