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Easy Dairy-Free Homemade Pesto Sauce

Pesto is like a magic sauce for my taste buds. You know the saying “Everything taste better with ketchup”? Well for me it is “Everything tastes better with pesto”

The smell of fresh basil alone can have my head swimming in delight but then when you look at the nutrition punch the beautiful green leaf provides it is a no-brainer to have this in your kitchen. I have tried and tried to grow basil in my garden and it just is a big fail. I continue to try and if you have any tips for me please send them my way. In the meantime, I usually buy a basil plant from Trader Joe’s and put it in a pretty pot and leave it on my counter. The plant is not only lovely to look at but it is very affordable and I love the idea of picking my herbs fresh right from my countertop.

Fresh basil is the best!

Basil is an excellent source of vitamin K, manganese, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It’s also a good source of calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

My favorite thing to make with basil is pesto sauce. It is easy and you can use it in so many ways. My favorite thing to do with this easy dairy-free pesto sauce is to put it on some gluten-free, dairy-free flatbread and top it with mushrooms. You can find the recipe here. Another fun way to use pesto is on gluten-free pasta. I love it with this gluten-free, low carb pasta.

How do you like to use it?

Easy Dairy-Free Pesto Sauce

Judy Malone
Store bought pesto is yummy but making it yourself could never be easier and it tastes that much better.
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 enough for two flatbreads


  • Blender or food processor


  • 2 cups fresh basil See notes on where to buy
  • 2.5 tbs pine nuts You can use walnuts instead if you want
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil you can use 1/4 if you like it less wet
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free parmesan cheese Violife parmesan cheese works great
  • 1 dash salt optional
  • 1 squeeze of fresh lemon optional


  • Place your two cups of fresh basil in your food processor or blender. I used the twister jar from Blendtec. See notes for more info on the Blendtec and twister jar.
    fresh basil in a Blendec twister jar
  • Next add your garlic, pine nuts to the processor. Add in your pinch of salt and squeeze of lemon if you are using these optional ingredients now.
    Fresh basil, pine nuts and garlic in a twister Blendtec jar
  • Run your processor until you achieve the texture you want. Your pesto should be very finely minced but not a puree.
  • With your processor running slowly drizzle in your extra-virgin olive oil.
    Homemade pesto in a twister Blendtec jar
  • Lastly, add in your parmesan cheese and run your processor just for a brief moment. You do not want to puree your pesto, just run it long enough to blend in the cheese.
  • The last thing you need to do is figure out how you are going to enjoy this beautiful pesto you just created. My suggestion is to add it to the low carb pasta you will find in my Pantry Favorites or use it to make my awesome gluten-free-dairy-Free Pesto Flatbread. See recipe notes for the links.
  • Store your gluten-free, dairy-free pesto sauce in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Recipe Notes

  • I love to buy my fresh basil from Trader Joe’s. You can usually get a whole plant for less than $4.00. I used 1/2 of the plant to make the pesto.
  • Here is more information on the Violife dairy-free cheese.
  • You can use full dairy parmesan cheese as well if you are not looking for dairy-free pesto.  My favorite dairy parmesan cheese is one that has been aged at least 10 years. I prefer the block vs the already shredded because the already shredded has an anti-caking agent added to it. EWE.
  • Here is the link to one of my favorite gluten-free low carb pasta.
  • Here is the link to my gluten-free dairy-free mushroom pesto flatbread.
  • The Blendtec blender and twister jar win the most used machine in my kitchen.  I use both of them a few times a day. I have tried others and always regret it. Hands down the best!
Keyword dairy-free pesto sauce

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