This Avocado Pine Nut Pesto Salad is the perfect easy salad! It's made with clean and simple ingredients, only takes about 5 minutes to make, and it is packed full of flavor.
The new year is all about healthy eating. However, sometimes eating healthy can be a pain. There are either too many ingredients, the recipe takes too long, or it just tastes too healthy. This Pine Nut Salad is the perfect fresh salad that is easy to make, requires minimal ingredients, and tastes amazing!
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- Ingredients For This Pine Nut Salad:
- How To Make This Avocado Pine Nut Pesto Salad:
- Easy Substitutions:
- Pine Nut Salad Variations:
- What You'll Need To Make This Pine Nut Salad:
- How To Store This Avocado Pine Nut Pesto Salad:
- Top Tip
- Related Vegan Salad Recipes:
- Avocado Pine Nut Pesto Salad
- Food Safety:
- More Vegan Pesto Recipes:
Ingredients For This Pine Nut Salad:
I love making this Avocado Pine Nut Pesto Salad because it uses super simple ingredients you can pick up from your local grocery store.
- For The Pine Nut Salad:
- Romaine Lettuce - Make sure to wash it well before use.
- Cherry Tomatoes - You can use any tomato variety, however, I like to use cherry because they are bite size don't get soggy the next day.
- Shallots - If you're not a fan of raw shallots, you can quickly pickle them. This is one of my favorite easy cooking techniques. Simply slice them and add them to a pan with white wine vinegar and water. Cook until soft, and you'll have pickled shallots!
- Pine Nuts - You will need pine nuts twice in this recipe. These ones can be toasted since they are the topping.
- For The Pine Nut Pesto:
- Pine Nuts - You will need raw pine nuts to make the pesto. Using raw pine nuts makes a big difference in the creaminess of the pesto.
- Avocado - You can also use avocado oil, however, I like to use the whole avocado for added fiber and nutrients.
- Basil - Is any pesto complete without basil? I don't think so! I personally love basil, but you can use any herbs, or a variety of herbs to make your vegan pesto!
- Lemon Juice - Adds the perfect tart kick to this pesto.
- Nutritional Yeast - Adds the cheesy flavor to the pesto. Traditional pesto calls for parmesan cheese, and nutritional yeast is the perfect healthy substitution for it.
- Garlic Cloves - Another staple in any pesto recipe. You can adjust the amount of garlic to your personal taste.
- Water - I like to add a bit of water just to get the ingredients to blend. You can use extra virgin olive oil, or vegetable broth as well.
See the recipe card for quantities.
How To Make This Avocado Pine Nut Pesto Salad:
I love a good simple salad recipe like this one. They make it so easy to eat healthily. This is one of the many reasons I'm obsessed with this Pine Nut Salad. It takes less than 10 minutes to make, it's healthy, and the ingredients are minimal and easy to find in stores!
1. Begin by roughly chopping the romaine, slicing the shallots into thin slices, and cutting the cherry tomatoes in half. Add the vegetables to a large salad bowl.
2. Make the pine nut pesto by combining all ingredients together in a small blender and blending until smooth. You may need to add a bit of water to make the mixture blend.
3. Pour the pesto dressing over the salad and toss. Serve and enjoy!
Hint: You can add about 1 teaspoon of your favorite greens powder to this salad for a nutrition boost! This one is my favorite (and the code: "NATURALVEGAN" gets you 15% off!).
This Pine Nut Salad recipe is one of my favorite recipes because there are so many substitutions you can make. This is great because you can find other ways to make it in case you don't have a particular ingredient on hand.
- Nuts - instead of pine nuts you can use walnuts or cashews. This option is more affordable, but also less flavorful.
- Lettuce - Instead of romaine lettuce, you can substitute peppery arugula, baby spinach, or green leaf lettuce. I love turning this into an arugula salad from time to time.
- Protein - This salad does not contain a high protein content. It's an excellent side dish, however may not be the best weeknight dinner, Therefore if you are looking to make this recipe into a main dish I would recommend adding some white bean, tofu, tempeh, or your favorite plant-based protein. However, you must keep in mind that if you add beans this will no longer be a raw vegan salad recipe.
Pine Nut Salad Variations:
I love this simple salad. However, if you are looking to spice it up a little, here are some of my favorite variations!
- Pasta - You can easily turn this pine nut salad into a Pine Nut Pesto Pasta salad recipe with two easy changes. Swap out the romaine for your favorite plant-based, or gluten-free pasta, and add a handful of baby arugula to keep the greens!
- Loaded - Add your favorite vegetables to this salad to make it loaded! I love adding: broccoli, bell peppers, sprouts, microgreens, and shredded carrots!
- Kid friendly - If you're trying to get your kiddos to eat more vegetables this salad can be a great choice! Add some vegan croutons and vegan parmesan cheese.
What You'll Need To Make This Pine Nut Salad:
Equipment can always have an impact on the success of a recipe. I always recommend using good quality kitchen equipment. Although this recipe does not require a lot of equipment, here's what I recommend using to make this easy side salad.
- Chefs Knife - Since this recipe requires you to cut up lettuce, I recommend using a full-sized chef's knife. I have a couple, but this one is my all-time favorite.
- Cutting Board - If you haven't invested in a large butcher block cutting board, I strongly recommend you do. I have multiple of them, and they've completely changed my life!
- Personal Blender - Any blender will work, however, I have found that unless you are making an insane amount of dressing, small personal blenders work the best. I opt for my $50 Blendjet over my $500 Vitamix when it comes to making salad dressings and sauces.
- Salad Bowl - Any large salad bowl will work perfectly. I personally love the way a salad looks in a wooden salad bowl!
How To Store This Avocado Pine Nut Pesto Salad:
Storing salads can be a real challenge. The lettuce can quickly turn soggy, and the rest of the ingredients can dry up at the same time. Therefore how you store salad is crucial.
This pine nut pesto salad is a bit tricky, but it can still be prepped/stored as leftovers.
If you're planning on meal-prepping this salad, I recommend storing the dressing separately. However, if you have leftovers, and are looking to store this as best as possible, I recommend storing them in airtight containers. When you're ready to eat, add about ½ tablespoon of water, or cold pressed oil, and shake the container.
This salad will not keep the entire week if mixed if tossed.
Start out slow with the garlic. Since it is raw, it is quite spicy. Therefore a little goes a long way. Start with one clove and make the pesto. If it is not spicy enough add another and so forth until you have achieved the desired taste.
When I first went vegan there were a lot of items I assumed were vegan, but honestly wasn't sure about. Pesto is one of those foods. Unfortunately, most pestos are not vegan. Parmesan cheese is typically added to pesto which makes it not vegan. However, it is very easy to make pesto like the one used in this recipe!
Pine nuts are not one of the most common nuts used. However, this probably has to do with their cost, because they're absolutely delicious. Not only are they delicious, but they're a nutrition powerhouse!
Pine nuts are loaded with protein, healthy fats, iron, magnesium, fiber, antioxidants, and more! I think it's about time this nutritious little nut made its way onto all our plates.
Related Vegan Salad Recipes:
My website is full of healthy vegan salad recipes! Here are more tasty vegan salads to explore:
If you try this Avocado Pine Nut Pesto Salad recipe, I’d really love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. I’d also really appreciate a recipe card rating! Thank you for supporting The All Natural Vegan!
Avocado Pine Nut Pesto Salad
For The Pine Nut Salad:
- 3 heads romaine lettuce
- 1 box cherry tomatoes
- 1 shallot
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- Begin by roughly chopping the romaine, slicing the shallots into thin slices, and cutting the cherry tomatoes in half. Add the vegetables to a large salad bowl.
- Make the pine nut pesto by combining all ingredients together in a small blender and blending until smooth. You may need to add a bit of water to get the mixture blending.
- Pour the pesto dressing over the salad and toss. Serve and enjoy!
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Don't take your eyes off what you're doing when using sharp objects
More Vegan Pesto Recipes:
Are you a fellow pesto lover? Make sure to try out some of the other delicious pesto recipes on my website!