Add a burst of yummy springtime flavor to every dish with this incredible paleo pesto sauce!
The light, fragrant aroma of paleo pesto lifts the spirits and heightens the senses before it even reaches your salivating taste buds. Those who know pesto intimately automatically think of the sweet, aromatic basil and garlicky, cheesy goodness all fused together with a robust olive oil — and those who’ve been missing out are in for a treat!
The lush flavor combination practically dances down to your stomach. It just may be one of the best paleo diet foods ever!
While its normal to think of paleo pasta first, there are sooo many other things you can do with this delightful paleo pesto sauce — Adding this it to your paleo food list just kicks your paleo diet into overdrive! Breathe new life into classic paleo recipes in as little as five minutes with a few ingredients you probably already have on your paleo shopping list. Use this paleo pesto on chicken breast, paleo pizza or even make an astounding paleo dressing for salads.
It’s time to try it for yourself, so let’s get started!
Pesto is quite probably the most perfect paleo sauce in existence. It amplifies your paleo meal plan to the umph! degree by giving you multiple options for each classic dish. Moreover, it has the flexibility to go from a warm, satisfying comfort food that you can enjoy on your couch to an elegant service-worthy paleo food item that dresses up your meal. Enjoying this scrumptious paleo pesto sauce will make you stop and wonder how you ever cooked without it…..it’s that good!
How to Make Paleo Pesto
Making paleo pesto sauce is suuuper simple, but there are a few tips that can help you along the way.
Place all your paleo pesto ingredients (except the basil and olive oil) in the food processor.
Secure the lid and pulse until everything is finely minced.
A food processor is the best tool for this job — there just isn’t enough liquid for a blender to create the right consistency:
Remove the top of your food processor and add the basil.
Adding the basil at the end helps prevent bruising, as basil is extremely delicate. It also helps maintain that vibrant, attractive color. Use the freshest basil possible for an incredible paleo pesto sauce. Fresh basil is easiest to find in the spring and summer months. If you don’t grow your own, Trader Joes tends to carry it year-round.
Secure the lid again, and turn on your food processor.
Gently pour in the olive oil with your food processor on low. Adding the oil while the processor is running helps combine the ingredients quickly and evenly. Make it as thick or as creamy as you’d like. Enjoy immediately or store for later.
Store this your paleo pesto with a bit of extra olive oil poured over the top to prevent browning!
Paleo Pesto Ingredients + Substitutions
I made a few modifications to this paleo pesto that’re different than traditional recipes. Here’s what you need to know, so you can modify to fit your low carb or paleo meal plan:
The Cheese Substitute.
Traditional pesto sauce isn’t paleo-friendly because of the parmesan cheese. Our paleo pesto recipe utilizes nutritional yeast in its place for a cheesy, creamy goodness which also happens to be a significant source of B-complex vitamins. You can find nutritional or deactivated yeast in most health food stores.
Those who don’t follow a paleo lifestyle can simply use parmesan cheese in this recipe.
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The Low Carb Nuts.
Using toasted pine nuts makes a HUGE flavor difference in this recipe but they can sometimes be hard to find at the grocery store. You can always grab a bag of raw pine nuts (they’re probably cheaper) and toast them yourself before making your pesto. Just toss them on a sheet pan and pop them in a 350-degree oven for five to seven minutes. Voila! Toasted pine nuts.
You can even swap pine nuts for walnuts or any other keto nuts you prefer — but it’s always better to toast them first.
Basil / Low Carb Vegetables.
Lastly, if you want more of a tangy, aromatic paleo pesto just skip the kale and use all basil instead. This is a great idea when pairing it with meat. The lemon peel is also optional, but it really boosts the flavor profile and adds a burst of sunshine to every bite, plus it helps tame the bitterness of the kale.
How to Use this Pesto Recipe
This extraordinary paleo pesto sauce is so versatile it’s amazing. Use it in all sorts of paleo meals:
- Omelets for souped-up paleo breakfasts.
- Make a savory paleo calzone for lunch.
- Add some paleo pesto to this awesome broccoli rice recipe for some extra zing.
- Spread some on top of your paleo pizza crust for added flavor.
- Better yet, dip these paleo crackers into some paleo pesto.
- Add paleo pesto to dips for a scrumptious new flavor combination.
- Toss your veggies in it instead of butter.
- Garnish soups and stews with a little dap of pesto or brush it on top fish for a savory pizazz.
The list just goes on and on. This paleo pesto concoction is also an amazing addition to any type of grilled meat. Forget the marinade, use pesto instead!
Storing this Basil Pesto
This basil pesto is absolutely fantastic, so you want to store it properly to prevent browning. The best thing to do is to drizzle just a little bit of olive oil on top of your beautiful basil pesto and keep it in the fridge in an air-tight container.
Store it in easy to use individual portions with an ice tray: Line the ice tray with plastic wrap before pouring the paleo pesto inside. Just be sure to cover the pesto properly before freezing to easily store perfect cooking portions that are great for your paleo meal prep.
Paleo Pesto Recipe
Integrating the magical flavor profiles of this paleo pesto recipe awakens the senses and opens so many doors when it comes to your paleo food list! This recipe is versatile, flexible, robust and even nutritious, guys! It just doesn’t get much better than this. Transform your meals in five minutes flat and add divine new flavors that leave you begging for more. The only thing better than cooking with paleo pesto is eating it!
Let me know what you think in the comments below!!
- 2 Cups Kale* packed
- 5 Cloves Garlic
- 1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
- 1/2 Cup Pine Nuts TOASTED** (see notes below)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 2 Teaspoon Lemon Peel*** grated
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- 2 Cups Basil packed + fresh
- Add kale, garlic, nutritional yeast, pine nuts, salt, lemon juice and lemon peel to a food processor and pulse until ingredients are finely minced.
- Add basil and place the top of your food processor back on.
- Turn the food processor on. While running slowly pour in the olive oil.
- Process until the basil is as smooth as you’d like and enjoy!