This Edamame Pesto recipe is vegan, easy to make, and tastes ultra fresh. Made with simple ingredients and soybeans, you’ll love it as a snack with crackers, a sandwich spread or on pasta!
Budget-friendly edamame pesto recipe
We all know pesto to be an herbaceous and cheesy sauce that’s a must with pasta noodles or drizzled over pizza. But the cost of buying pre-made pesto or just a few pine nuts is not cool with me! That’s where my easy and budget-friendly Edamame Pesto recipe comes in handy.
This edamame pesto is a little different from your everyday basil pesto. It’s made with edamame and almonds instead of pine nuts and fresh basil, and is flavored with lemon juice, oil, and simple spices. These variations keep the soybean pesto light, packed with protein, and budget-friendly.
What is edamame?
Edamame is immature soybeans grown in a pod. They’re popular in East Asian and Japanese cuisine but can easily be grown in western countries as well. Soybeans can be blanched and eaten whole with a little salt or removed and mixed into noodle bowls, roasted, or blended into sauces.
Here’s me, the soybean lady, with my harvest.
Soybean pesto ingredients
Whether you’re working with a budget or are looking for the next best protein dip, you can count on this edamame pesto recipe. The ingredients are very simple and the prep is even easier! This is what you need:
- Edamame (fresh or frozen)
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
How to make edamame pesto
I recommend blending the pesto in a food processor but you can use a blender if that’s all you have at home. It’s the only tool you need to make edamame pesto from scratch:
Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the fresh or frozen edamame and cook until they’re softened.
Add the cooked and drained edamame along with the rest of the ingredients into a food processor.
Pulse a few times until it’s a smooth dip. If the pesto is too thick, you can add some water to help thin it out.
Transfer the finished pesto to a serving dish or store it away for later.
Ways to use edamame pesto
Practically any savory dish pairs well with pesto sauce. Use these ideas for inspiration:
- In pasta: Edamame pesto pasta has extra protein but never skimps on flavor. Stir it onto hot spaghetti or pasta salad to really take the flavor up a notch and make each bite extra filling.
- Stirred into side dishes: Go ahead and stir a dollop of pesto into mashed potatoes, cauliflower mash, or roasted vegetables.
- Dipping sauce: Serve the soybean pesto in a bowl next to crackers, crostini, or chopped vegetables. It’s so popular at parties!
- Spread: This easily spreadable pesto goes well on veggie sandwiches, burgers, vegetable wraps, or as a replacement for traditional pizza sauce.
- Salad dressing: Thin the pesto with a little water and drizzle it on top of a Caesar salad or a rainbow kale salad.
- Add more flavor – The seasonings in this soybean recipe are light and fresh but there’s lots of room to add more flavor. Feel free to blend basil leaves, parmesan cheese, or extra garlic in with the edamame and other ingredients to give the pesto a boost.
- Leafy greens – Spinach or kale can also be blended into the pesto if you’d like to give it a nutritional boost. Check out my Kale Pesto too!
- Instead of almonds – Substitute them for walnuts, pine nuts, or raw cashews.
- Blanched almonds – To avoid the brown specks in the pesto, use peeled or blanched almonds.
- Nut free pesto – Replace the nuts with sunflower seeds if you have an aversion to nuts.
To store: Keep the pesto in a sealed container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
To freeze: Transfer the pesto into ice cube trays and cover them with a lid. Freeze until the pesto cubes are solid, then transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 4 months.
More healthy snacks to try
- Baked Apple Chips
- Baked Spinach Chips
- How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
- Fresh Tomato Salsa
- Homemade Kale Crackers
Pin for later:
- 2 cups shelled edamame (can be fresh or frozen)
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pinch pepper
- Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil, add shelled edamame (fresh or frozen), and bring to a boil. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until softened. Drain edamame.
- Add cooked edamame, almonds, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper into food processor. Pulse a few times until it forms into a well combined pesto texture. If your food processor is not moving, add 2 tablespoons of water.
- Serve as planned or place in the refrigerator (will last 2-3 days). It also freezes great for long term storage.