Vegan pesto rice with basil, cilantro, pine nuts, and lemon.
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5 from 3 votes

Vegan pesto rice

This delicious pesto rice makes for an easy, vegan & gluten-free side dish. It also works well as a base for bowls with your favorite toppings like roasted chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, and grilled artichoke hearts.
Prep Time6 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Total Time8 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian, Vegan
Keyword: dairy free, gluten free
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 196kcal
Author: Cadry Nelson


  • 2.5 ounces fresh basil about 2 cups, thick stems removed
  • 2 big handfuls cilantro about 1 cup, thick stems removed
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon white miso paste
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch salt plus more if needed
  • 2 cups cooked & warm brown rice


  • Put the fresh basil, cilantro, garlic, white miso paste, lemon juice, pine nuts, nutritional yeast flakes, extra virgin olive oil, and pinch of salt into a food processor. Process until evenly combined and broken down, stopping once to scrape down the sides.
  • Spoon the pesto onto cooked, warm brown rice in a bowl. Stir the rice & pesto until it's evenly combined and equally coated on all of the grains. Taste for salt and add more if needed.
  • Serve on its own as a side or use it as a base for pesto rice bowls with your favorite toppings.


Trader Joe's sells 2.5 ounce containers of fresh basil, which is exactly what you need for this recipe. So that is really handy if you want to get it all in one go. I also like to use Trader Joe's frozen brown rice as a shortcut, and then just heat it in the microwave before mixing with the pesto. But feel free to use homemade brown rice if you prefer.


Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 58mg | Potassium: 234mg | Fiber: 3g | Vitamin A: 970IU | Vitamin C: 4.4mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1.6mg