Looking for a recipe that screams Summer but trying to avoid dairy and gluten? This pesto recipe (from Food52) is so good, no one knows that it’s dairy-free, and vegan to boot! The parmesan in regular pesto is replaced with Nutritional yeast, which has a cheesy flavor.  This pesto is great as a sandwich condiment, slathered on tomato slices, or as a pasta topping.

Wondering “What the heck is Nutritional yeast?”  Nutritional yeast is a significant source of some B-complex vitamins, and a serving (2 tbsp) has 60 calories and 5 g of carbs (four grams of which is fiber). A serving also provides a whopping 9 g of protein, and is a complete protein (providing all nine amino acids the human body cannot produce).  You can purchase it at most health-oriented grocery stores, as well as at some mainstream groceries.

Makes: 1 generous cup
Prep time: 20 min

  • 2cups tightly packed fresh basil
  • 1/2cup walnuts or pine nuts
  • 2cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1pinch sea salt and freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3tablespoons nutritional yeast
  1. Place the basil, walnuts or pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor fitted with the S blade. Pulse to combine, until the mixture is coarsely ground.
  2. Turn the motor on and drizzle the olive oil in a thin stream. Add the sea salt, pepper, lemon, and nutritional yeast, and pulse a few more times to combine.