Vegan Pesto (Dairy-Free) – a quick and easy pesto that is dairy-free and paleo! The perfect way to use your fresh basil!
Best Vegan Pesto
I am always looking for and trying to create new and fun dairy free recipes and this one has got to be one of my favorites. I have always loved pesto, but as you know, it typically has cheese in it (parmesan). So I am so excited to make a version that I can actually eat! And I really can’t believe how delicious pesto can be without the cheese – I couldn’t even tell the difference.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Flavor: Even without the parmesan cheese (which is normally found in pesto), this recipe packs a major flavor punch!
- Freezer-Friendly: I absolutely love that you can make a huge batch of this and then freeze as much as you want. Simply place in a freezer-safe container (leaving enough room at the top to allow for natural expansion as it freezes) and place in the freezer for up to 3-4 months! Using ice cube trays initially is a great idea and then pop out the frozen cubes and place them in a freezer-safe bag so you have pre-portioned amounts!
- End-of-Summer: Anyone else always seem to have a ton of basil left at the end of the summer? Me too. This is typically how I use that all up so it don’ts go to waste!
How Long Does this Vegan Pesto Last?
It should last 5-7 days in the refrigerator or 3-4 months in the freezer.
Different Types of Basil Leaves
There are actually quite a few different types of basil plants, but Sweet Basil is general the preferred variety sold in stores and used in making pesto. Here are a few different varieties:
- Sweet Basil
- Christmas Basil
- Cinnamon Basil
- Dark Opal Basil
- Holy Basil
- Lemon Basil
- Lime Basil
- Spicy Bush Basil
- Purple Ruffles Basil
- Sweet Thai Basil
To read more about these different types of basil – check out this resource!
How to Make Vegan Pesto
Gather your ingredients.
Place ingredients in a food processor.
Pour in your olive oil.
Process until you have reached your desired consistency.
Taste and adjust flavor and consistency with additional garlic, salt or olive oil.
Serve or freeze!
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Vegan Pesto (Dairy-Free) – a quick, easy and delicious option that is diary-free and whole30 compliant!
- 1.5 – 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Combine basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice and kosher salt into small food processor.
- Start food processor and slowly add olive oil.
- Once olive oil is completely incorporated, stop food processor and taste pesto.
- Add additional salt, olive oil or pine nuts as desired.
- Garlic: This recipe is a little on the heavier side with the garlic 🙂 Feel free to add just one clove of garlic (especially if it is big) and then taste – add the second one if you want to!
- Nutritional Yeast: nutritional yeast provides a little bit of that “cheesy” flavor without adding cheese 🙂 The recipe is fine without it, but it takes it to the next level!
- Taste and Adjust: Always taste and adjust flavor or texture accordingly! If you want it thinner – add more olive oil. If you need more salt, add it a pinch at a time. If you need more acid, add an additional squeeze of lemon juice!
- Storage: Freeze up to 3-4 month. Store in refrigerator 5-7 days, in airtight container.
Keywords: dairy free pesto, vegan pesto, whole30 pesto, paleo pesto