Veggie Orzo with Dairy-free Pesto

      This was one interesting night of cooking! Between Evie teething and whining as she went back and forth in the swing and Finn howling “mommy, mommy, mommy…. hold me, hold me, hold me….” I somehow managed to finish dinner with at least a few pictures to share. Every Mom can relate ;)

Pesto is normally made with parmesan or romano cheese to give it a gooey, creamy texture. I wanted to take a stab at making it dairy-free and found it’s quite easy and delicious! This recipe is dairy-free, peanut-free, egg-free and soy-free.

Here’s the loot you’ll need:

The pesto is inspired by Dairy-Free Pesto.


The great thing about this recipe is that you can add as much or as little of each ingredient based on your likes.

Super easy, super delicious.

I’ve heard that pesto freezes well. Now that I know this gets two thumbs up at home, I’ll make a double batch of pesto next time for an even quicker meal.

Finn wasn’t feeling well this night, so I don’t have a toddler test to share. He literally ate nothing at dinner and even asked to go to bed. :(

Veggie Orzo with Dairy-free Pesto

by My Wise Mom

Keywords: dinner dairy-free egg-free soy-free peanut-free basil pine nuts lemon olives


    Dairy-free Pesto

    • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
    • 1/3 cup Pine Nuts
    • 3 garlic cloves
    • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • Hand-squeezed juice from 1/2 fresh lemon
    • Several grinds of a sea salt mill

    Veggie Orzo

    • Whole Wheat Orzo
    • Chickpeas – drained, rinsed and cooked (can used canned, but I had the raw beans on hand)
    • Cherry Tomatoes
    • Sliced Almonds (or toasted pine nuts)
    • Sliced Olives (any variety)
    • Sliced Green Onions (I used 4)


    Dairy-free Pesto

    In a food processor or blender, combine the basil leaves with the pine nuts, lemon juice and sea salt. Pulse a few times until mixture is reduced in volume and the mixture is well incorporated.

    Add the garlic and pulse a few times more.

    Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the blender or food processor is running. Stop to scrape down the sides.

    Taste. Add more lemon juice and/or salt if needed.

    Veggie Pesto

    Cook orzo as directed.

    While orzo is cooking, cut olives, green onions, cherry tomatoes.

    Once orzo is ready, toss immediately with prepared pesto.

    Add chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, sliced almonds, sliced olives, chopped green onions and mix.

    Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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