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Bowl of vegan pesto with cooked shells.

Vegan Pesto (Dairy-Free)

  • Author: Erin Jensen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Approx. 1 cup
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: Italian


Vegan Pesto (Dairy-Free) – a quick, easy and delicious option that is diary-free and whole30 compliant!


  • 1.52 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


  1. Combine basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice and kosher salt into small food processor.
  2. Start food processor and slowly add olive oil.
  3. Once olive oil is completely incorporated, stop food processor and taste pesto.
  4. 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