No Cheese Basil Pesto

Dairy-Free/Vegan Basil Pesto

Once you have your thriving kitchen herb garden up and running (see our previous article) you’ll want to make sure you’re using all that great fresh produce!  A great way to use up excess basil is to make your own pesto.

The traditional basil pesto we know and love is made with cheese – typically parmesan or Romano.  However if you are looking for a dairy-free alternative, this fantastic recipe from Food Network Kitchen uses a combination of smoked almonds, pistachios and green tea to give a depth of flavor that cheese would normally provide.

Their great tip for leftovers is to freeze them in an ice cube tray and store for up to one month!

Vegan Basil Pesto

Vegan Basil Pesto


  • 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup smoked almonds
  • 1/3 cup shelled lightly salted roasted pistachios (from about 3/4 cup shell-on)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened green tea, chilled or at room temperature
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Add the basil, almonds, pistachios, tea, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt and lemon zest to a food processor. Cover and pulse a few times.
  2. Drizzle in the oil while pureeing; continue to process until the mixture makes a coarse pesto. Add salt to taste.

Recipe and image courtesy of Food Network Kitchens


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