This dairy free, vegan, and Whole30 pesto recipe is the perfect way to use up the last of your Summer basil!
Happy Tuesday, friends! Since we had a basil plant in our little city garden this year, I am determined to use every last basil leaf before it dies. And one easy way to do that is to make lots and lots of pesto!!!
Now, I’m Italian – so normally I think of basil pesto with plenty of parmesan cheese. That’s just the way we’ve always done it! But the truth is… it doesn’t really need the cheese every time you make it. Sure, if I’m serving pasta, I want it the traditional way. But the base of pesto is fresh herbs, olive oil, garlic, and pine nuts. Nothing bad about those things besides some healthy fat! Which is why, this dairy free, vegan, and Whole30 pesto recipe has become a favorite in our house.
As you guys know, there are things about Whole30 that I didn’t love, but there was also a lot that I did love! Similarly to this recipe, I’m not sure I would have strayed from our traditional stuffed peppers before, but my Whole30 version is our favorite! It also helped get me hooked on chia pudding for breakfast and cauliflower rice for my Whole30 Chicken Taco Bowl that we love so much! So why not come up with a healthier pesto so we can eat it all the time, right?!
Dairy Free, Vegan, and Whole30 Pesto
The main difference between this pesto and traditional pesto is the lack of cheese. To make up for that missing flavor, I add lemon juice (so good!) and extra pine nuts so you don’t miss out on the creamy texture. It’s so good, you’ll crave this version just as much as the traditional recipe!
Whole30 Pesto Recipe
1/3 cup basil
1/3 cup parsley
1 garlic clove
3 tbsp pine nuts
1/2 lemon, juiced
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper (course sea salt is best if you have it!)
Wash the basil and parsley.
Add parsley, fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts and lemon juice to a food processor.
Pulse a few times to break up the leaves. Then add olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Pulse until smooth and then taste test it! Add more olive oil, salt or pepper if you think it needs it.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freeze it for another time!
Perfect Recipes For Pesto
You can add this pesto to SO MANY different things. Also, if you want to double (or triple) this recipe before your basil goes bad, don’t worry about eating it all at once! I usually freeze it in a small container with enough for about a 1/2 pound of pasta at a time. I also love freezing it in ice cube trays for even smaller portions! That way you can pop it out, and add to your soup or sauce in the winter for a kick of summery herbs. YUM! Here are a few other ideas:
Cauliflower Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage, Asparagus, and Tomatoes
One of my all time favorite recipes. Instead of using a pre-made pesto, use this pesto! The whole dish comes together super quickly (even when you make your own pesto) and it’s gluten free!
Looking for a Whole30 way to eat this Whole30 compliant sauce? Put it on zucchini noodles! Add your favorite protein if you’d like, and you’re good to go.
Pesto Pasta Salad
One of the main reasons why I love pesto is that it doesn’t need to be served warm. We’ve been making this pasta salad for BBQs and parties forever, but using dairy free pesto means our lactose intolerant and vegan friends can have it, too! I haven’t made a nut free version yet – that’s the next one I need to figure out!
Want to switch up your homemade pizza? Use pesto instead of tomato sauce!
While my Pasta Fagioli recipe doesn’t call for pesto, you could stir some in over medium heat so it cooks in, or dollop a little right on top for an extra flavor punch! Think about it, it’s just like adding some extra herbs and garlic to your soup – and who doesn’t want that?!
You know, like Avocado Toast, but with pesto! In the photo below, you can see that I added some tomatoes on top, but you could also add eggs, fresh mozzarella, or even avocado!
*You could also use this on any of your favorite sandwiches or paninis – just like you would any other condiment!
The day I made this batch, I was also craving salmon, so we put the two together! Just bake your salmon as you normally would, only adding a little avocado oil to the pan. Then, when it comes out, spread the pesto over the top. You can see photos of it below – it was SO good! And it’s Whole30! Serve over a simple salad of tomatoes, red onion, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Such a big hit!
- 1/3 cup basil
- 1/3 cup parsley
- 1 garlic clove
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper (course sea salt is best if you have it!)
- Wash the basil and parsley.
- Add the herbs to a food processor, along with a garlic clove, pine nuts, the juice of 1/2 lemon.
- Pulse a few times to break up the leaves. Then add olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pulse until smooth and then taste test it! Add more olive oil, salt or pepper if you think it needs it.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freeze it for another time!
This batch is a great size if you're putting it on salmon, using it for toast/sandwiches, or other little things. If you would rather use it for a pound of pasta, I would suggest doubling this recipe so you have enough!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 334Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 155mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g