This vegan, cholesterol free, pesto is so delicious, you will wonder why regular pesto has cheese in it at all. It is quick and easy and can be frozen to use in smaller amounts to be used later. I use basil or pesto in a ton of my recipes, so I make a big batch every few weeks and freeze it so I can add it to recipes here and there.
A food processor is the easiest tool to use when making pesto, but if you don’t have one, you can also use a blender or and emersion blender. I found these ice cube trays at Big Lot for a few dollars. They are great for freezing the perfect amount pesto. I just pop in a cube or two of pesto in any recipe that calls for basil.
Dairy Free Pesto
- 2 cups of basil (substitute as much as 1 cup spinach for basil)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- ½ cup high quality olive oil
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- (¼ cup pine nuts optional)
- Salt to taste
- Step 1 Put all ingredients into a food processor or blender
- Step 2 Set on high for about 30 seconds
- Step 3 Scrape the edges and blend again for about 30 more seconds
- Step 4 Use immediately or freeze for later
The only ingredient in this pesto recipe that you may not be familiar with is nutritional yeast. If you don’t eat dairy or even if you do, you need to start using nutritional yeast to make your recipes cheesy. It is a light yellow flakey powder with a cheesy flavor. It is full of vitamins and a great source of B-12 for those who follow a vegan diet. It is delicious sprinkled on popcorn or you can use it like parmesan cheese on noodles. You can also substitute nutritional yeast for cheese in many recipes.
Mix ¾ cup of pesto with a pound of cooked pasta for a quick meal. Add some cherry tomatoes and olives and you have a delicious pasta salad. Put it in your pasta with some soy milk and vegan cheese and you have a creamy gourmet comfort meal. It is great in soups or mixed in tofu scrambles as well.
This tofu scramble is one of my favorite things to put lots of this pesto into… Click here for the tofu scramble recipe.
I always put a few cubes of pesto in my Creamy Roasted Marinara Sauce too. Click here for the recipe.
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