Dairy Free Spinach Pesto Recipe

You need to try this Dairy Free Spinach Pesto!  Who doesn’t like pesto?  I actually prefer it over a tomato sauce any day.  We have basil growing in our backyard, so I thought I would use some of it to create a pesto sauce.

I could seriously sit there and smell it all day!  Seriously, if you don’t have basil growing in your house or yard, you need to get some.

Basil grows like a weed!  You can save so much money by growing your own herbs, and basil is no exception.

Plus, you can freeze them and have herbs all year round.  This dairy free spinach pesto recipe makes more of a paste than a sauce, so if you want to turn it into a sauce, you need to add a bit more oil and/or some water.


dairy free spinach pesto

I love using this recipe for making pizza.  It’s great with a cherry tomatoes as well.  If you are not familiar with nutritional yeast,  it comes in flake form and gives a nutty and cheesy taste.

It is often used in place of cheese.  Nutritional yeast is a great source of protein, fiber and B vitamins.

You can find it at most health stores.  I used almonds when making this pesto, since pine nuts are so expensive.  Almonds make a great substitute.

You can also make this healthy pesto recipe with kale if you like.  Works just as well.

Dairy Free Spinach Pesto

Dairy Free Spinach Pesto

Prep Time 10 min Serves 1.5 cups     adjust servings



  1. Throw everything in the food processor and mix until combined. Since my food processor’s lid broke and I am waiting for a new one to arrive, I had to use my Vitamix for this. I can tell you it was a bit harder in the Vitamix than the food processor.


Recipe Notes

This recipe made about 1 1/2 cups and should last a couple weeks in the fridge. You can also freeze it for longer storage. Enjoy!

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30 thoughts to “Dairy Free Spinach Pesto Recipe”

  1. I made a pesto(ish) sauce the other day using my basic oster blender. I boiled some water and threw spinach and garlic in for 2-3 minutes and then I blended it; with some basil (used the hot water to cook up some pasta) so easy and delicious. I didn't add any nuts and used about the same amount of olive oil as you with just a bit of the hot water.
    1. I have been looking for a version of pesto to try with my parents (who eat fat-free vegan). Couldn't imagine a pesto without oil or nuts or dairy. Thank you!!! Can't wait to try this!
      1. That is a tough one. Maybe you can sub the nuts for oats? I think they may be fat free. Or even quinoa? I am not sure. Just guessing.
  2. I have heard that nutritional yeast has excitotoxins and that it can have similar effects on the body as MSG. Do you know anything about this?
    1. I have never heard that before. I know that yeast extract is contains MSG, but nutritional yeast is different than that. Here is what Natural News has to say about it. If they thought there was excitotoxins, like in MSG, they would have mentioned it. http://www.naturalnews.com/035043_nutritional_yeast_B_vitamins_superfood.html
      1. I guess there is an ongoing debate, here is one source, http://www.daystarbotanicals.com/nutritionalyeast.html I used to eat tons of it because I love it, then I came down with a rash and I think it was the yeast causing it. I still use it in small amounts now and haven't gotten a rash, but I'm afraid to use it often or a lot - and am still waiting for a good answer on it from someone who knows about these things (I am definitely NOT an expert!).
        1. Neither am I and I will keep looking for an answer. We don't use it too often and no one in my family has gotten a reaction. I think my husband uses it the most.
        2. No expert here either but the rash thing caught my eye. My mom has had a horrible rash for a while and got no where with doctors. She finally went to a dermatologist. She is histamine intolerant. She quit eating foods that are high in hists. or instigate it. I just checked and nut. yeast serves as a catylyst. Your rash could be a result of that since you ate so much. I found this interesting.
          1. The reaction may come from the way they make nutritional yeast. I read it is made from mushrooms and it goes through a fermentation process. I can not eat anything that is fermented and I avoid mushrooms because they are a fungus. You can make the pesto without the nutritional yeast and it tastes just as yummy. I You could spice it up with a bit of chilli
  3. I grow basil, parsley, mint, ect every year. I make a pesto base (using only a little oil). I put it into an ice cube tray, freeze, and then pop out and put it into ziplock bag and back in the freezer. Then whenever you want pesto, just pop 1 or 2 or more cubes out and make sauce, drop into soups or I like to use in as a brushetta base. No matter what, you can't go wrong. Enjoy!~
  4. what exactly is nutritional yeast? I have seen it in some recipies and I have seen it at Sprouts, but what exactly is it? I am sure this is a silly question but still learning the clean eating ropes. :)
    1. Here is a great article explaining what it is and the benefits. I like to use it in place of cheese, because it has a nutty and cheesy flavor. http://www.naturalhealth365.com/nutrition_news/nutritional-yeast.html
    2. Here is a great article explaining what it is and the benefits. I like to use it in place of cheese, because it has a nutty and cheesy flavor. http://www.naturalhealth365.com/nutrition_news/nutritional-yeast.html
      1. Thanks. It would be helpful to read the comments before I ask an already answered question. Lol. Realized that after I sent the comment. Ha ha ha
    1. I never had a problem with the color staying, but you could do that. I usually do lime juice on avocado dishes, but this pesto has never had that issue.
  5. This is a great, simple recipe. I'm not a vegan, so I used parmesan instead of the nutritional yeast. I also used walnuts instead of almonds. I made it in a blender, so I had to add a bit of water to make it work but it turned out great.
  6. I am growing basil in pots on my deck, and have all these ingredients on hand. I am going to make this as soon as I have a few minutes. I have pine nuts available, so will use those! I will freeze in ice cube trays, then bag it for easy access.

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