We all love our Italian dishes. But did you know that pesto very often isn’t vegan?

In a lot of pesto, they use Parmigiano to add some salty flavor to it.

This is very crucial for the taste, but at the same time not suitable for vegetarians or vegans.

Cheese often contains animal rennet. Which makes it not only full of dairy but also not vegetarian-proof.

Luckily we’ve got a lot of products to use to make our own pesto!

This recipe I invented myself and is very easy to make.

Home-made pesto is often very expensive as you need seeds, basil, and Parmigiano.

This recipe doesn’t need the latter, putting a lot of money in our pockets!

Parmigiano Is Lactose-Free!

There is good news though for those who do like to eat a bit of cheese and are lactose-intolerant.

Parmigiano is actually lactose-free!

The amount of lactose is in this cheese naturally so low, that it’s labeled as a product that doesn’t contain lactose.

is Parmigiano  lactose freeBe aware that this doesn’t go for all of the cheeses labeled as Parmigiano! The Italian Ministery of health said that the cheeses with a very low amount of lactose should be called: PARMIGIANO REGGIANO.

So, when you are in your local supermarket at the cheeses, make sure you search for this name.

It’s still not vegan though, the cheese still comes from animal milk. So let’s just continue with this delicious little recipe.


Vegan Red Pesto

Alright, let’s have a look at this delicious red pesto dish. Great to combine with pasta or a salad! I prefer eating it with some rocket, the sweetness and saltiness of the pesto combined with the tanginess of the rocket.

  • Prep Time 15 Minutes


  • 10 Sundried Tomatoes + Oil Residu!
  • 1 Tbsp Mustard
  • A handful of pine nuts/ or mixed bag of salad seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast Powder
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Add the sundried tomaties, nuts/seeds, Oil and Garlic Together and mix it all together with an electrical mixer.
  2. To your own liking, add the mustard, nutritional yeast and salt and pepper.
  3. And done...


As you can see, this is a really great and easy recipe. Great to have with some pasta or even as a sandwich spread. It is a bit high in calories, but this is mainly because of the seeds.

The great thing about pesto is also that you can just make enough of it and keep it for another time. So you can just multiply this recipe if you’d like to have a bit more.


Is pasta vegan?

As I mentioned before, this red pesto is amazing to combine with a pasta salad. And you might wonder, but is pasta vegan?

We often see the mamas of Italy make it with eggs. And in the original recipes you’ll find that they do put eggs in it.

However, in store-bought spaghetti and pastas, you won’t find egg in it at all. With egg inside, the expiration date shortens. Which isn’t so amazing for bulk producers of pasta.

If you go for fresh pasta, the chance is really big that you will find egg in your pasta. So, if you are going to an Italian restaurant, ask them if they use fresh pasta or not.

They don’t want to answer? Just ask them if they use egg in their pasta or not.

You might expect an Italian restaurant to make their own pasta, but as there are many different kinds of pasta, it sometimes just is easier not to make it yourself. And in a restaurant you also don’t want to throw anything away. Especially if it’s homemade!


can i secretly make it with cheese?

Of course you can!

And if you’ve read the beginning of the article, you are also aware that you can use Parmigiano cheese!

Here in Portugal they have finely grated parmigiano cheese. which makes it easy to incorporate into your pesto.

You can also grate it yourself, but the bigger it is, the harder it will be to mix completely into your dish. Although, if you eat it with some warm pasta, the cheese will smelt anyway.

And of course, feel free to make your own dish. It’s really easy to make pesto the way you’d like it. The base really just is oil and seeds. From there you can make it however you want.

However, if you’d like a real traditional pesto, then it would be good to use basil and garlic, rather than sun dried tomatoes.

This will be the base for your green pesto, which you see much more often. The rest of the recipe is the same, but without the mustard.

Green pesto is a lot better with cheese, but you can also use the nutritional yeast if you’d like!

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