Anything Pesto

Make this pesto dairy-free by subbing in nutritional yeast for the traditional cheese. You can’t taste the difference!

A jar of pesto topped with toasted pine nuts

Makes about 2 ½ cups
Prep time: 20 minutes


  • 1/2 cup nuts or seeds (pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, or pumpkinseeds)
  • 3 cups tightly packed chopped greens (choose one or mix: basil, spinach, cilantro, kale, beet greens, carrot greens, arugula, dandelion greens)
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese (Parmesan, pecorino Romano, aged Asiago, aged Manchego, aged Gouda, or cotija) or nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbs. acid (lemon juice, lime juice, apple-cider vinegar, white-wine vinegar, or champagne vinegar)
  • 1 tsp. lemon or lime zest
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread raw nuts or seeds on a large rimmed sheet pan and bake until fragrant and toasted, about 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Allow nuts to cool for a few minutes.

2. Add toasted nuts to a food processor with greens, cheese, acid, zest, salt, pepper, and garlic. Pulse until ingredients are all finely chopped.

3. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and process until the mixture forms a rough paste. Process until desired texture is reached; add more olive oil, a teaspoon at a time, for a smoother pesto.

4. Scoop pesto into a clean jar and drizzle a layer of olive oil on top to prevent browning. Seal the jar and store in the refrigerator for up to four days.

is an Experience Life senior editor.

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