Dairy-Free Pesto Sauce

Paleo Pest Sauce - Dairy Free by Against All Grain


I wrapped up the recipe testing for my book on March 1st and felt like I needed a break from desserts and then went to Austin for Paleof(x) and continued to eat by lots of treats, so April 1 was my hard stop. Well sort of. Not a great time of the month for me to chose to cut out my beloved chocolate and the bag of Enjoy Life chocolate chips in the freezer has never tempted me so badly. I’ve caved twice – once after a two hour battle for bedtime with Asher and once when I was crashing in the afternoon after a long day entertaining an energetic toddler. Word of advice if you decide to do the sugar cleanse: rid your house of everything sweet! Your sugar monster will find it, even if it’s hiding deep in the freezer.

I’ve actually done quite well considering though and have seen it more as a challenge for recipe creation than a hinderance. I really wanted to put mango in my avocado salsa the other day to top a blackened fish, but that will just have to wait for a few more weeks! But you better believe that I will find a way to make a baked good or two during this detox all while keeping within the protocol. :)

This pesto sauce is killer and does not include parmesan cheese as my old recipe does. I am using it in a few savory recipes coming up, so I wanted to publish the sauce first so you can make a jar of it ahead of time if you choose!


Paleo Pest Sauce by Against All Grain (dairy free)
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Dairy-Free Pesto Sauce

AUTHOR: Danielle Walker - AgainstAllGrain.com

SERVES: 1/2 cup

PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOK TIME: 10 mins TOTAL TIME: 20 mins


  • ¾ cup packed basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons pignolias (pine nuts)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¾ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  1. Lightly toast the nuts in a skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Place all ingredients except for oil in a small food processor.
  3. Slowly incorporate the oil while the machine is running, until a smooth paste has formed. Continue blending for 15 seconds to thin the sauce out.
  4. Alternatively, crush all of the ingredients in a mortar and pestle and blend until smooth.
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  • Hapa Couple

    Thank you for sharing your recipe! We made this over the weekend and loved it. We didn’t even miss the cheese!

  • Terri S

    Thanks for the recipe idea. I have been on a self-imposed Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free, Nightshade-free, Soy-free, Corn-free, Sugar-free program, beginning with the wheat in Jan., followed by Dairy in Mar, and the rest after consulting a Naturopathic Dr. in May. The tomato & pepper part is the hardest part and what I hope the most that I’ll be able to reintroduce to my diet eventually. Finding a nice pesto recipe will allow me to try a few wheat&corn free pastas. Yay!

    • http://www.createpeaceok.com/ ARook

      i know this post about pesto is nearly a year ago. i add Apple Cider Vinegar and use lime instead of lemon for a dressing on roasted veggies or salad with or without nuts. i have the same intolerances and seek to avoid progressive auto-immune blah blah.

  • Chris

    Can I replace pine nuts with walnuts? I am allergic to pine nuts.

    • Against All Grain

      Yeah that’s fine!

  • Sheri

    I am craving pesto right now, but am trying not to eat grains! What on Earth can I eat with this to satisfy this craving? Thanks!

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks for the recipe! I’ve been going broke buying pre-made dairy free pesto. I also eat a dairy free, gluten free, nightshade free, refined sugar free, mostly soy free, vegetarian diet. People always ask “what DO you eat?” Little do they know the wide array of food wonders still out there! My favorite things to put pesto on are: Mung bean fettucine with vegetables (http://www.amazon.com/Explore-Asian-Organic-Fettuccine-7-05-Ounce/dp/B004NSIBWY), lentils and quinoa, and spaghetti squash. I eat a lot of pesto. :)

  • Liz Harrold

    What would be a good substitute for the garlic? I’m breastfeeding and my son can’t handle when I eat garlic. I’ve got a BUNCH of fresh basil to use up though and would love to make this! =)