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Looking inside a flip-top glass jar filled with pesto.

Dairy-Free Pesto

If you’re looking for a flavorful pesto sauce that is vegan with no cheese, look no further than this easy Dairy-Free Pesto Recipe! Packed with the flavors of fresh basil and garlic, this sauce goes well on almost anything. Everyone loves this vegan pesto sauce.

  • Total Time: 6 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x


Units Scale
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups loosely-packed fresh basil leaves
  • 12 tablespoons of water (optional, for thinning out the sauce to the desired texture)


  1. In the base of a blender or food processor, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic clove, pine nuts, salt, and fresh basil leaves.
  2. Process on high for 30-45 seconds or until the ingredients have blended together. The pesto should have a smooth and creamy consistency. Feel free to add up to several tablespoons of water if you want the sauce to be thinner.
  3. Serve immediately, or store in a tightly-sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


  1. You can use the pesto on cooked pasta, or on top of a pizza or flatbread. You can also thin it out a bit with olive oil and use it as a salad dressing. 
  2. Feel free to substitute any other nut or seeds for the pine nuts, including sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, or cashew nuts. These will all provide a lovely nutty flavor to your pesto.
  3. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 4 days. Or, freeze any leftover pesto in an ice cube tray for long-term storage. Then, pop out the pesto cubes and store them in a zip-top bag. The next time you need pesto, just defrost a few of your pesto cubes.
  4. Now that we’re almost into summer, there is just so much fresh basil available. But, if you don’t have 3 full cups worth of fresh basil, you could always make this pesto recipe with baby spinach, baby kale, or any other tender green or herb.

Keywords: pine nut pesto, vegan pesto sauce, pesto without cheese