Always vegan and refined sugar-free, mostly gluten-free and oil-free

  • Katie

Barley Pesto Salad

This delicious vegan pesto salad is super simple to make, and full of health promoting ingredients. Not only is this salad vegan (dairy-free obviously), but it is also oil-free! The pesto is made from whole foods ingredients. This salad makes many servings, and is great to bring to cookouts/potlocks, as well as meal prepping!

Happy almost weekend! I have a serious question for you guys, is it possible to go wrong with pesto? I personally believe that you can not. It is just so creamy and flavorful. When I first went vegan, this was one of the foods I thought was naturally vegan, but then later learned that it is typically made with cheese. The good news for all us vegans is that it is super simple to make vegan pesto. Not only is it super easy to sub out the cheese, but it is also incredibly easy to make vegan pesto using whole food plant based ingredients, and who can complain about that.

I think another reason I love pesto so much is because the ingredients it is typically paired with. Pesto pasta is a classic, and I don't think I need to explain why that is so awesome. It is the vegetables that really stand out for me. Mediterranean vegetables are some of my favorites. They are so light and refreshing, or fat (the healthy kind) and creamy. I encorporated mostly the refreshing types of vegetables in this salad, because it is getting warmer (finally), so my body is craving vegetables with higher water content.

Like I said earlier this recipe is perfect for meal prepping, or bringing to a cookout, because the ingredients store very well. You may think that the cucumber won't, but because the pesto has lemon in it, it helps the cucumbers stay fresher for longer. If you are not convinced, you could also chop the cucumber .fresh each time. Another reason to love this salad is that it is a complete meal that will not leave you craving anything, because it's high in protein, whole grains, healthy fats, different vegetable textures, and flavor of course!

I am so ready to share this recipe with you!


Total time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4-6


- 1 Cup pearled barley(dried)

- 1 Cup dried michelet beans (can sub canelli)

- 3 Cucumbers

- 2 Boxes cherry tomatoes

- 1 Can artichoke hearts

- 1/2 Red onion

- 1 Small can black olives (optional)

For the Pesto:

- 1 Cup basil packed

- 1/4 Cup walnuts

- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast

- 2 Cloves garlic

- Juice of 2 lemons


* = Notes

  1. Cook your beans and barley according to package instructions.

  2. Chop cucumbers into half moons, cherry tomatoes in half, and mice the red onion. Add to large bowl. Strain and rinse the Artichokes and olives* add to bowl. Add the cooled barley and beans.

  3. To make the pesto add all ingredients to blender and blend. You may need to add a splash of water to get it going, but the less you can use the better. Add pesto to salad and mix. Serve chilled!

* To help lower the sodium content of ingredients add them to water and heat, once water is hot allow to sit, and then rinse well with cold water.