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Dairy-Free Cilantro Pesto

This dairy-free cilantro pesto looks like any other pesto, but the taste is unmatched. It’s made with a handful of simple ingredients and is the sauce you didn’t even know you needed.

If I had to describe this cilantro pesto in one word it would be delightful. Or delectable. Or maybe scrumptious.

You get the picture.

Although cilantro can have a strong flavor, it’s not overpowering whatsoever in this pesto. It’s almost subtle but in the best way possible.

Ingredients For Cilantro Pesto

  • cilantro leaves and stems
  • pepitas
  • shallot
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • lime juice
  • salt

Make It Your Way: Ingredient Substitutions

Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.

How can you make this dairy-free cilantro pesto using what you already have? Here are some ideas

  • Limited amount of cilantro? ➝ sub in spinach or kale for half of the cilantro
  • No pepitas? ➝ you can sub in hemp seeds, pine nuts, almonds, cashews, or pistachios
  • No shallots? ➝ use yellow or red onion, green onion, or leeks (about 1/4 – 1/3 cup when diced)

Add-ins ➝ garlic, spinach (even if using the full amount of cilantro, just use a larger quantity of the other ingredients to balance the flavors out), red pepper flakes, citrus zest, ginger, etc.

Tools Needed

Helpful Tips For Making The Best Cilantro Pesto

UTILIZE THE STEMS

Cilantro stems are tender and packed with that lovely cilantro flavor, so be sure to include them. This is also a great way to get the most bang for your buck and reduce your food waste.

HOW TO STORE PESTO

Pesto lasts in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. The easiest way to freeze them is to put them in a silicone ice cube tray and pop out little squares when you need to add a boost of flavor.

Let them thaw overnight in the fridge or throw directly into a warm pan.

HOW TO USE CILANTRO PESTO

More Dairy-Free Pesto Recipes You’ll Love

Dairy-Free Cilantro Pesto

5 from 2 votes
This dairy-free cilantro pesto looks like any other pesto, but the taste is unmatched. It's made with a handful of simple ingredients and is nut-free.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups cilantro leaves and stems
  • cup raw pepitas or substitute
  • 1 shallot, diced or substitute
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, plus more to taste
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

  • In a dry pan over medium heat, toast the pepitas until lightly brown and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Add them to the bowl of your food processor.
  • In the same pan, add a little oil and the diced shallots. Cook until translucent and add them to the bowl of your food processor along with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Process until everything is well incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. Taste and add more salt or another squeeze of lime juice until it’s reached your desired taste.

Notes

  • Optional add-ins ➝ garlic, spinach (even if using the full amount of cilantro, just use a larger quantity of the other ingredients to balance the flavors out), red pepper flakes, citrus zest, ginger, etc.

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