This Fresh Dairy Free Pesto is made with all natural ingredients and is perfect to make during the summer. Pesto is great in many recipes! Some of my favorites are adding it over pasta, on little potatoes, as sauce on pizza, or as a spread on sandwiches.
Fresh Dairy Free Pesto: Substitutions & Notes:
Raw Cashews: I chose to use raw cashews in this recipe because I always have them on hand and I like the neutral flavor they bring to the pesto. You can substitute pine nuts (which are the traditional nut used in making pesto) or walnuts. You can also use a mix of 2 of the nuts as well. For example, if you want less of the traditional pine nut flavor, you could use half pine nuts and half cashews.
Nutritional Seasoning: Traditional Pesto uses parmesan cheese, which is what we are using nutritional seasoning to replace. You can substitute dairy free parmesan cheese in this recipe and of course if you are not dairy free, you could replace this with real parmesan.
Olive Oil: I highly suggest using a high quality olive oil in this recipe, but you can substitute with any other high quality oil such as avocado oil. I use Braggs Extra Virgin Olive Oil because it is unrefined, unfiltered and a brand I trust. 100% natural, extra-virgin olive oil is high in antioxidants with many health benefits, but you want to make sure that is what you’re getting. There is a lot of fraud going on in the olive oil market where companies claim the olive oil is one thing but is diluted with other lower quality oils.
Most people only enjoy fresh pesto during the summer, but I like to make it in bulk and enjoy it throughout the year by freezing it into cubes. You can simply make the pesto and then fill it into an ice cube tray. Scoop pesto into each cube and press it down to get it compact. I prefer using an easy release silicone tray like this one because it makes it so much easier to pop the cubes out. This recipe will fill up 1 average size ice tray. Place the tray in the freezer for 3-4 hours, just long enough for it to freeze. Once the cubes are frozen, pop them out and place in a freezer bag or container and store in the freezer until ready to enjoy.
When you’re ready to have some pesto, take out however many cubes you want and let them sit out for about 20 minutes to thaw. You can also heat them in the microwave but it might change the texture a little bit. It only takes 10-20 seconds to warm them up so be very careful not to over heat them! I make the pesto in the Summer and continue to use the frozen pesto cubes until the next Spring so enjoy your pesto all year!!
Here it is! If you make this Fresh Dairy Free Pesto I would love to know what you think so let me know! 🙂 Happy cooking, friends!
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 1-2 garlic cloves, depending on how garlicky you like it
- ⅓ cup nutritional seasoning
- 3 cups fresh basil, packed full
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt + more to taste
- First, place the cashews and garlic clove in food processor. Process until it turns into a fine meal, about 20 seconds.
- Next, add in the rest of the ingredients and process until fully combined.
- Enjoy immediately, freeze, or store in an air tight container for up to 5 days.