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  • Writer's pictureRita Winthrop

Dairy Free Pesto

I love pesto. Like, I REALLY love pesto. I love all that garlic, and 'cheesy' and basil. I just love all of it. I love it on pasta. I love it on toast with over easy eggs. I love it in a sandwich. The funny part? I don't make it that often. But when I asked my sister this week what her top three favorite meals were, one of them was pesto (I guess it's obvious we're related!) and I thought it'd been a while and I should get a quick and easy, and dairy free version up for you all.

I also love to pack this pesto with kale or spinach. It doesn't take away from the flavor - if anything I think it adds to it. I love doing kale in particular - its one of the greatest nutrient dense veggies. In a single cup of raw kale, you'll get 206% of your daily value of Vitamin A, 684% of Vitamin K and 134% of Vitamin C, has the power to lower cholesterol and fight heart disease all with a whopping total of 33 calories per cup. (Healthline) That's a pretty powerful leaf. So in my book, if I'm going to chow down on a big bowl of pesto pasta, lets make it as awesome for you as we can.

I also like to do toasted almonds instead of pine nuts - I tend to have these more on hand than pine nuts, so why not. Toast these quickly and then add to the food processor with fresh basil, the kale or spinach, salt, pepper, garlic, vegan parm, dried minced onion, lemon juice and half an avocado. Give this a pulse a few times before drizzling in the olive oil. Somewhere between 2-4 tablespoons should do. I love using the avocado, for its additional health benefits, good fats to fill you up, but also because it makes it so creamy, allowing you to use less vegan parm (or regular parm if you are not dairy free). It'll keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Dairy Free Pesto

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: None (unless you're adding it right to pasta!)


  • 1 cup fresh basil

  • 2 cups kale or spinach

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds (or pine nuts if you prefer traditional)

  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion

  • 1/2 avocado

  • 1/4 cup vegan parmesan

  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Toast chopped almonds for 2-3 minutes until slightly toasted.

  2. Put all ingredients except olive oil into a food processor. Pulse a few times.

  3. Turn on food processor and drizzle olive oil in, one tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency.

  4. Mix directly into pasta or save until later in the fridge.



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