This is hands down the easiest AIP Pesto! This homemade pesto is fresh, bold, and the perfect condiment for many dishes. This Whole30 and Nut Free pesto is great on chicken, zucchini noodles, potatoes, or spaghetti squash.

AIP Whole30 pesto with spoon and basil leaves

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This AIP basil pesto requires only a few healthy ingredients.
  • It is extremely versatile and pairs well with proteins, meats, starches and vegetables.
  • This Vegan nut free pesto recipe is made without pine nuts, without cheese and without nuts. Instead, it is made with nutritional yeast and parsley!
  • Using a Vitamix or food processor, this takes just minutes to make.
  • This pesto is quick, fresh and healthy.
  • This recipe is Whole30 approved, Paleo, Keto, Low Carb, Dairy Free, Vegan, AIP, Sugar Free and Nut Free.

What is Pesto?

Pesto is a sauce traditionally made from basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and garlic. Before the days of Vitamix blenders and high speed food processors, a mortar and pestle was needed. This bright green sauce is easily adaptable. Other nuts such as almonds and cashews can replace the pine nuts. Additionally, arugula, parsley or even avocado can replace the basil.

Pesto has a strong basil and olive oil flavor. It is light, zesty and versatile. Pair it with chicken, on pizza (not Whole30), spaghetti squash and noodles. Additionally, this version is AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) and Whole30 approved.

Ingredients for Whole30 sauce

How To Make

Step 1

First, remove stems from basil and add all ingredients to a food processor or blender.

Vitamix pesto recipe

Step 2

Blend on high for 1 minute. Then, stop and scrape down sides of blender with spatula.

Sauce in food processor

Step 3

Continue blending until smooth. Mine took about 3 minutes total.

Step 4

Finally, store pesto in an airtight jar or container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Paleo pesto in bowl

What is Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that contains inactive yeast cells. It has a cheesy flavor but does not contain any cheese. It is typically in powder or flake form. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, nutritional yeast is equally healthy and delicious. Find it in most grocery stores and on Amazon.

Treat nutritional yeast like Parmesan cheese. Moreover, it adds the perfect amount of cheesiness and flavor to recipes. In this AIP pesto, it takes the place of cheese.

AIP pesto with spoon

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you have pesto on Whole30?

Traditional pesto is not Whole30 approved because it contains cheese. This recipe is cheese free and Whole30 compliant.

What can replace cheese in pesto?

Nutritional yeast is a great cheese replacement for pesto. It is dairy free, Vegan and Whole30 approved as well.

Does pesto have dairy in it?

Yes, classic pesto has dairy in it.

Why is pesto not Vegan?

Since pesto usually contains cheese, it is not Vegan.

Are pine nuts Whole30 approved?

Yes, pine nuts are Whole30 approved. This recipe does NOT contain pine nuts, but they are compliant.

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If you make this recipe, I would love to see it! You can find me on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest. I would love for you to follow along! For more healthy recipes, check out my Whole30 Recipes page.

Sweet Addison's cookies
AIP Whole30 pesto with spoon and basil leaves

Get the Recipe: Easy AIP Pesto (Whole30 & Nut Free)

This is the easiest and most delicious AIP and Whole30 approved Pesto! This quick recipe is made entirely in a blender or food processor. This pesto is great on chicken, spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles or by the spoonful!
4.80 from 20 votes


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, stems removed
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • ½ tsp sea salt


  • First, place all ingredients in a food processor or blender.
  • Blend on high until smooth. Every 1 minute, stop and scrape down sides of blender with spatula.
  • Continue blending until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes total.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.


  • Remove stems from basil leaves before adding to blender.
  • Measure the basil by packing it into a 1 cup measuring cup.  Do not loosely place basil in measuring cup.
  • A high powered blender or food processor (or Vitamix) work best in this recipe.
  • Blend on high in 1 minute increments.  Stop between each and scrape down sides of blender.
  • Continue blending until smooth.  Mine took about 3 minutes.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze for up to 2 months.
  • This recipe makes approximately 4 servings of 2 tablespoons each.
Calories: 109kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 294mg, Potassium: 92mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 633IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 1mg

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