No matter how you use it, dairy and (naturally) gluten free pesto is just one of the most divine additions to nearly any meal. This gem of a spread, topping, dip, sauce or however else you’d love to use it was a favorite item made by my mom while growing up.
Normally she’d make pesto with pecorino cheese and butter, but I figured out after finding dairy problematic that it was necessary in order to make it. Though it might impart a certain flavor, added olive oil can easily take the place of dairy without many noticing.
Pesto can be used to top veggies and even roasted or grilled fish (which is a great pairing, by the way). If you decide to mix it with pasta, make sure to save a bit of the pasta water before straining in the event that you need to “thin out” the pesto a bit.
If you have a nut allergy, you can also substitute pepitas (raw, shelled pumpkin seeds) for the nuts. You may even be able to try experimenting with tahini (sesame seeds). If worse comes to worse, there’s no reason that you HAVE to include the nuts. I’ve even seen some recipes that have added some avocado in it’s place. Get creative and know that pesto doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious!
Dairy & (Naturally) Gluten Free Pesto
My pesto recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, and vegan. It’s also REALLY GOOD!
One quick point — though this recipe focuses on basil (which is the most typical herb used to make pesto), don’t be afraid to get creative. I’ve made recipes that used arugula (a spicier green), mixed in spinach, or combined different amounts of parsley and cilantro. I’ve also made pesto with pea shoots (which is excellent and you’d substitute them one for one for the basil as this recipe suggests).
If you’d still like to get a buttery flavor, ghee could be added to the recipe which has the incredibly flavor of butter, but without the offending sugars and proteins. And some nutritional yeast can add some of the parmesan flavor without the addition of the cheese. I would not recommend adding the same amount of nutritional yeast as you would pecorino or parmesan cheese because the flavor it will leave my end up overpowering the pesto.
Pin This Recipe And Save It For Later