This easy dairy free pesto is vibrant and delicious! It’s made with basil, pistachios, lemon, garlic, and olive oil. Add it to steak, chicken, fish, pasta, or roasted veggies for a spectacular dish!

Update: This recipe was originally published in 2018 and has been republished with all new photos.

A few weeks ago I shared a recipe for Pistachio Herb Crusted Salmon and it left me inspired to use those flavors for a pesto. OH MY. I am so happy I did. This Dairy Free Pistachio Lemon Pesto belongs on all the things.

I’m a big fan of pesto and it’s one of my very favorite sauces. While you can find options in grocery stores, store-bought pesto tends to be a dull dark green. I’ve always found it to be worth the five minutes it takes to make my own instead. Fresh ingredients gives this homemade pesto a bright and vibrant color! Plus the very best flavor! It’s really so simple to toss everything in the blender. This is my go-to recipe for pesto and it’s sure to be yours too!

Basil. Pistachios. Lemon. Garlic. Salt. Olive oil. Simple ingredients. Delicious flavor. You’re going to love it.

I wanted to create a dairy free, vegan version so that most everyone can enjoy this fresh pesto. The traditional version includes parmesan and pine nuts but this one has a fun spin!

Most people think of pesto as a pasta sauce. While pesto and pasta are obviously a perfect pairing, there are so many different ways to enjoy this sauce. I love this pesto on grilled chicken, fish, and steak. It’s also the easiest way to really elevate roasted vegetables or potatoes. Just drizzle it right on top! Or use this as a yummy sandwich spread.

Dairy Free Pistachio Lemon Pesto Ingredients

  • Basil: Fresh basil leaves are a must in classic pesto. We’re using it in this version too because there
  • Pistachios: I’d say pistachios are the secret ingredient but they’re included in the recipe title so how secret can they be? While pine nuts are traditionally used in pesto, pistachios have a stronger flavor which adds more depth to create a rich sauce. You’ll notice a hint of nutty flavor in each bite!
  • Lemon juice: There’s enough bright lemon in this pesto so you can taste it and appreciate that yummy tartness. You’re welcome to squeeze your own fresh lemon juice or use the bottled variety from your grocery store.
  • Minced garlic: You can mince your own garlic or use a jarred variety.
  • Salt: Salt is the only seasoning our delicious pesto needs.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: We blend everything with a little oil to achieve the creamy texture we want.

How to Make Dairy Free Pistachio Lemon Pesto

Add everything except the olive oil to a blender or food processor. Slowly pour in the oil and blend until completely smooth. Now you have a delicious pesto sauce you can enjoy so many ways!

Can you add parmesan cheese?

Absolutely. Traditional pesto includes parmesan but we’re skipping that to make this an easy vegan pesto recipe. If you want a cheesy flavor you can add a tablespoon of grated parmesan or nutritional yeast flakes.

How to Store Dairy Free Pistachio Lemon Pesto

Store any leftover pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

To freeze pesto for future recipes, pour into an ice cube tray. Freeze for at least 30 minutes. Pop out the pesto cubes and store in a freezer Ziploc bag or airtight container in freezer.

How to Serve Dairy Free Pistachio Lemon Pesto

Here are some of my favorite ways to serve this healthy pesto recipe.

5 from 11 votes

Dairy Free Pistachio Lemon Pesto

This easy dairy free pesto is vibrant and delicious! It's made with basil, pistachios, lemon, garlic, and olive oil. Add it to steak, chicken, fish, pasta, or roasted veggies for a spectacular dish!

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups packed fresh basil
  • ¼ cup shelled pistachios
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, or ½ tsp minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • cup olive oil, extra virgin

Instructions

  • Add basil, pistachios, lemon juice, garlic, and salt to a food processor or high powered blender.
  • Turn on the blender and slowly pour in your olive oil. Blend until pistachios are no longer chunky and sauce is smooth. For a thick pesto 1/3 cup of olive oil is perfect. You can use up to 1/2 cup if you prefer a thinner consistency.

Notes

Use additional olive oil for a thinner consistency. 1/3 cup is perfect for a thick sauce that will stick to your steak, chicken, potatoes, etc.
Store any extra pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
To freeze pesto for future recipes, pour into an ice cube tray. Freeze for at least 30 minutes. Pop out the pesto cubes and store in a freezer Ziploc bag or airtight container in freezer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tbsp, Calories: 84kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 116mg, Potassium: 57mg, Vitamin A: 395IU, Vitamin C: 3.3mg, Calcium: 16mg, Iron: 0.4mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @thewholecook and hashtag it #thewholecook on Instagram.

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