Vegan Pesto Parmesan Breadsticks

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Cutting board filed with homemade Vegan Pesto Breadsticks

Sometimes, a girl needs just a breadstick (sans cheese). This is the breadstick for you!

Mixing vegan breadstick dough with a wooden spoon

While I’m not just a huge bread person, there is something ridiculously satisfying about a breadstick to round out a delicious pasta meal, or dipped straight into rich tomato sauce. I think we can all agree we could use a good breadstick recipe in our back pocket for times such as this.

Food processor with ingredients for Vegan Pesto

To amp up the flavor of these babies vegan style, I whipped up a batch of vegan pesto! It’s super easy. You just sub vegan parmesan for the parmesan cheese (or omit it) and throw in tons of basil, nuts, and olive oil! Blend, blend, blend and you’re as good as gold. Green gold, that is. (Alternatively, just seek out a store bought vegan-friendly pesto for even quicker prep.)

Jar of homemade Easy Vegan PestoVegan breadstick dough rising in a mixing bowl covered with plastic wrap

This dough is based off of my favorite, go-to pizza dough. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it doubles in size like a boss. All that’s left to do is roll it out and spread with all of that green gold you must made. So, dang, tasty.

Parchment-lined baking sheet with vegan breadstick dough slathered with pestoSprinkling vegan parmesan cheese onto Vegan Pesto Breadstick dough

A healthy sprinkle of vegan parm and into the oven they go. Then out they come, fluffy, pillowy sticks of pesto, cheesy, breadstick goodness. Swoon.

Freshly baked Vegan Pesto Breadstick dough ready for slicingVegan Pesto Breadsticks sliced with a pizza cutter

I was so pleased with how these turned out. They’re:

Fluffy
Light
Pesto infused
Perfectly ‘cheesy’
Slightly crisp on the edges
Pillowy
Comforting
Satisfying
Shareable
& Perfect with pasta or marinara

Friends, you’re going to love this recipe! It’s so easy and makes a ton. Freeze your leftovers for meals later in the week. If pesto isn’t your thing, just brush with olive oil and top with the parmesan cheese. You can’t go wrong with basic. Cheers!

Cutting board with a batch of our Cheesy Pesto Vegan Breadsticks recipe

Vegan Pesto Parmesan Breadsticks

Simple vegan pesto breadsticks topped with vegan parmesan cheese. Wholesome, dairy-free ingredients that mimic the flavor of traditional breadsticks perfectly.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Batch of homemade Vegan Pesto Breadsticks on a parchment-lined cutting board
4.69 from 22 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 12 (breadsticks)
Course Appetizer, Side, Snack
Cuisine Italian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 3 months, Dough only
Does it keep? (dough only), 2-3 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 packet active dry yeast (1 packet yields ~2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 Tbsp cane sugar (or granulated – you could also sub maple syrup, or honey if not vegan)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 1/2-3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour or whole-wheat pastry flour (I use a mix of the two)
  • 3 Tbsp vegan-friendly basil pesto (my recipe below)
  • 3-4 Tbsp vegan parmesan cheese

For the Vegan Pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh basil (tightly packed // rinsed and thoroughly dried)
  • 1/3 cup raw walnuts or pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 healthy pinch (~1/4 tsp) each sea salt and black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp vegan parmesan cheese (or sub 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast, or omit)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  • To make the pesto, add all ingredients to a food processor and mix until combined, leaving a little texture. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Store covered in the fridge for up to a couple weeks, though best when fresh. Freeze for longer term storage.
  • For the breadsticks, add 1 cup warm water – 110 degrees (43 C) or about the temp of bath water – to a large mixing bowl (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Make sure it’s not too hot or it will kill the yeast. Sprinkle on yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the sugar, oil, salt and stir. Using a wooden spoon, slowly add the flour and mix until a dough ball forms. You may not be able to add all 3 cups of flour, so add a little at a time until it won’t accept anymore (amount as original recipe is written // refer to the higher end of the range if altering batch size). You will likely add in more while kneading.
  • Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until a smooth ball comes together.
  • Wipe out your mixing bowl and add 1 Tbsp olive oil (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Add dough back in, flipping a couple times to cover with oil, leaving the seam side down. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for about an hour. The dough should double in size (see photo).
  • Cut the dough in half. Reserve one half for later use. Will freeze for up to 3 months, or stay in the fridge for a few days.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (232 C).
  • On a floured surface, roll the remaining half of the dough out into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Carefully transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet, reforming it into a rectangle.
  • Leaving the edges bare, generously brush with vegan pesto and top with an even layer of vegan parmesan cheese. You could also add a handful of vegan mozzarella if you wish, such as Daiya shreds. In place of the pesto, you could also sub red sauce.
  • Bake for 11 – 13 minutes or until the crust and cheese are golden brown. Slice and serve immediately.

Notes

*To make these freezer-friendly for future use, par-bake the whole batch for 5 minutes, slice, cool and store in a freezer-safe bag or container. Pull out and bake on a baking sheet in a 450-degree F (232 C) oven until fluffy and golden brown.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
*Basic dough recipe from Food Republic
*Pesto adapted from Food 52

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 breadsticks Calories: 86 Carbohydrates: 13 g Protein: 2.4 g Fat: 2.5 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 180 mg Sugar: 1 g

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  1. Beth says

    I made these tonight using your gf pizza dough recipe but with these instructions and subbed olive brine+water for the oil in the pesto. My daughter is following the low fodmap diet right now so sadly can’t have garlic either. I left it out and my husband and I (heavy garlic lovers) just sprinkled some garlic powder on our individual pieces…delicious!

  2. Caitlin says

    Thanks, I was wondering if not making the pesto would leave the surface burnt or something, my dough is prepping now so I think I’ll do the same modifications!

  3. Bernadette says

    Hi Dana,

    Can I make this recipe with gluten free flour blend, the same that you use for your gluten free pizza (mixture of white and brown rice flour)?

  4. Stephanie Brevik says

    Just in case this helps anyone.. I kept expecting my yeast to activate as with every other bread recipe, you want to check to make sure you aren’t using dead yeast and wasting all your ingredients. I threw away 3 envelopes until I read another review that talked about how it’s typical to add sugar first to check the life of the yeast. So it wasn’t that my yeast was bad, it’s just not how Dana’s recipe works. So keep this in mind.. hope this saves someone from making my mistake ? the bread sticks were delicious!!! Thanks for an awesome recipe ?

  5. Barbara Naylor says

    oh wow, this was wonderful. Thank you for the recipe! AMAZING! I made my kids one batch with sauce and Daiya cheese and your Parmesan. I made one for my husband and I with the pesto and Parmesan and fresh garden sliced tomato. It was amazing and my 11 year old said “hey mom, I thought going vegan would be hard but I feel really good about it”. Love love love this recipe, it might be a weekly fav. Much love and compassion!
    Barbara

  6. Bo says

    Absolutely wonderful even though I burnt them a little.

    I’ve toasted nuts before, and they burn much sooner than 14 minutes… is this inevitable?

    Thank you for opening my eyes to how delicious vegan cooking can be =] =]

  7. healthy candle says

    Oh my Goodnes, this look wonderful. I´m looking for another party to serve this recipe. It´s an excellent way to share with my friends, i don´t know anything about them.

  8. Jennifer says

    Made these breadsticks to go along with my dinner this evening, but didn’t make the pesto because I didn’t have any basil. Instead, I topped it with melted butter, the vegan parmesan cheese, and dried oregano leaves. Tasted amazing! Thanks for the recipe.

  9. Katie says

    I made the pesto (not the breadsticks), and it was super yummy!! It was my first time making pesto, too. I used nutritional yeast, and didn’t need to adjust the seasonings. And I ate it with zucchini noodles.
    Excellent recipe!
    Thank you, Dana.

  10. Katie says

    I made the pesto (not the breadsticks), and it was super yummy!! It was my first time making pesto, too. I used nutritional yeast, and didn’t need to adjust the seasonings. Excellent recipe!
    Thank you, Dana.

  11. Naomi says

    Loved the pesto. Found the bread a bit thick and doughy, so think I’ll roll out the next batch a lot thinner. I also think the time the dough takes to rise should be included in the total time as 32 minutes isn’t accurate. I read the recipe at a glance, picked up the ingredients and then got home to realise it would be an extra hour on top of the total time stated.
    I recently discovered your blog and am excited to see try other recipes.

  12. megan says

    SOO delicious! I accidentally posted this on the parm cheese recipe page (which was excellent) but had to rave about the pesto! I tried this after so many other amazing recipes on this site and thought it had to be decent. I actually doubled the recipe because I had so much fresh basil out of the garden, used 5 Huge garlic cloves, the traditional pine nuts + a couple walnuts and the rest per the recipe. my husband couldn’t tell the difference and couldn’t stop raving about it! we were both impressed at how amazing it was – very basily/garlicky and perfect consistency and awesomely vegan. my new fave! :)

  13. amanda says

    I just made the pesto and added it to zoodles and topped it with tomato. The pesto itself was out of this world amazing! And I used the vegan parm, too. Delicious!

  14. Leaf says

    It’s kind of deceiving to say total prep time is 32 minutes when in reality you need to let the dough rise for an hour. Still love you though.

  15. valerie sobus says

    quick question i hope you can answer for me! how long do you think this pesto would stay good for if refrigerated?!

  16. Kristen says

    This pesto is the bomb! Topped my cauliflower crust with it = divine! Sometimes you just gotta have pizza – and this dairy free, grain free pizza totally fit the bill – and I feel GOOD about eating it!

  17. Adhiti says

    I used your recipe for vegan pesto and put it in some pasta. My non-vegan, Italian friend couldn’t tell the difference! Thank you so much!

  18. Erin E says

    I haven’t tried the full recipe with the breadsticks, but oh my goodness, the vegan pesto recipe is ADDICTIVE. I don’t follow a vegan diet (but I try to make swaps when I can) and this is better than “real” pesto. I have to immediately freeze the batch when I make it because otherwise I will stand over my food processor and eat it by the spoonful.

    I included this recipe in a “favorite healthy recipes” post on my blog (giving you full credit, of course) – I hope that’s ok!

  19. Megan Masten says

    Hi! I absolutely LOVE YOUR BLOG!!! I have had the best day just looking through all the recipes – hence why I am back here on this one. I am gluten free – have you found that this recipe works okay with the gluten free blend as opposed to regular bleached flour? Looking forward to hearing from you – thank you so so much in advance!
    -Megan

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Megan! Thanks for the kind words. I haven’t tried these GF, but believe you could try my GF crust with similar results! Best of luck!

  20. Heeral says

    I love this idea! I have a quick question though, what do I do if I don’t have parchment paper? I have large pizza pans (with holes) Would this work instead? Thanks!

  21. Danielle Randon says

    I tried making this bread and I noticed that you made a mistake. Sugar needs to be added to the water in order for the yeast to activate.

      • Danielle Randon says

        No, in order for yeast to activate it has to be warm water WITH sugar. You said to put it in warm water, let it activate and then add sugar. In reality you must add the sugar AND yeast to the warm water in order for it to activate. Are you sure you have actually made this bread before?

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

          Yes, I’ve made it before and it worked perfectly. I have always added the yeast to the warm water, let it foam, then add the sugar along with the other ingredients. It works just fine.

  22. Hannah says

    I haven’t made the breadsticks yet, but the pesto is delicious. Ate it last night on bruschetta and on pasta today. It’s so good! My girlfriend almost didn’t believe it was vegan! Definitely going to be the go-to recipe from now on. Thank you!

  23. Jessi says

    I just happened to stumble upon your website and I am so HAPPY that I did. All of your recipes have the ‘everyday’ baker in mind. It’s nice to know that I don’t need a ton of obscure kitchen equipment to make something amazing.
    Thank you for having such inspired recipes.
    A new dedicated follower,
    Jessi

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Glad you found us and are finding inspiration here, Jessi! Let us know if you have any recipe requests or suggestions in the future. We love hearing from readers!

  24. Maureen says

    Made these last night and dipped them in marinara sauce and they were amazing! I did cheat and used store bought dough but the pesto and “cheese” were so yummy! Thanks :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh good! Glad you liked these Maureen! Sometimes I cheat and buy Trader Joe’s garlic and herb dough. So good! Thanks again for sharing. :D

  25. Caitlin says

    These look so amazing! My family has recently started eating vegan so these are definitely a must try for us. Xo Caitlin

  26. Quaintrelle Georgiana says

    This looks delicious, I must try to bake that the next movie night :) Thank you for the tip!

  27. HippyMom says

    I love your recipe maybe I might try it with some kind of sprouted flour and hemp oil in the pesto and bread. Well good job as always!!!

  28. Liz says

    Oh, wow, I like the way you’re thinking here! The breadsticks look so delicious. Though I’m not sure how “shareable” I would consider them to be.. (:

  29. Eileen says

    For a minute I was all “wait, isn’t pesto vegan already?” but then I remembered that people who aren’t me put in cheese. :) These breadsticks sound fabulous!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I like them as is with pastas. Otherwise, just a basic marinara, which I link to in the post. Hope that helps!

  30. Katy says

    OMG! Been looking for weeks for the perfect pizza/flatbread recipe for a party appie and this fits the bill. Thanks Dana! Pinned :)

  31. Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog says

    Wow-these look so yummy! And I totally agree…sometimes a girl just needs a bread stick!!

  32. Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen says

    Looks delicious, as always! I tried Spin Pizzeria and Succotash per your suggestion while I was in Kansas City over the weekend, and loved them! Especially Succotash, what a great place! Thanks for the recommendations!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      OH yay! That makes me happy. LOVE spin – super amazing pizza + salads. And you can’t go wrong with Succotash!

  33. Nazia @ This Baker Girl Blogs says

    I often end up eating the entire bowl of breadsticks before the main course has even arrived! These look delicious and I shall have to give them a try to feed my addiction.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Been there, done that. Hopefully with the par-baking and freezing suggestion, you could just bake 1-2 at a time!

  34. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe says

    Oh hellllllllllll yes. Never have I ever been so glad to be finished a juice cleanse. ‘Cause this girl is craving cheesy goodness like no other, yet I’m a little timid to jump right back into dairy. Yum!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      It doesn’t affect the flavor. It’s actually quite delicious! Hope you give it a go. You could also add some fresh on top once they’re done baking. Hope that helps!

  35. De says

    You, ma’am, are outdoing yourself! I have to try these very soon. Going to try to convince a friend of mine to make it with me for dinner tonight, but if not I’ll do so on my own later. These demand to be made. Thank you!

  36. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says

    Homemade breadsticks are the beeeeeest! I love making them and dipping them in tomato sauce too! Great recipe :)

      • Laura @ The Green Forks! says

        We’re moving next so I can’t store extra food. I ended up making a half batch of the pesto, a quarter batch of the parm (in my coffee grinder, which I use for spices- not coffee, haha), and the whole batch of dough. Spread it over two nights and it worked out perfectly so there were no leftover parts. It was AMAZING! Thanks for the delicious recipe.

  37. Maryea {happy healthy mama} says

    These look like they are full of flavor. What a perfect accompaniment for Pizza Friday!!