Creamy Chipotle Pecan Pesto

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Spoon in a jar of chipotle pecan pesto

Friends, we really did it this time! We took inspiration from Bouldin Creek Cafe for this chipotle pecan pesto but ended up with something that, dare we say, we love even more. It’s undeniably addictive, versatile, and perfect for sandwiches, roasted veggies, wraps, bowls, tacos, salads, and more. This pesto knows no bounds.

We’re sure you’ll agree once you give this creamy, nutty, smoky, and uber savory creation a try! The best part? Just 5 minutes, 9 ingredients, and 1 blender required. Let’s make pesto!

Garlic cloves, nutritional yeast, maple syrup, lemon, sun-dried tomatoes, pecans, chipotle peppers in adobo, olive oil, and water

How to Make Chipotle Pecan Pesto

Pecans are the rich, creamy base for this pesto, while the smoky kick comes from chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (a.k.a. our trusty sidekick for everything from tacos to chilaquiles to salad dressing and beyond). Learn about the origins of this versatile ingredient here!

Sun-dried tomatoes and maple syrup add sweetness to balance the heat of the chipotles, while garlic and nutritional yeast add extra flavor dimensions, and sea salt makes it all shine.

Olive oil, water, and lemon juice are the liquid ingredients that make the pesto texture possible.

Blender with pecans, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, chipotle peppers, and nutritional yeast

Blend it all up into a mostly smooth paste (a little texture is fine!), and you’ve got pesto!

Creamy chipotle pecan pesto in a blender

We hope you LOVE this pesto! It’s:

Smoky
Rich
Nutty
Savory
Balanced
Versatile
& SO delicious!

Enjoy it on all your sandwiches, roasted veggies, wraps, bowls, tacos, salads, and more!

More Vegan Sauces & Spreads

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Holding a spoon of chipotle pecan pesto over a bowl of more pesto

Creamy Chipotle Pecan Pesto

A rich, nutty, and smoky pesto with spicy chipotle peppers and buttery pecans. Incredibly versatile and addictive, with just 9 ingredients and 5 minutes required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Spoon in a bowl of creamy chipotle pecan pesto
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 16 (1-Tbsp servings)
Course Sauce
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 4-5 Days

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw pecans
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (canned*)
  • 1 ½ -2 tsp adobo sauce (from canned chipotles in adobo)
  • 2 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes (rehydrated if dry // if packed in oil, reduce olive oil // we like Trader Joe’s julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1-2 tsp maple syrup

Instructions

  • To a small blender (or food processor for a chunkier pesto), add all ingredients (pecans, garlic, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, water, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, and maple syrup). Blend for about 15-30 seconds or until mostly smooth with some remaining texture.
  • Taste and adjust as needed, adding more maple syrup for sweetness, lemon juice for brightness, chipotle pepper for heat, adobo sauce for smokiness, or salt for overall flavor.
  • Serve on roasted veggies, tacos, bowls, sandwiches, pasta, salads, and so much more! Store leftovers in a sealed container for up to 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Video

Notes

*Recipe as written makes ~1 cup pesto.
*Leftover chipotle peppers in adobo can be frozen into an ice cube tray, then transferred to a sealed container and kept frozen for up to a few months. Or try them in our Spicy Vegan Jackfruit Tacos, Smoky Tempeh Burrito Bowls, or Chipotle Tofu Chilaquiles.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of maple syrup.

Nutrition (1 of 16 servings)

Serving: 1 tablespoon Calories: 52 Carbohydrates: 1.6 g Protein: 0.7 g Fat: 5 g Saturated Fat: 0.6 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 3.2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 46 mg Potassium: 42 mg Fiber: 0.5 g Sugar: 0.6 g Vitamin A: 20 IU Vitamin C: 0.7 mg Calcium: 4 mg Iron: 0.2 mg

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    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Zanee, you can leave them out and add a little more maple syrup as needed for sweetness. Hope that helps!

  1. Nancy says

    Just made tonight exactly as written and it was perfection! We made simple tilapia sautéed in butter and olive oil and topped with this pesto. It took this humble basic fish to fancy 😍 thanks for sharing!

  2. Mary says

    I tried this tonight on a rice and veggie bowl. It has a great flavor! I wanted to include some things that might be helpful for other folks. I wasn’t sure if I should take the seeds out of the canned chipotle pepper. I didn’t, I just threw it in whole and it was great. Not too spicy. I also had to thin mine out with about an extra 1/4 cup of water and I still never got as smooth of a consistency as it looks in the photos. My guess is I had too many pecans. For me it’s hard to tell with nuts when I measure by cup, it’s easier to measure by weight. For reference, I blended in a blendtec on and off with stirring in between for about 3 minutes and it was still pretty chunky. Maybe a double batch would have made it blend easier because it barely covered the blades so that could have also been the problem.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing, Mary! We’re so glad you enjoy the flavor! It won’t be a completely smooth texture, but if it was below the blades, that can definitely contribute to it not being quite as creamy.

  3. Lynda Frost says

    This is a fabulous recipe, a real go-to! This delicious sauce is great on just about anything: quesadillas, eggs, salads, and on its own for dipping. You’ve really perfected this!

  4. Dee says

    Made this last night and added it to my veggie pasta. A huge hit with the kids and family!!! LOVE YOUR RECIPES!!!! Keep them coming!!!!!!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! We’re so glad the whole fam enjoyed it! Thank you for your lovely review and encouragement, Dee! xo

  5. Melanie B says

    I made a huge 12-egg frittata last night and it was good but a little bland, so I decided to serve this sauce with the leftovers tonight. I have SO MANY pecans in the freezer so that was no problem. I bought a can of chilis in adobo at the grocery store but forgot about the sundried tomato! I desperately searched through my cabinets in search of a substitute and my eyes fell upon… dried cantaloupe chunks from Nuts.com. Before I could think about it, I threw in a few pieces. The cooking gods must have smiled on me because it came out wonderful and really re-energized the leftovers. Thanks so much, will certainly make again!

  6. Cynthia Pierce says

    WOW. Just WOW. I made a some modifications because I desperately need to go grocery shopping, but this sauce is still AMAZING.
    I used raw walnuts instead of pecans, 1.5 teaspoons of tomato paste instead of the sundried tomatoes, and omitted the maple syrup.
    Definitely going into the sauce rotation! Thank you for yet another scrumptious recipe!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Cynthia! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  7. Jessica Richman says

    This sounds sooooo good–my mouth is watering. You suggest using it on your Smoky Tempeh Burrito Bowls. Would that be as a substitute for the tomato sauce, or as an addition?

    Thank you for all the wonderful recipes!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’d say in addition because it’s a little too thick to replace the marinade. It’s possible it could work to thin it with some tomato sauce, but we haven’t tried that! Hope that helps!

  8. Sarah says

    Made this tonight and wanted to lick the bowl. Excellent! I put on a roasted veggies and quino bowl. Topped with toasted pecans for some crunch. I just love this blog!!

  9. Risa says

    I have been obsessed with Bouldin’s pesto since I moved to Austin almost 10 years ago. This is an amazing version and I am obsessed and want to put it on everything. I didn’t know y’all were in Austin (or was it just a visit?)! Great recipe!

  10. Shelley says

    This sounds delicious! I am allergic/sensitive to tomatoes. Would roasted belle peppers work in this recipe? Any other adjustments you would make because of them? Thanks! I LOVE your recipes!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Joan, you could try leaving it out and adding more water. It won’t be quite as rich, but should still be tasty!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ohh good question! We think walnuts would be a bit bitter and less buttery, but might be okay! Let us know if you try it!

    • Tasha says

      I had to make this the very day you posted it- yay for already having everything on hand! Mine came out much less orange and more browny tan (I think perhaps because my sundried tomatoes were very dark in color?) and I needed more water to get it to come to the perfect creamy consistency, but we loved it! It is amazing with roasted veggies (potatoes especially)!

      • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

        Thank you for sharing your experience, Tasha! We’re so glad you gave it a try and enjoyed the result!

  11. Louisa Berry says

    You can’t really get chipotles in adobe in the UK. I have a large amount of chipotle power though that I am getting through a teaspoon at a time. Any ideas of what I could substitute in this case?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Louisa, you could try a small amount of chipotle powder! Perhaps mixed with a little tomato paste, garlic powder, and apple cider vinegar to mimic the flavors of chipotle peppers in adobo. Let us know how it goes!