Does Pesto have Dairy? – Detailed Guide

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Pesto is a very popular condiment. It is not only delicious but also works on a range of foods such as vegetables, salads, fish, chicken, or even eggs. It can even be served as an addition to soup. We love pesto because it provides any dish with a certain freshness and flavor that you simply cannot match.

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Does pesto have dairy? To be honest, most of the pesto products you find in stores contain dairy products such as parmesan cheese. That simple fact limits those who have dairy sensitivity from enjoying pesto.

Supposing you do not want to make your dairy-free pesto from scratch? What can you do? Can you buy dairy-free pesto? Well, we have prepared this post to provide you with some of the types of dairy-free pesto you can purchase.

Why does most Pesto contain Dairy?

Fact is, not all contain cheese or other dairy products. However, most of them do have dairy products mainly because the recipes require that you include a certain hard cheese such as pecorino or Parmesan. That is not suitable for any vegan. That is why most of the pesto you see in stores has dairy.

Regardless, some brands have made sure that anyone who does not want to ingest dairy products, for any reason, can find a good choice for him or her.

Dairy-Free Pesto

In this section, we will tell you about the brands you should consider purchasing from because they have dairy-free pesto products.

American Basil Pesto

American Basil, Pesto Perfectto Dairy-Free
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ir?t=reviewho 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B07LGG279RAmerican Basil is a brand that has several pesto products, some of which are vegan. The vegan products include roasted garlic pesto, hempseed pesto, pesto habanero, as well as dairy-free pesto perfecto. They, however, have pesto perfecto and sun-dried tomato pesto, both of which contain dairy products. Be careful which one you purchase.

Bear Pond Farm Pesto

Bear Pond Farm, Pesto 3 Greens
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ir?t=reviewho 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B07D7H32QJBear pond has a range of products. The truth is that most of their products are not vegan-friendly. Regardless, they have not forgotten about their vegan customers. That is why they have spicy vegan pesto and three greens pesto, both of which are dairy-free.

Biona Organic Pesto

Biona Organic - Green Pesto with Pine Kernels
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ir?t=reviewho 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B006JNWUOGThis pesto is considered to be a vegan-friendly pesto. Does green pesto contain dairy? Well, Biona has a green and a red pesto, both of which are vegan. They do not have any dairy, cheese, or ingredients that are derived from animals.

Cibo Naturals Pesto

Filippo Berio Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
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ir?t=reviewho 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B072YHKV68This is a sundried tomato pesto, which is completely vegan. It does not contain any cheese or dairy products whatsoever. We have to warn you though, that the brand contains other products that have dairy in them. These include Cibo Naturals Basil Pesto, and Cibo Naturals Artichoke Lemon Pesto.

Types of Pesto with Dairy

We know that there are certain varieties of pesto that do not have any dairy in them. The problem is that most of the pesto available – as we noted earlier – contains dairy. That is why you must check the list of ingredients before you make a purchase. Some of the pesto that you should stay away from include:

  • Cucina & Amore Genovese Basil
  • Prego Basil Sauce
  • 365 from Whole Foods
  • Classico Traditional Basil

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is store-bought pesto dairy-free?

Honestly, most of the pesto you will find in stores will contain dairy. Luckily for you, some do not have dairy and are made with alternative products.

  • Is pesto safe for lactose intolerance? Does pesto have lactose in it?

Only dairy-free pesto is safe for lactose intolerance. There are chances that you will find pesto with cheese or other dairy products, which means that there is dairy in it. We recommend you find a dairy-free type of pesto.

  • What can I use instead of the cheese in pesto?

You can leave the cheese out, and go with basil, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, pine nuts, or any other type of nuts. Click here to read more about Pesto and nuts.


Pesto is an amazing product to have at your house. However, if the ingredients used to make pesto will affect you in any way, it would be better to find a good alternative. If not, choose a pesto that does not have the dairy products that affect you. We are lucky that some of the brands have made an effort to produce some dairy-free pesto products.

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