Review: Sacla 'Free From' Pesto

Sacla 'Free From' (dairy-free vegan) Pesto

Dairy-free basil pesto from the big Italian food brand Sacla. Vegan pesto is no longer a rarity, and we know of half a dozen brands that omit the cheese. Our pesto taste test back in 2012 found four brands, and several more have arrived since. This Sacla one was a recent discovery we found in Waitrose:

Ingredients wise (see panel below), we find it odd that Sacla chose sunflower oil instead of olive oil, but they do that in their standard pesto too, so they're not penalising vegans. They also include glucose, which is strange, and potato starch, which probably helps with the texture. 

You'd think that vegan pesto would be easy. Olive oil + basil + garlic + pine nuts, then something to replace the cheese? At least Sacla added tofu and cashews for cheesiness, which we applaud, but garlic is missing from the ingredients too.

The texture is just right. Some of the pestos in our pesto taste test had strange textures, but this one is just like the traditional stuff. The colour of the Italian basil comes through strongly too.  

Once stirred through some pasta (we added chickpeas and sausage) the flavour gets works well. This pesto is good, although we'd prefer more olive oil and garlic flavours, as all you really get is the basil. It's a nice rounded taste though and you need nothing more with your pasta for a quick meal.

Round Up

This still isn't quite THE definitive vegan pesto, and we're still waiting for that. It's a good reliable brand though, and available widely, so is likely to be a popular choice. Making your own is easy enough though, and now that we can enjoy a decent vegan parmesan, what's stopping you!

Sacla Free From Pesto is available at Waitrose, Ocado, Tesco, Sainsburys and Amazon

Veganoo Score: ★★★
Sacla - 'Free From' Pesto
The Good: Good texture and flavour
The Not-so-Good: no olive oil or garlic

Footnote: Ingredients
Here is the ingredients panel from the pack we reviewed.

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  1. Replies
    1. We found a couple more vegan pestos. We're pestoed out!...

  2. I haven't tried it but I always found the tofu to be the weirdest part of the ingredients. You suggest that it adds some kind of 'cheeseishness' but I don't think pesto needs cheese.

  3. Pesto without cheese is not Pesto dude

    1. Cheese has narrowed your mind as well as your arteries.

    2. i lolled hard at this. my new favourite line.

  4. I eat it not because I'm vegan but because I'm allergic to eggs and dairy products and tbh it tastes good in moderation but if you overdo it then it's bleurgh.

    1. Yeah I repeat, I'm not vegan. I'd rate it 4 stars out of 5. In fact today I'm gonna try the tomato version!


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