It’s easy to make dairy free pesto that still tastes delicious! This recipe is for all the times that you crave the the fresh summery taste of basil with the comforting savoury undertones of pesto, but without the cheese. It’s possible to make a delicious pesto that tastes reminiscent of cheese but that’s completely dairy free. Instead of parmesan cheese, we use nutritional yeast in this recipe.
Nutritional yeast, a deactivated form of yeast, is high in B-vitamins and naturally tastes cheesy (savoury and salty), so you’ll see it in a lot of recipes for dairy-free “cream sauces” or even in nut “cheese” recipes. For another delicious pasta recipe with nutritional yeast, check out this one for Pasta Alfredo.
B-vitamins, specifically B6, B12 and folate, have been studied for their role in lowering homocysteine levels in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid, but elevated levels have been linked to dementia, heart disease and stroke.
These are all complex health issues with many causes and that require the care of a doctor. But, eating more plant based foods that are rich in B-vitamins, can only help support your overall health! We hope that you’ll love this pesto recipe as much as we do.
Dairy Free Pesto with Nutritional Yeast
2 loosely packed cups fresh basil
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp hempseeds or pinenuts
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
sea salt and pepper to taste
1. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until the basil is finely chopped and everything is blended together.
2. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. You can add more lemon for zip, more nutritional yeast for cheesiness, or more salt if needed.
3. You can use this pesto for serving with pasta (gluten free pasta if needed). We also love to use it as a dip or spread.