What Would Be A Good Substitute For Pesto Sauce As A Dip?

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Pesto Sauce SubstituteKey Attributes
Basil OilFresh Italian flavor, made with finely chopped basil leaves and extra virgin olive oil, perfect for various culinary applications
Nut-Free Pesto SauceHealthy alternative, nut allergies-friendly, can use ingredients like kale, avocado, watercress, broccoli, chives, or pepper
Embrace CondimentsExperiment with various condiments and sauces to add unique flavors to your dishes
Mix and Match NutsCreate a symphony of flavors with a variety of nuts like cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, or Brazil nuts
Cheese SwapsAlter texture and taste by trying different cheeses like feta, goat cheese, Gorgonzola, Cotija, Romano, Asiago, or cream cheese

Hey there! Imagine you’re in a big kitchen, and someone tells you about a special sauce called “pesto.” It’s like a super flavorful and delicious sauce from Italy. But what if you don’t have all the ingredients to make it? No worries! We’ve got some cool ideas for you!

You can use something called “basil oil,” which is like a fresh Italian flavor that mimics pesto. Or, if you can’t have nuts, we’ve got nut-free options like kale, avocado, and other yummy stuff. There are also different sauces and herbs you can try, like spaghetti sauce or herb oils, to make your food taste amazing!

And guess what? You can mix and match nuts or use different types of cheese to give your sauce a unique twist. It’s like creating your own special recipe!

So, get ready to explore the world of pesto and its substitutes. You’ll be a little kitchen magician, making delicious dishes that will make everyone go “Wow!” Time to have some fun with flavors! Let’s cook up some tasty adventures together!

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Pesto: An Italian Culinary Gem

Pesto is an Italian sauce served atop spaghetti, soup, salads, and many other meals. This sauce is often prepared with,

Some recent proof leads us to believe Pesto dates back to Roman Times. But the traditional version comes from Genoa, the capital city of Liguria. Over the years, the makeup of this French dressing changed. The most notable reason for this is the season changes and lack of basil throughout the year.

Nonetheless, the most common creation includes the ingredients listed above. Especially now that purchasing brazil from local shopping centers is easier than ever.

You can often identify pesto by its striking green color and the intense aroma of garlic and other herbs.

The Challenge of Perfect Replication

While having an original form of pesto ready for your upcoming dish is preferable, the good news is that, you can come remarkably close to its exquisite taste with a touch of creativity and resourcefulness.

Top Five Best Pesto Sauce Substitutes

If you are looking for a great way to create your own pesto sauce last minute, here would be the five best substitutes for pesto sauce as a dip:

1. Basil Oil: A Fresh Italian Flavor

When putting together this recipe, make sure you chop the basil into very fine pieces. Preparing the herb this way will give you a thick, flavorful sauce.

What you need:

  • Fresh basil leaves (2 cups)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (1 cup)
  • Salt (a pinch)
  • Garlic (1-2 cloves)
  • A blender (optional)


  • Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl.
  • Mix the dry ingredients up well, creating an even blend
  • Add the olive oil to the bowl and stir.
  • You can also toss all the items into the blender and mix them that way.

2. Nut-Free Pesto Sauce: A Healthier Twist

Pesto sauce has a distinct taste due to its unique ingredients, including pine nuts.  Therefore, those with nut allergies can’t enjoy traditional pesto sauce.

Luckily, there are a few different ways you can make a nut free option with delicious ingredients. Most of these offer a healthy alternative and a taste like the original.

To make nut free pesto, replace the pine nut with one of the ingredients below:

  • Kale
  • Avacado
  • Watercress
  • Broccoli
  • Chives
  • Pepper

Keep in mind that pine nuts provide a smooth, nutty, sweet flavor that you won’t get from the options above.

Forgo the nuts:

You can also make a nut free option by removing the pine nuts and adding a little extra basil or garlic to your mix.

3. Give Other Condiments and Sauces a Try

While you might not get that bold, zesty, Italian flavor you are more than likely hoping for with Pesto. You can enjoy many meals with other condiments adding a delicious taste you will enjoy.

The fun is in the experimenting process. The dressing you choose will change the flavor profile of your dish. So knowing what condiments best go with each meal choice is crucial.

  • Spaghetti Sauce– Using spaghetti sauce is ideal for pasta and pizzas. If you want to increase the pesto feel, you can always add your own garlic and basil to the pot.
  • Mayonnaise- Using a dollop of mayonnaise is another great substitute for pesto sauce. You can add your own seasonings and herbs to your dressing.  Or you can buy the products with garlic and spices already added in.
  • Herb Oils- Herb oil is an excellent way to replace pesto on dishes that need a thin yet bold flavor profile. While we talked about brazil oil, you can even opt for others like rosemary, parsley, oregano, etc. These oils are ideal for salads, drizzles, and marinades.

You can also create a delicious combination.

4. The Nutty Symphony: Mix and Match Nuts

There are a few different versions of Pesto, depending on where you live. Sicilian Nut Pesto, for instance, requires a variety of nuts to create its sauce. This recipe removes the cheese and inserts other nut types.

The most popular nut to add to this recipe is cashews. Cashews provide a creamy, buttery taste like pinenuts.

Other nuts you can consider adding to your pesto include:

  • Walnuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Brazil nuts

When you choose to mix in a group of nuts, keep the taste and texture of each option in mind. These other nut variations can change the outcome of your sauce massively.

5. Cheese Swaps for Texture and Taste

Most pesto sauces will use hard cheese, the most common being parmesan or Romano. Luckily for those who don’t like this type of cheese, they aren’t the only ones you can use.

Consider substituting out or adding in other cheese like:

Remember, each cheese has its own unique flavor and texture. These individual tastes will make a big difference depending on this dish. The cheese world awaits your exploration.

For a smooth, creamy pesto sauce, try using:

  • Feta
  • Goat cheese
  • Gorgonzola
  • Cream cheese

For a sharper, thicker, chunkier  pesto sauce, try using,

  • Cotija
  • Romano
  • Asiago
  • Ricotta

To get the most flavor out of your cheese, use a shredder to create small thin pieces.

Embracing Culinary Adventure: Best Pesto Recipes

Embark on a culinary journey with these tantalizing pesto recipes that cater to a variety of dishes and occasions:

Now you have a good understanding of all the ingredients you can use to substitute pesto sauce. Let’s look at a few different ways to create this sauce:

Basil Oil Pesto Sauce

This delightful recipe makes one cup of sauce and doesn’t need many ingredients. Use this oil within 24-48 for the freshest flavor of basil and olive oil. The result is incredible.


  • Packed basil leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic cloves
  • Salt


Blend all the ingredients listed above in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add more or less, depending on your preference.

For the complete recipe, CLICK HERE.

Easy Home Made 5 Minute Pesto Sauce

This recipe is almost identical to the traditional pesto sauce. This is your best bet if you are looking for something with Italian roots.


  • Fresh grated Parmesan
  • Cloves garlic
  • Pine nuts
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Olive oil


Combine all the dry ingredients into a food processor and mix until chopped into a fine texture. Then add the oil with the blades still running until you get a smooth paste.

For the complete recipe, CLICK HERE.

Pesto Creme Sauce

If you are looking for a fabulous creamy pesto recipe perfect for pairing with Pasta, check this one out.



Prepare linguine by boiling it in a large pot of water. Use the olive oil in a saute pan to saute onions, then add butter and garlic. Next, mix flour and milk and pour into the pan, followed by basil, salt, pepper, and cheese.

Once the sauce is complete, pour it on top of your cooked noodles for a delicious dinner.

For the complete recipe, CLICK HERE.


Discover answers to common queries about pesto, its taste, serving options, and proper storage, empowering you with the knowledge to create and enjoy pesto substitutes to the fullest.

Summing Things Up

Don’t consider changing your dish if you happen to run out of Pesto Sauce. There are always other options to try. When in a pinch, choose from one of the above ideas and serve a meal that will impress your guests.

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