This dairy free pesto recipe screams summer! Made with fresh basil leaves, spinach, pine nuts, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. It’s the perfect sauce for chicken, fish, or veggie pasta and only takes 5 minutes to make! Paleo, Whole30, and Vegan too!
This dairy free spinach pesto recipe is perfect for summer. So fresh and so green, I’m tempted to put it on everything I eat.
The perfect pesto is nutty, fresh, earthy, garlicky, and irresistible.
It’s versatile so you can use whatever ingredients you have in your pantry to make it. I love spreading it over chicken, salmon, zoodles, spaghetti squash, or roasted veggies.
This recipe yields 1 cup, so you’ll have plenty to use throughout the week.
Pesto is traditionally made with basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic, and quality olive oil. However, I wanted to make this pesto dairy-free. Without the cheese it still tastes delicious, and you can play around with the ingredients by throwing in whatever you have in your pantry and adjusting the pesto to your taste!
Herb: swap the basil out for parsley, cilantro, oregano, mint, or sage
Leafy green: swap out the spinach for another herb or leafy green like arugula, kale or chard
Nuts: swap out the pine nuts for walnuts, pecans, cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts, or sunflower seeds. Pine nuts can be very expensive so you can easily substitute using one of the nuts above.
To make nut free pesto: substitute with raw pumpkin seeds, or raw sunflower seeds
Tips for making Vegan Spinach Pesto in the Food Processor
Use fresh basil leaves – I recommend always using fresh basil leaves. Dried basil doesn’t compare to the fresh stuff, and won’t give you the creaminess you need.
Process the basil, spinach, pine nuts, and garlic first. You want the mixture to be rough and choppy before adding the olive oil.
Pulse instead of blend. Blending the pesto will cause it to be too runny, and it won’t stick to any chicken, fish, or veggie pasta.
Storing your Homemade Whole30 & Paleo Pesto
To store – place the pesto in a small airtight container. It’s best used within the first few days, but can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.
To freeze – using an ice cube tray, fill each cube hole with pesto. Freeze, remove from the tray, and store in a freezer bag. When ready to use, defrost. Pesto can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
This dairy free pesto recipe screams summer! Made with fresh basil leaves, spinach, pine nuts, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil it’s the perfect sauce for chicken, fish, or veggie pasta and only takes 5 minutes to make! Paleo, Whole30, and Vegan too!
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, about 2 large bunches