Sauces and Seasonings

Dairy-Free Basil Pesto

Dairy Free Basil Pesto from A Thousand Crumbs

The love for my food processor continues!  So far we’ve made zesty tomatillo salsa and the best almond butter ever, but it is time to tackle pesto!  Have you ever made pesto?  No?  Me neither, until now!  Since this recipe has no cheese, you can really throw everything in the bowl and let your food processor do all of the work.  The result – BRIGHT green basil, garlic deliciousness.  What?  How is it that easy?   Keep reading…

I was cruising the Farmer’s Market last weekend, chatting with my favorite herb guy and was overwhelmed by the fragrant bouquets of basil.  Seriously, I can’t get enough Summer produce right now!  I grabbed three huge bundles and headed home on a mission.

Still no dairy, since I am only on week 10 of 17 of the Candida Plan, but I can have nuts as of last week, which is a huge win!  I had some pine nuts that I quickly threw in a pan to toast, but I knew without any kind of cheese, the pesto would need another flavor.  Basil, garlic, and lemon seemed like an appropriate combination, so I threw in some fresh lemon zest and lemon juice.  WOW!  Talk about adding a whole different kind of flavor to pesto.  It’s light and bright with a tangy finish.

I love tossing this pesto with zucchini noodles, chicken sausage, and cherry tomatoes for an easy weeknight meal.  It’s also great slathered on a sandwich (in my case a brown rice cake) to give a plain lunch a fresh twist.  This would make an awesome pizza sauce, too!

Use an ice cube tray to freeze unused pesto, that way you have perfect portions to defrost as needed!

Dairy-Free Basil Pesto

Print Recipe
Serves: 1 1/2 Cups Cooking Time: 15 Minutes


  • 12 cups packed basil leaves
  • 4-5 garlic cloves to taste
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil



To toast pine nuts, add to an ungreased skillet over medium heat. Stir often, ensuring an even brown. Pine nuts are done when they are fragrant and golden in color.


Add basil, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts and salt and pepper to food processor. Pulse to break down ingredients.


Set processor to on. Through the feed tube, drizzle olive oil slowly. Less olive oil will give you more of a paste, great for paninis or pizza. More olive oil will make a great sauce for pasta or dipping.


Taste, and adjust garlic, salt and pepper to your liking.


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