I am a big fan of pesto. It makes just about everything taste better, the color is exquisite and the smell is heavenly! For most people my traditional homemade pesto with Parmesan recipe works great. But for those of you that live dairy free I wanted to offer this version:  Dairy Free Basil Pesto (Whole30-Paleo-Keto-Vegan)!
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Dairy Free Basil Pesto! (Whole30-Paleo-Keto-Vegan) #pesto #vegan #paleo #whole30 #keto

How Do We Keep The Flavor Without the Dairy?

When it comes to making pesto dairy free, there are two options: you can just skip the parmesan or replace it with nutritional yeast. I think the second option is the way to go and here is why…

Dairy Free Basil Pesto! (Whole30-Paleo-Keto-Vegan) #pesto #vegan #paleo #whole30 #keto

Flavor and Nutrition…

When living dairy free you can miss out on some creaminess and flavor. Nutritional yeast will make your pesto just as creamy and just as flavorful (if not more) than Parmesan. Nutritional yeast has a very nutty/cheesy flavor and is loaded with B vitamins, trace minerals, and all nine amino acids making it high in protein too!

Dairy Free Basil Pesto! (Whole30-Paleo-Keto-Vegan) #pesto #vegan #paleo #whole30 #keto

Simple to Make:

Just pop basil leaves, garlic, sea salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, and olive oil in the food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Dairy Free Basil Pesto! (Whole30-Paleo-Keto-Vegan) #pesto #vegan #paleo #whole30 #keto

Use It On…

…pasta obviously! Or my Whole 30 Roasted Pesto Baby Potatoes

Dairy Free Basil Pesto! (Whole30-Paleo-Keto-Vegan) #pesto #vegan #paleo #whole30 #keto

…or in my Italian Meatballs with Pesto Zuccini Noodles!


The Recipe: Dairy Free Basil Pesto! (Whole30-Paleo-Keto-Vegan)

Tips and what you need: I like to buy a small basil plant at the grocery store to make pesto because it saves money and you can keep using it. Plus the plant leaves are much fresher that cut leaves. You will need nutritional yeast, and a food processor or blender. (<—I love my Blendtec!)

5 from 1 vote
Dairy Free Basil Pesto (Whole30, Paleo, Keto, Vegan)
Prep Time
3 mins
Cook Time
2 mins
Total Time
5 mins

A quick, easy, basil pesto recipe made without Parmesan cheese!

Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: vegan recipes, weeknight dinner
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
  • 1 large clove garlic peeled
  • 2 cups fresh organic basil leaves packed
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast optional but highly recommended
  • Sea salt and pepper
  1. Place garlic in processor or blender and pulse until chopped. Add all other ingredients and process until almost smooth
  2. Toss with pasta, zoodles, roasted potatoes or use to top steak, chicken, or salmon


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