Dairy-Free Pine Nut Pesto

dressings & sauces recipes Mar 21, 2019

Simple, delicious and dairy free? This pesto is speaking my language. And I can promise that even die-hard parmesan lovers will fall in love as well. Pesto is a great sauce to prep ahead of time to enjoy throughout the week with vegetables, fish or chicken. It instantly takes even the most basic meals to the next level. Also, if you’re looking for another delicious version, check out my Fennel Frond Pesto as well!

Similar to standard pesto, basil, pine nuts, lemon juice and garlic are key players in this recipe. But to get that same cheesy tang that parmesan typically provides, I rely on my all-time favorite, nutritional yeast. This dairy-free cheese alternative is taking the health community by storm, and I’m most definitely on board.

For those who aren’t familiar, nutritional yeast in an inactive yeast that’s been heated and dried into flakes. While it’s become a phenomenon because of its remarkable cheese-like flavor, it’s also filled with vitamins, minerals and protein. These properties boost energy, strengthen the immune system and promote hair, skin and nail health.

I typically pick up a jar of Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast, because it’s high quality, gluten-free and tastes incredible. Not only do I use this tasty seasoning in pesto, but I also sprinkle it on top of pasta, tacos or roasted veggies for a burst of extra flavor.

I whipped up this delicious recipe last week with roasted salmon, spaghetti squash, tomatoes and caramelized onions, and oh was it tasty. Plus, the color turned out so incredible, I couldn’t help but snap a picture. I’ve since been loving this pesto over roasted veggies and even used it as a salad dressing (which I highly recommend).

This recipe can also be used as a flavor-packed pasta and pizza sauce that compliments any other ingredients you love. Just one taste, and I promise you’ll be hooked on this dairy-free, healthy alternative for good!

Check out how I made this easy, weeknight dinner on my Instagram @goodness_with_g


 YIELDS6 Servings
 PREP TIME5 mins COOK TIME5 mins TOTAL TIME10 mins


  •  4 cups fresh basil, large stems discarded
  •  ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp pinenuts
  •  4 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  •  3  garlic cloves
  •  ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  •  ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  •  3 tbsp water
  •  salt & pepper to taste


In a small sauté pan, add your pine nuts. Bring to medium heat and stir frequently. Once they begin to brown and get fragrant, remove from heat.

*Note* Pine nuts will burn quickly, so make sure to keep an eye on them!

To a high-speed blender or food processor, add all of your ingredients.
Mix until well-combined. Adjust seasonings to taste, and stream in more olive oil if you'd like.


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