Vegan Pesto Pizza

Fantastic news. My dad is still a vegan!  In case you missed it……I asked both of my parents to go vegan for one month as my birthday gift last year, and my dad has unexpectedly stuck with it for five months now.

He’s aware of this blog and refuses to pose for an “after” photo, but he’s lost about 30 pounds and is even training for his first 5K. It’s amazing. He also refuses to buy workout pants, so if you see a 62-year-old man running down the street in jeans, that’s definitely him.
Vegan Pesto Pizza
While neither of my parents cook, my dad has become an expert in ordering vegan take-out.  The local restaurants literally call him “the vegan guy,” and one of his favorite meals is pizza with no cheese and extra vegetables.
I also like vegan pizza, but it doesn’t really feel like pizza to me when it’s just sauce and vegetables. And while I feel this weird obligation to like vegan cheese, I don’t LOVE it. So whenever I make pizza, I either make my own cashew parmesan or raw pesto. These sound fancy and difficult, but both are simple to make and require minimal ingredients.
 Vegan pesto can be made lots of different ways with a combination of nuts and herbs/green vegetables, and this particular version is made with fresh basil and pine nuts.
The light green pesto is so pretty – until you cook it. And then it looks like mud. Beauty is so fleeting. The real reason I basically covered the pizza with a salad is so it would look nice for the picture, but fresh lettuce, spinach, arugula, – whatever you have!  – genuinely does make a great topping alongside the roasted tomatoes and kalamata olives. I don’t know if pizza is even allowed to look this healthy.

Vegan Pesto Pizza

Recipe Adapted from CandiedViolet



  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (or walnuts!)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast (not regular yeast. you will feel shame and regret if you ignore this tip.)
  • 1 cup of fresh basil leaves (or kale/arugula/ broccoli florets)


  • 3 1/2 cups of your choice of flour
  • 1 packet of yeast (regular yeast this time)
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tsp salt


  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes – halved
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives – halved


  1. Crust instructions are here. I tried 3 different crusts before I found the perfect one, and EatLiveRun did a great tutorial on it!
  2. Combine all pesto ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread pesto evenly on rolled out pizza crust and top with tomatoes and olives.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 425 degrees.
  5. Top with lettuce/baby spinach and serve.


I could try to tell you how happy I am that my dad is making an effort to be healthier, but I’ll just leave you with this picture of us and 4 spatulas.


  1. says

    that is so amazing about your dad! i’m so happy for you and him. and the weight loss is astounding! i love that he runs in jeans, so oldschool 😉

    it’s funny, i was thinking HOW HEALTHY this pizza looked with the greens on top and how i could never present a pizza to my husband like that. he’d pick it all off. he’s a pizza lover, too, and also isn’t a big fan of vegan cheese (me either!), but is also of the persuasion that pizza with just tomato sauce isn’t really pizza. so pesto and taco pizzas are our answer. still looking for fun new options, though.

    this looks delicious!

    • kori says

      Pizza is one of the very few foods I haven’t found a pretty close replacement for! Cheese and scrambled/fried eggs actually. One day…

      I’ve seen your taco pizzas and might try one — let me know if you find any other good ones!!

  2. says

    I’m so happy I just came across your blog via a link share from Holly @ EatGreatBeGreat. I love a good vegan blog (and a a good DIY project) but there are so many blogs out there its hard to know whats right for you. I think I’m going to like this little corner of the web :)


    • kori says

      Well if you’re ever in New York City we can meet up and go running followed by a stop for almond milk lattes :) I just checked out your pizza – that looks awesome, especially because I love sweet potato-everything!

  3. kelly says

    arugula is my favorite pizza topping. ever.

    a little arugula, some toasted pine nuts, fresh tomato, and garlic pesto. SO good!! Yours looks a little prettier than mine though :O)

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