Dairy-Free Pesto Pasta

Dairy-free cheese makes a fantastic pesto. I find the harder types of dairy-free cheese (often called cheddar-style) best for this, but any of them work well. This recipe freezes well, so you can prepare a large batch – especially if basil is in season and inexpensive – and freeze individual portions for when you’re just too tired or just don’t have any spare time to cook.

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, citrus-free

Preparation time 2 minutes     Cooking time 10–13 minutes     Serves 4


  • 4-5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 400g gluten-free pasta
  • 50g basil
  • 25g pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 40g dairy-free cheese
  • sea salt
  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, then the pasta. Cook over a medium heat for about 8–10 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, stirring frequently so that the pasta does not stick together.
  2. Meanwhile, wash the basil under the running cold tap, and carefully pat dry in a clean tea towel.
  3. Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a low heat. Add the pine nuts and dry-fry for 2-3 minutes, until they start to brown. Keep the nuts moving all the time so they don’t burn.
  4. Remove from the heat and tip the nuts into the bowl of a food processor. Add the basil leaves, garlic and dairy-free cheese, and start to blend the mixture. With the motor running, pour the remaining oil in gradually until the mixture becomes a thick, dense sauce. Add salt to taste.
  5. Drain the pasta and rinse well with boiling water, then drain again. Serve immediately with the sauce.

0 thoughts on “Dairy-Free Pesto Pasta

    1. Hi Krysia, Lovely to hear from you and I hope 2013 is turning out to be a great year for you! I like the Cheezly soya cheeses from Redwoods. And they also do a dairy-free cheese that is also soya-free, if you can’t tolerate soya. You can usually get them in Holland & Barrett and other health food shops. All the very best, Grace

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