This light and fresh dairy-free pesto makes an ideal topping for roasted or grilled vegetables, meat, or fish or just a simple side dish when tossed with a bowl of zucchini “noodles” or spaghetti squash. Made without cheese so it is Whole30, Vegan, and Paleo friendly pesto.

Prep: 10 minsTotal: 10 mins
Servings: 1/2 cup 1x


  • 4 ounces fresh basil (about 2 cups packed leaves)
  • ¼ cup walnut halves or pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. To the bowl of a food processor or high-speed blender, pulse the basil, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, and ¼ cup of the oil.
  2. Blend until smooth, then add the final 2 tablespoons oil through the chute in the lid while the food processor motor is running. Taste, then add salt and pepper to taste.


To store pesto in the refrigerator: Place pesto in a small glass jar or other small container with lid for up to one week. To prevent the pesto from browning, pour enough oil into the jar to completely cover the surface of the pesto.

For longer storage, freeze leftover pesto in ice cube trays then transfer the frozen pesto cubes to a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. Thaw and use as a sauce or add frozen to soups or stews.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 93
  • Fat: 10 g
  • (Sat Fat: 1 g)
  • Sodium: 30 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 1 g
  • (Fiber: 0 g
  • Sugar: 0 g)
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg


© The Real Food Dietitians

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