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Dairy Free Basil Pesto

Made in just minutes, this homemade, Dairy Free Basil Pesto is so versatile, makes a tasty stir through pasta sauce, dip, pizza sauce, and even sandwich spread. It’s bursting with fresh, light, and creamy flavours that you will absolutely love.

But before we get to the details of the recipe, here are a few tips and options for you, and be sure to watch my video below to see how easy it is to make!


Can I leave out the cashews or replace them? Yes, you can but the reason I add cashews is that they are so creamy and the perfect dairy-free substitute.

Why do you add hemp seeds at the end? The hemp seeds add the texture that parmesan cheese gives a traditional pesto. Plus, hemp seeds are high in protein and contain all nine essential amino acids, rich in omega-3 and a range of vitamins and minerals.

What else can I use this recipe for? I love adding this pesto to recipes like pasta, sandwiches, salads, grilled meats, and even with baked vegetables. It especially goes well with smashed potatoes or fried eggs!

How can I extend the shelf life of my pesto? You can freeze it in an ice cube container or in small Tupperware containers. Please note however that freezing it can result in a change of texture and taste after thawing. This will not be an issue if you use it in cooking but I would not suggest using it as a dip. I personally leave it in the refrigerator after I have sealed the jars for up to 6 months. Once opened, consume within 2 weeks.

And now it’s time to start cooking! As always, if you make any of my recipes, I would love to hear your feedback. Don’t forget to save it on your Pinterest board as well! I have a board named CreateCookShare that you can follow and save. Can’t wait to hear from you.

Be well and keep on cooking, Margaret x

Dairy-Free Basil Pesto

Makes 2 jars

200g fresh basil leaves (4 packed cups)

130ml olive oil (½ cup)

2-3 garlic cloves

100g pine nuts (¾ cup)

50g cashews (¼ cup)

Zest of 1 lemon

60ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (¼ cup)

50g hemp seeds (¼ cup)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1. Add to a food processor the pine nuts, cashews, garlic, and lemon zest. Blend on high until loose paste forms (about 20 seconds).

2. Add lemon juice, salt, and basil leaves. Pulse until the leaves have broken down and combined with the nuts. Remove lid and scrape down sides as needed.

3. Place lid back on and add olive oil, drizzling in while the machine is still on. Scrape down the sides of the food processor if needed.

4. Add into the pesto mixture the hemp seeds and combine them with a spatula. Do not process or pulse blend the hemp seeds as you want to keep these whole as they resemble the texture of parmesan.

5. Serve on 2 plates and garnish with fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, lemon zest, and olive oil.

6. Alternatively store in 2 sterilized jars and completely cover with olive oil before sealing the jars. The layer of oil preserves the pesto. Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Once opened consume within 2 weeks.

Note: The recipe can be halved or doubled in quantities


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