Dairy-Free Basil Pesto


This is a great sauce to add to a number of dishes, and a main player in my “No-tellini” Basil Pesto Chicken and Veggies recipe.  The consistency is great and no flavor is lacking with the exclusion of cheese.

Dairy-Free Basil Pesto

Prep time: 4 hours, 10 minutes   Cook time: 0 minutes   Total time:  4 hours, 10 mintues

Yield:  About 1 1/2 cups



2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

1 cup fresh greens (I recommend spinach or kale)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup pine nuts (can substitute walnuts)

1/2 cup cashews

1 cup water

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 garlic cloves, crushed



1.  Soak cashews overnight in water.  This will soften them up (not to mention remove harmful phytates) and yield a more cheese-like consistency when they are ground up the next day.

2.  Once cashews have soaked overnight (or at least 4 hours) drain the water they were in and pat them dry.

3.  Place cashews and nutritional yeast in a blender or food processor and grind until a creamy consistency has been formed.  You may have to scrape the sides of the food processor to get everything blended well.

4.  Crush garlic and add to cashew mixture along with basil, greens, and olive oil.  Continue blending until everything is well-integrated and a smooth texture has been produced.

5.  Add pine nuts (or walnuts) and pulse into the pesto.  If you want some bigger pieces, you’ll only need to pulse a few times.  The more you blend it, the fewer nut chunks will be in the final product.

6.  Pour mixture into a storage container, place in the fridge, and enjoy within the next 2 weeks.

*Note: If the oil and solids separate, this is normal and you can simply re-mix the ingredients with a spoon.


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