Pesto (Dairy Free Option)


Pesto is such a wonderful dish. Sadly over the years I avoided eating it for one reason, I DON’T LIKE CHEESE. I know, I know, weird, my family doesn’t get it either. What can I say, the texture, the smell the taste, it’s all of it. Yet whenever I saw pesto I would look longingly at it because I loved all the other ingredients, I just couldn’t get over the cheese. One day I finally decided to make it without the Parmesan, it was delicious! I loved it and started to use it all the time, on my pizza, pasta and salad.

Last week while visiting my parents they wanted pesto but with the Parmesan in it, so I did what I never would have before, I made it with cheese. To my surprise it was good. Most pestos call for pine nuts but those are expensive so I switch it up to use whatever I have on hand, walnuts, pecans, almonds or cashews. I don’t think I’ll try it with peanuts, they’re too strong of a flavor. My favorite so far has been cashews, they make for a very smooth pesto, especially when you leave out the Parmesan. Pesto is a great way to use all that basil growing in your summer garden. There’s nothing better than fresh picked basil in your pesto but if you have to go to the store that’s okay, it will still turn out delicious.


3 cups firmly packed fresh basil
6 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup nuts or your choice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan (optional, great without it)
1/2 tsp sea salt

Blend until smooth, if you have trouble blending add a little more olive oil. Serve over any type of pasta, on pizza, with chicken, salad or however you like it. When I make pasta I prefer to use brown rice pasta, you can find it at places like Trader Joe’s, Sprouts and Whole Foods.

This post is part of Hearth and Soul, it’s the blog hop’s 1st anniversary, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Fight Back Friday , Friday Potluck


About Katie Mae Stanley

Katie Mae Stanley is the writer at Nourishing Simplicity, where the focus is on nourishing foods, herbal remedies, simple living and faith. Ethnic and Mid-west foods are always a favorite in her kitchen and on her blog. She is also the author of the book Steeped: Simple Nourishing Teas and Treats. Katie Mae spent 10 years as a missionary dorm "mama" for a gaggle (almost 40) of amazing deaf girls at a school for the deaf in Baja California, Mexico. Now she finds herself state side ready to embrace God's next adventure. A cup of tea or coffee and a bit of dark chocolate make an appearance at some point in any given day. You can connect with the Nourishing Simplicity community on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.


  1. While I do prefer mine with cheese (cheeseslut that I am), I’d have no qualms with eating your version, either. Yum!

  2. Alea and Aurelia, thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy the pesto!

  3. I loovveeee pesto! It was one thing I couldn’t eat very much growing up because my Dad is allergic to basil – even the smell can set him off. But now I’m all grown up I can eat it all the time…and often do lol!

    For some reason I’ve never made any, even though I have a couple of basil plants in the garden. So thank you for sharing the recipe, it has kicked me into gear and I shall try it out 🙂

    I’m also taking part in the Hearth & Soul hop and that’s how I found your blog.

  4. One of my kids is lactose intolerant and one doesn’t care for cheese so I appreciate this recipe because I enjoy pesto. Thanks for sharing this recipe with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

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