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Basil Pesto and Zucchini Noodles (raw, GF, vegan)

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This evening I made this amazing dish for my husband and our dear friend Todd.  Unknown to me at the time, basil is one of his favorite foods!  Todd has been staying with us for the past week and everyday I am exposing him to delicious raw dishes.  Tonight’s dish didn’t let us down.  It was a huge hit with everyone!  It is so fresh and fragrant!  Not to mention the color of the sauce is so vibrant.   I stumbled upon this recipe years ago and I believe it is by Penni Shelton.  One batch is the perfect amount for 2 servings.

Ingredients: Yields: 1 cup

  • 4 cups fresh basil (you can substitute spinach if you’re short on basil)
  • 1/3 cup cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1/3 cup raw pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 4 zucchini (for noodles) see below


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor, minus the zucchini,  pulsing until you achieve the desired consistency.
  2. Transfer into a small covered bowl and store in your refrigerator.
  3. This should keep 1-3 days. You can also easily freeze this pesto and thaw when ready to use.
  4. Spiralize the zucchini noodles.  You can eat them as is or if you prefer to soften them…Place them in a medium-sized bowl and heavily sprinkle with salt.  Allow them to rest on your counter top for a few hours or longer.  The salt will draw the water out of the zucchini making for a limp noodle.  You can also do this in your dehydrator to speed up the process.  Dehydrate on 105 Degrees for about 30 minutes.  When ready to serve, rinse and drain well.  Dab with a paper towel and plate.
  5. Spoon the sauce on top.  I garnished it with pine nuts as well.


Zucchini Noodles – if you don’t have access to a spiralizer, which makes amazing noodles, you can also use:

  • Knife – make thin cuts
  • Cheese shredder –  this will make for some small noodles, but would work in a crunch.
  • Food processor – using the appropriate blade to make thin slivers.
  • Potato peeler – creates nice thin slices
  • Mandolin – creates nice thin slices.

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10 thoughts on “Basil Pesto and Zucchini Noodles (raw, GF, vegan)

  1. Annie says:

    I loved this recipe! I was looking for something yummy and quick without having to shop for special ingredients.
    I took your suggestion and used half spinach, half basil, which tasted fantastic. I also threw in a few sundried tomatoes, cuz we love them. Everything went together so smoothly and was a big hit with my family.
    Thank you for sharing this!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Annie,
      I never thought I was pesto fan until I started eating raw and made this dish. It is very rich, filling and delicious to boot! Being able to use part spinach helps cut the costs down a bit. I just bought the ingredients today so I can make this dish later this week. Great timing. :)

  2. Lorie says:

    My Question is this…. when and how did you cook the zuchinni?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Lorie,

      Great question. I added to the recipe above on how to deal with the noodles. I should have been more clear. I hope it answers your question. If not, please let me know! That is what I am here for. Many blessings, amie sue

  3. lucia says:

    best pesto ever :)

  4. Aria says:

    Wow, that was delish!!! Didn’t have pine nuts so I substituted with raw almond butter. Again, wow! This was ‘eyes rolling in the back of head’ good. I tossed the zucchini pasta with olive oil, garlic and onion powder and italian seasoning before putting in the dehydrator. That added a nice dimension to the flavor of the dish. This is by far the best pesto ever!

    • amie-sue says:

      Awesome Aria! So glad you enjoyed it. It’s great to have wonderful recipes in your menu of options! Have a great day and thank you so much for sharing. amie sue :)

  5. Lyn L. (mom of many) :] says:

    Good evening Amie Sue, Made this – It’s good, we loved it!! Thank you for another great recipe!!! :] Lyn

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