Basil-avocado sauce with lemon (vegan/gf/nut-free)

So I know I’ve been posting a lot of basil-y and lemon-y things lately, but I just love buying mounds of fresh basil from my local farmers’ market… you’ll just have to deal. The more specific reason for today’s recipe is for my cousin, Susanna, whose youngest son has many complicated allergies, including dairy and nuts. After my parsnip pesto post, she asked about nut-free pesto. Well, this is my first stab at it, and it definitely has that delightful basil flavor of pesto, without dairy or nuts!


This sauce post started as a simple craving for stir-fried vegetables and tofu over rice after my run earlier today. I wanted something hearty, yet fresh and GREEN. I set the brown rice cooking while I took a shower and pondered vegetable combinations. I settled on asparagus, broccoli, and a golden beet, cut into matchsticks. Then the sauce idea hit me. And all was good. :)

Basil-avocado sauce with lemon (vegan/gf/nut-free)

Avocados make this sauce fabulously creamy, and it’s chock-full of good fats, too! Lemon is optional (you could sub more water and more spices), but I think it pairs nicely with the avocado and lends a bright sweetness to whatever you serve it with. Serving suggestions: tossed with stir-fried vegetables, tossed with pasta, a spread for sandwiches, a pizza base, a dip… the sky is the limit. Enjoy!

1 ripe avocado

1 clove of garlic

1 cup basil leaves, loosely packed

juice of 1 lemon, or 1-2 TBS

1 TBS olive oil

2-4 TBS warm water (depending on how thick or thin you would like the sauce)

salt and pepper, to taste

pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

Blend it all together, and serve! Yup, you’re done. :) I used my immersion blender in the beaker it came with, and it worked just dandy.

Yield:  about 2 cups (I forgot to look before I tossed it with the veggies, so that’s definitely approximate…)


I was too anxious to eat to get any more creative with the photos. :)

9 thoughts on “Basil-avocado sauce with lemon (vegan/gf/nut-free)

  1. foods for the soul says:

    I love basil. Absolutely adore it. You’re so lucky to have that much basil at your Farmer’s Market! I want to try to grow my own basil plant this spring, but I have a really brown thumb… It’s a bit of a problem.

    • Julie @ Harvest Moon Kitchen says:

      Hi there! Yeah, I am lucky… our winter market isn’t the biggest (since up here in Maine we have a pretty short growing season), but there’s this one farm that does greenhouses and has tomatoes, lettuce and basil all year long! In a sea of root vegetables (although nothing against my earthy friends), fresh herbs can’t be beat. :) I’m starting my own garden for the first time in my own house, and I’m a bit nervous. If I can do it, you can do it!

      • foods for the soul says:

        Wow, sounds like greenhouses are amazing! I’m tempted to just grow some herbs in pots instead of planting an entire garden in the backyard. I have a feeling our little dog would sniff and try eating whatever I plant!

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