This pesto is so popular with all generations that one of us devotes half our vegetable garden to growing basil for it! When some of our family decided to eat only plant-based foods, we were delighted to discover that nutritional yeast substitutes perfectly for the parmesan cheese we used to use.

Ready in 30 minutes.

Serves 6 people

Purposefully Plant-Based Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves & tender stems
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • Pasta of your choice
  • Dairy-free, grated “parmesan”


  1. Wash the basil and remove any stems that aren’t tender.
  2. Using a blender or food processor, puree the garlic and a handful of the basil with the salt, lemon juice and 1/3 of the olive oil.
  3. Add more basil, the nutritional yeast, almond meal, and most of the rest of the olive oil, and blend. If the blending doesn’t
    work well at any point, stop the blender and stir, and add a little water.
  4. Add the rest of the olive oil and basil, and blend until very smooth.
  5. Cook pasta according to the directions on the package.
  6. Serve the pesto on the pasta, sprinkled with dairy-free “parmesan” and with a salad on the side. Or try it on crackers as an appetizer, or even on toast for lunch or breakfast!


This is fabulous fresh but it freezes well too, so you can have a taste of summer in mid-winter!


Need the recipe PDF? Click here!