>U Mom Knows Best: Dairy Free And Vegan Pea Pesto Sauce

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Dairy Free And Vegan Pea Pesto Sauce

I would have never thought peas would be so delicious

 I love the taste of pesto, especially on pizza. That was until my husband informed me that pesto was made with parmesan cheese. Why does having a dairy allergy have to be so hard. I had to give up dairy 6 months ago after discovering through a blood test and diet elimination that it was triggering my asthma. I still don't want to believe that I have a milk allergy and will eat something with milk in it like chocolate and then I start coughing. It also makes me feel sick to my stomach. I have to be careful when eating out as lately even a small amount of dairy brings on asthma symptoms, like vegetables cooked in butter. The other day we went to a holiday dinner and the vegetables did not appear to be cooked with butter but 30 minutes later I was nauseated. Then 2 hours later, the asthmatic coughing started, thankfully Claritin helped it settle down, this time.

 So I have been learning how to eat a mostly plant-based diet since discovering that I am allergic to milk and all dairy products. I say mostly plant-based and vegan diet as I still eat eggs and seafood about once a week.  I have learned that dairy is in so many food products and have learned how to read ingredients. My boys have also become expert ingredient readers as they remember how six I was when my asthma was out of control. I have learned not to trust something that says dairy-free as coffee creamer is labeled dairy-free but has casein in the ingredients. Hello, casein and whey are derived from dairy products and have triggered an asthma attack.

 I have also been learning how to safely eat out at restaurants and I love places that have allergen info online. When I eat at a restaurant, I have learned to ask how food is cooked as restaurants love cooking with butter so I request my food to be cooked in oil and alert the staff that I have a dairy allergy. I hate being that picky person but one bite of dairy could cause a severe asthma attack that could land me in the hospital. Eating out can be difficult so I don't eat out much and instead cook at home.

 My dairy-free diet has forced me to make changes to many of my favorite recipes. I have learned how to make substitutions in regular recipes to make them dairy-free recipes. You need to check out this recipe for Vegan Chocolate Dipped Salted Caramels That Are Dairy Free. I have also discovered an amazing recipe for healthy brownies that are plant-based.

Looking for a Vegan, Plant-Based Parmesan Alternative?

 My dairy allergy has made me more aware of products that are dairy-free and many of them are great for people following a vegan food plan. These plant-based products are delicious substitutes for many of my favorite products that have milk in them like parmesan cheese. I recently discovered a vegan parmesan cheese that in my opinion, has a way better taste than the real thing and it is made with superfood ingredients. So I can sprinkle Parma on my food and get the taste of cheese without any dairy. This healthy vegan parmesan is a cheesy lactose-free plant-based product that is loaded with b vitamins and is also gluten-free, soy-free, keto-friendly, paleo, and kosher. If you are looking for some kosher foods that are dairy-free and gluten-free, click HERE

Dairy-free is delicious

 So when I discovered a recipe for a dairy-free pesto sauce, I just had to make it. The recipe was a winning recipe from a vegan recipe contest that a magazine sponsored. I found this magazine at my grocery store and loved that it was filled with so many vegan recipes. I was hesitant to make it as the main ingredient was peas. I am not a fan of peas but I had a frozen bag of peas in my freezer from my son's dental surgery. Frozen peas make a great ice pack. So I decided to try the recipe but made some changes as it called for mint and I did not want that taste, so I omitted that. I also did not have any hemp seeds, so I used flax seeds. This dairy-free pesto was so simple to make in my blender. After I made the sauce, I had my husband try it, as I felt it was missing something. My husband knew that it was not real pesto but had no clue about the ingredients that I added. He was amazed that it tasted almost like the real thing and agreed that it needed more basil and olive oil. I added the extra ingredients and then mixed the sauce into some pasta. I brought the dish to my bible study group that night and everyone loved it. My husband even had seconds.

The taste was amazing

  Since the vegan pesto was so delicious, I had to make it again and this time I decided to add more oil to the recipe so I could use it instead of tomato sauce on my pizza. I want to try using pine nuts instead of the flax seeds but will wait until they go on sale. I think other nuts like walnuts and pistachios may give it a great taste so I may try using those instead of the flaxseed. This pesto sauce would make a great dip or spread. I will have to try it the next time I make bruschetta. This vegan pea pesto and sun dried tomatoes on french bread sound amazing to me. I think that frozen peas may be on my grocery list more often.

Parma vegan parmesan in my vegan pesto 

The below recipe for vegan pesto uses many of the ingredients that are in the Parma shaker so I knew that it would be a great product to make my dairy-free pesto with. I decided to use the Garlicky Green Parma! as I wanted the garlic taste in my pesto recipe. I simply omitted the nutritional yeast, flax seeds, and garlic from my original recipe as the Garlicky Green Parma! have these listed in the ingredients. I added 3 tablespoons of the Garlicky Green Parma! to my below pesto recipe and I was amazed at the flavor.

 I also have been enjoying the Parma! Original on my oatmeal, cooked veggies, popcorn, avocado toast, eggs, and pasta as it adds such a wonderful vegan cheesy flavor without any dairy products. When my favorite recipe calls for parmesan cheese, I reach for my container of Parma! You need to discover the other flavors that Parma! is available in as they make a vegan flavor that tastes like bacon. While you are at the Parma! website- https://eatparma.com/- make sure to check out the healthy ingredients that they put into their irresistibly cheesy vegan cheese alternative.

Dairy-Free And Vegan Pea Pesto Sauce

1 1/2 cups frozen Green Peas, thawed
1/3 cup fresh basil
Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons flax seeds
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti


1. Add pesto ingredients to a food processor or high-speed blender; start with 1 tablespoon of water or olive oil and increase if needed. Blend until a thick but creamy pesto is achieved.
2. Cook pasta according to directions and drain.
3. Combine drained spaghetti and pesto sauce in a pot. Toss pasta to ensure even coating. Add extra water, if needed, to thin out the sauce.
To serve, divide pasta among four bowls and add extra peas.
  This amazing pesto sauce is great as a dip and on pizza.


  1. THIS LOOKS DIVINE!!! And Dairy-Free is always the way to be with me! :)

  2. I will have to try out this pesto sauce for sure. It looks incredible. Plus I like that it's dairy free!

  3. Oh wow! A diary free pesto sauce. I was wondering if it is possible to make a batch and freeze it to use for another time. It is normally so hard to get any kind of vegan sauce.

    1. I have not tried freezing it as I eat it up so quickly. I love enjoying it like hummus. It is so easy to make also and I always have the ingredients on hand.

  4. Now this sounds like one hell of a sauce! I love that it is dairy free and vegan something that so many people around the table could enjoy!

  5. hmm, might have to try this, sounds so good and good for you.. I am eating more and more vegan these days when I can, It's hard to ween myself off of food I love, but with yummy recipes like this it makes it easier

  6. I love pesto but not peas. I don’t want to make this recipe. I just want someone who loves it to make it so I could just have a taste. I would love to be surprised with a taste that I can fall in love with and not feel so bad if I hate it. Lol. Keshia Richmond

    1. I too hate peas plain but I eat this like I eat hummus as it is so good.

  7. This dairy free vegan pesto sauce looks delicious! I love trying new recipes, especially when they involve pasta! We have been decreasing our dairy intake lately so this is a really good one to try.

  8. I'm such a fan of pesto. I haven't made any in such a long time. This post reminded me to go and grab the ingredients!

  9. This looks so yummy!! I've been loving to try new recipes lately that I wouldn't have made in the past - I'll have to give this one a try!

  10. This looks really good! I think I will try it with pita chips for Christmas. See if anyone in my family can figure out that it's vegan. :)

  11. I love a good pesto!! So good with so many dishes! I will definitely be trying this soon.

  12. Really? Sounds amazing. I would love to save this kind of recipe. Thank you for sharing your wonderful idea of it.

  13. I am starting to like a pesto flavour and I am thinking of making something by myself. Hmm, now I will consider this post in choosing what will I make this Holiday season.

  14. This looks so good and unique too. I would love to try this at home. Thanks for sharing the recipe

  15. Yum!! This looks super yummy and flavorful! I'll definitely have to try this! I am a pescatarian and am wanting to go full vegetarian in 2019. I'd definitely like to try more vegan recipes as well!

  16. This sauce is amazing, super yummy. It looks healthy and has lots of nutrients. A must try indeed

  17. I think its a coincidence that I am now eating pesto pasta while reading your pesto-related post. Yummy, plus with wine :D

  18. I'm a pesto person and your looks extremely good! Thanks for sharing!

  19. Vegans would love this. I love pesto sauce.


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