Basil Pine Nut Crumble

©Marta Sasinowska

Basil Pine Nut Crumble makes a super dairy-free replacement for Parmesan cheese. You can use it in salads of all kinds (greens and pastas) and it’s delicious sprinkled on top of dinners like Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Mixed Vegetable Lasagna, and soups like Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato. Make a batch and keep it on-hand in the fridge for about 4 weeks.


Chef’s knife
Silicone spatula
Cookie sheet
Unbleached parchment paper
Food processor

Buy everything organic if you can. Here’s why.
1 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup cashews
6 tbsp pure water
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp fine ground sea salt
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp nutritional yeast
4 large basil leaves, chiffonade and loosely chopped (you can leave this out if you want a more neutral crumble flavor)


Let’s get started.
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Prepare your basil and set aside.

©Marta Sasinowska

Place pine nuts and cashews on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and toast for 10 minutes.

©Marta Sasinowska

Place all ingredients in the food processor and mix until a “cheesey” dough forms. Using spatula, press and spread the mixture flat onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Break off pieces of the crumble. Now these pieces make tasty crisps to pair with salads, so stop at this point if this is what you would like the crumble to be.

If you want more of a micro-crumble (like the main photo), place baked pieces in the food processor and pulse a few times until you reach the texture you’d like.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 weeks. Enjoy!



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  1. meg

    Sounds delicious, but pine nuts are way too expensive for me to make this. They’re something like $25 a pound!

    • Hi Meg~
      Pine Nuts can be found for around $10-15 lb and you only need about 1 cup for this recipe. You can always use 1/2 cup pine nuts and increase the cashew quantity for this recipe—which is a topping, used sparingly, so you get many, many servings out of it. Shop in the bulk section for cost savings, too.

  2. Susan

    This is an ingenious cheese substitute that even the kids love. Thank you for the wonderful recipe. It is life-changing!

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