Vegan Chive Pesto - From Soil to Soul

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Vegan Chive Pesto

by on June 24, 2022
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Chives are one of those herbs that keep giving all season long, but they only bloom once throughout the season. And when that happens, I  typically rush to make all types of delicious chive recipes! Like this Easy Vegan Chive Pesto garnished with chive blossoms. It’s a light and refreshing Spring dip! You’ll also find links at the end of this post to a few of my many other favourite chive recipes.

Best Chive Pesto Recipe

Vegan chive pesto recipe

I may be biased, but I consider this the best chive pesto recipe because it’s easy to make, super flavourful and easily adaptable based on what ingredients you have on hand. Plus, it’s vegan!

The nut base for my chive recipe is cashews, but pine nuts or almonds would work well too! Alternatively, you can make this pesto nut-free and use sunflower seeds instead.

I also love this recipe because of the bright, green colour the chives give the vegan pesto. It doesn’t only taste like Spring, it looks like Spring!

How To Make Chive Pesto

Ingredients for chive pesto

For this easy vegan chive pesto recipe, you’ll need 10 basic ingredients:

  • Fresh chives — ideally from your own garden!
  • Lemon juice
  • Cashews — or another nut of your choice
  • Nutritional yeast — a must for veganizing this recipe
  • Garlic
  • Shallots — optional, but tasty!
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • Salt & pepper

The first step to making vegan chive pesto is removing the blossoms from the chives.

Chive blossoms

Gently remove the blossoms from the chives with your fingers. Pinch below the flower and it will come away.

Be sure to keep a few flowers for garnish. It really elevates the presentation of the chive pesto.

Next, add all ingredients to a food processor or high speed blender (I like using a Vitamix).

Chive pesto in food processor

Blend for 10-15 seconds at a time. You don’t want to purée the pesto too much. The nuts should still add some texture to the dip.

Be careful not to overblend by pulsing for a few seconds, checking the consistency and then pulsing again.

Add small amounts of water as you blend until consistency is smooth. Be sure to also taste as you blend. Add additional salt, pepper and lemon juice as needed.

Then, garnish with chopped chives, chive blossoms, salt, pepper and olive oil.

Easy vegan chive pesto recipe

You can enjoy chive pesto as a dip with crackers and veggies (my go-to!) or you can use it as a traditional pesto for pasta.

I love adding Spring peas and sundried tomatoes with it in a pasta dish. So fresh-tasting.

How To Grow Chives In Zone 3

Chives are an incredibly easy perennial herb and grow great in cold climates. Chives can tolerate long, cold Winters in most grow zones, even as low as Zone 2-3.

They are extremely hardy and are typically the first thing to pop up in the Spring.

Chives in a raised bed garden

The hardest part about growing chives is starting them. The seeds are slow to germinate and take some time to establish.

Tip: Instead buy organic chive seedlings from your local garden centre and transplant into your garden. It will give you a head start and lead to an earlier harvest.

Transplant chives into well drained soil. They’ll do well in both full-sun and part-sun growing conditions.

Chives don’t require much fertilizer and are pretty resilient to drought conditions. All the more reason to grow them!

Once established, chives will bloom toward the end of Spring. This is typically around mid-June in our Zone 3 garden here in Manitoba.

How to grow chives in Zone 3

I like to leave the blossoms on the plant for a few days for the pollinators to enjoy. Then I harvest them by using sharp kitchen scissors and cutting toward the base of the plant.

There’s tons of great chive blossom recipes on the internet, some of which I’ve linked below!

But the easiest way to use chive blossoms, and my fav way, is infusing them into vinegar.

I just use add my chives to a mason jar and pour white vinegar over them. I keep it in my pantry and use as needed.

Mix with a little maple syrup and dijon mustard and you have a great salad vinaigrette!

How To Overwinter Chives

Before your first hard frost of the Winter (typically between Oct 31-Nov 10 here in Manitoba), cut down your chives. Use a sharp pair of kitchen scissors or pruning sheers to do so.

Cut the plant down so no more than 1 inch is above the soil’s surface. Then, cover with a thick layer of mulch. This will offer your chives insulation throughout the Winter.

I’m a big fan of straw mulch and love the HealthiStraw brand. They’re a Manitoba-based company but you can find their straw mulch across garden centres in Canada & the U.S. Plus, they have a certified organic straw option available!

Once the snow is melted and the ground is no longer frozen, remove the straw mulch from your chives.

The plant might look brown and dead initially, but give it a few weeks and your chives will start appearing.

Here’s what our chives looked like in early May this season.

Overwintered chives in the early Spring

If it’s a hot, dry Spring, water your chives regularly to keep the soil consistently wet. You can fertilize your chives with compost or an all-purpose organic fertilizer. Truthfully though, I rarely feed my chives and they come back big and healthy each season!

All the more reason to grow chives in a short season, cold climate garden!

The 10 Best Recipes For Chives

Fresh chives in a tea towel

All recipes are either plant-based or can be easily veganized!

Note: Recipes with * are for chive blossoms.

  1. Chive Salt by Burch Acres
  2. Green Goddess Dressing by From My Bowl
  3. Cheesy Potato Chive Galette by Half Baked Harvest
  4. Spiralized Beets with Balsalmic Chive Dressing by Inspiralized
  5. Crushed Sour Cream Potatoes with Chives by Alison Roman
  6. *Easy Chive Blossom Vinegar Recipe by Urban Farm & Kitchen
  7. Vegan Ranch Dressing by Ela Vegan
  8. *Chive Blossom Biscuits by Getty Stewart
  9. Creamy Cucumber & Chive Salad by Paleo Leap
  10. Chive & Chickpea Herby Stew by Half Baked Harvest
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Vegan chive pesto

Vegan Chive Pesto

  • Author: Maggie
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: N/A
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


Light and refreshing, this vegan chive pesto works great as a dip for crackers and veggies, or as a spread on toast, or as a sauce on pasta. So many possibilities!


Units Scale

Large bunch of garden chives chopped (approx. 2 1/2 cups)

Juice from one large lemon

2 large cloves of garlic

1 small shallot or 1/2 a yellow onion chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 cup of soaked raw cashews

13 tbsp of water (add gradually as needed)

1 tsp of coarse salt

1 tsp of pepper


1. Place cashews into a small bowl and add warm water, then let sit for 1-2 hours. Or for a quicker approach, add boiling water to cashews and let sit for 15-30 minutes. Cashews are ready when they can be cut in half with a spoon. Set aside until ready to add to pesto.

2. Harvest chives from your garden by using sharp, clean kitchen scissors and cutting near the base of the plant. Alternatively, purchase a large bunch of chives from your local farmer’s market.

3. Gently remove flowers from chives by pinching off with your fingers. Set a few aside to be used as garnish (see above for additional recipe ideas for chive flowers). Once flowers are removed, rinse chives under water then roughly chop into 1-2 inch pieces.

4. Add chives to a high powered blender or food processor (I use my Vitamix) along with the lemon juice, garlic, shallot, olive oil, nutritional yeast, soaked cashews, salt and pepper.

5. Blend on high for 15-20 seconds or until all ingredients are combined. Turn off blender/food processor and add 1 tbsp of water. Blend again for another 5-10 seconds, adding 1-2 tbsp of additional water as needed. Be careful not to over blend. Pesto is ready when it’s smooth but still has some small chunks from the cashews.

7. Use a spatula to remove pesto from blender/food processor and place into a small serving bowl. Garnish with additional salt, pepper, olive oil and a few chive blossoms.

8. Serve as a dip with crackers and vegetables or use as a pasta sauce.


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Latest Comments

  1. June 25, 2022

    I got your url from a college who lives in your neighbourhood. So cool as I was just looking for chive flower recipes beyond putting them in salad. One question? so you use the stems the flowers are on for the pesto, or just the flowers.

    — Monica
  2. June 27, 2022

    Hey Monica! This recipe calls just for the stems to be blended into pesto. The flowers are used for garnish only, however you’ll find other recipes linked in this post for ways to use chive blossoms.

    — Maggie