Lemon & dill pesto

  • Preparation Time 10 Minutes
  • Makes 10 servings

Vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, milk-free

I now have become a little obsessed with pesto, that is something I never thought would happen. Since becoming vegan a little over 3 years ago, I have made and eaten and whizzed up so much.

I do prefer the green version, mainly because it can be made from so many different ingredients.

Eating foods in season was something I grew up with. We had a large fruit and vegetable garden and our meals were worked around what was growing in that plot.

I would normally use kale, mint, baby spinach, basil and carrot tops but never dill. I thought For some reason I avoided it. I only decided to give it a go for my best friend, who loved dill but was not too keen on basil pesto. What a surprise to find I loved it. To me, it has a lovely flavour profile which is

  • Fresh
  • Zesty
  • Clean
  • Buttery
  • Lemony
  • Delicious

It will definitely be on my pesto making list now.

Can I use any other nuts?

Yes, if you want an alternative to cashews you could use pine nuts, walnuts or skinned almonds. If you want to make it nut-free then you could use seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower. I have not tried that but I know there are recipes on the internet.

An alternative to nutritional yeast

Instead of using nutritional yeast, you could use vegan parmesan

How long does it keep

If you place it in a plastic airtight container in the fridge, it will last for around a week. If you freeze it in portions as I do then place in an airtight container or box, it will last up to 3 months.

Not just for pasta

There are many varied ways you can use pesto. Why not try

  • Using a small spoonful to mash potatoes.
  • Spread onto pizza dough instead of a tomato based sauce. Top with grilled vegetables and vegan cheese.
  • Add to mayonnaise when making potato salad, this is delicious.
  • Add a teaspoon to the top of soups to bring them alive.
  • A toasted sandwich with a little pesto makes your taste buds sing.
  • New potatoes are in abundance in Spring. Toss some boiled new potatoes in some pesto and eat or roast them in the oven.

There are just a few ideas. If you have any you would like to share, let me know. Of course these ideas would work with any herb pesto.


  • 1/4 cup of basil or lemon thyme
  • 1 3/4 cups of dill fronds (leaves)
  • A few chives (optional)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Zest of a whole lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp of cold water
  • 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 a cup of cashews nuts


  1. To a food processor add all the ingredients and blitz until it turns into a smooth green glossy sauce.
  2. You can either store it in the refrigerator then or do as I do and pour the pesto into ice cube trays. Place into the freezer and when frozen transfer into sealed freezer bags. This is a simple way to not only preserve it longer but also have it readily available in handy portions.

If you make this, don’t forget to tag me on Twitter as @veganalchemist1 or my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thegfveganalchemist I love seeing your versions of the recipes. I would love to hear your comments too.

2 thoughts on “Lemon & dill pesto

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  1. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, photographer, poet, quilter, and accomplished daydreamer. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, and poet and short-story writer as the spirit moves. Now, I turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. Besides my family, I love dogs, cats, good coffee, chocolate, and my never-dwindling pile of books I intend to read. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. I cook from scratch, and try not to use anything that has ingredients I cannot pronounce! After many years of daily serving up local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, and the odd cooking class. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible artists have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat red meat or most full-fat dairy (usually) for health reasons, making the occasional exception at Thanksgiving and Christmas or our anniversary if the duck is locally raised. I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (My husband recently had a heart attack, and I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been known to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I believe strongly that eating in a way that is good for our planet is also good for our bodies, and I try to educated myself about our food sources! I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me, as well as the youth in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to enjoy. I love taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods, and the wonderful flavors we have at our fingertips! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary pen pals, and I cherish them all! XXXOOO Dorothy
    Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen says:

    Always good to have these treasures tucked in the freezer!

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