Pesto in its traditional form gets its distinct taste from Pecorino Romano cheese, which is made from sheep’s milk.  To make your own dairy free version, swap the Italian cheese for nutritional yeast and increase the salt content.  The texture won’t be quite the same but equally as delicious nonetheless.

Pestos are not limited to being made from basil. Experiment with other herbs and greens, even try combining them.

Dairy-Free Pesto

  • Prep Time:8 minutes
  • Cook Time:2 minutes
  • Total Time:10 minutes
  • Servings:8
  • Medium


  • 2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Photo by Kristine Mahan
  • Step 1

    Juice a lemon until you have at least 1 tablespoon.

    Photo by Kristine Mahan
  • Step 2

    Add nutritional yeast, nuts and garlic to a food processor.

  • Step 3

    Add 1 cup of basil (leaves should be plucked from the stems) to food processor and 1/4 cup olive oil, mix until reduced.

  • Step 4

    Add second cup of basil to food processor as well as remaining ingredients.

  • Step 5

    Blend until you’re satisfied with the texture.

  • Step 6

    Eat with pasta, mixed in eggs or on a sandwich. Transfer the rest into a container to store.

    #SpoonTip: Store in fridge covered in a slim layer of olive oil up to 2 weeks.  Alternatively, it can be frozen and thawed for later use.