Tag Archives: dairy-free pesto

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

Ingredients:

  • 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.

Harry’s Nut-Free, Dairy-Free Pesto Pasta!


Harry’s Mum requested this as Harry can’t eat pesto because of a nut allergy. He’s fine with chickpeas (but they’re part of the same food family as peanuts, so it’s important to check this out), so I devised this recipe. Apparently it was a great success!

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

Preparation time 5 minutes plus overnight soaking time, if using dried chickpeas
Cooking time 1½ hours–2 hours, if using dried chickpeas     Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 400g gluten-free pasta
  • 50g basil
  • 25g dried chickpeas, or 50g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 40g dairy-free cheese
  • sea salt
  1. If using dried chickpeas, place them in a bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak overnight or for at least 12 hours.
  2. The next day, drain the chickpeas, then rinse thoroughly. Put in a large saucepan, cover with fresh water and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down, cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 1-1½  hours until tender. Drain thoroughly.
  3. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add 1 tbsp 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.
  4. Meanwhile, wash the basil under the running cold tap, and carefully pat dry in a clean tea towel.
  5. Put the basil leaves, garlic, cooked or tinned chickpeas and dairy-free cheese into the bowl of a food processor, and start to blend until the mixture is a smooth puree. With the motor running, pour the remaining oil in gradually until the mixture becomes a thick, dense sauce. Add salt to taste.
  6. Drain the pasta and rinse well with boiling water, then drain again. Serve immediately with the sauce.