I have a full grown Basil plant at my home. So I am planning to make a Basil recipe, though I have never made one. So I decided to make pesto pasta. However due to the pandemic, the nearby shops have very limited products hence I wont be able to add Parmesan cheese. So can I use processed cheese in its place?

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    As the chosen answer suggests, replace the cheese with other nuts. I made a recipe yesterday where I used a mixture of pine nuts (50g), walnuts (15g), macademia nuts (35g) and cashews (50g). (+150g basil, 1 clove garlic, 1tsp vegeta, 40g water, 40g lemon juice, 80g olive oil). It's incredibly tasty (especially after it rests in the fridge). Commented Jul 19, 2020 at 0:13
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    Should the veins of Basil leaves be removed?
    – Ojasvi
    Commented Jul 19, 2020 at 10:57
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    I didn't remove them from mine and I like the 'earthiness' of the result. Commented Jul 19, 2020 at 11:11

2 Answers 2


Processed cheese isn't a good replacement for parmesan, it's generally too soft from added oils, and it doesn't have the right flavor. Instead, add more pine nuts, and salt to taste, leaving the cheese out entirely. If you can't find pine nuts then cashews or almonds can be used instead.

If you decide to try it use a bit less olive oil to make up for the oils in the cheese.

  • I made the pesto yesterday, though I didn't add any cheese in it, but yes I garnished the pesto pasta with a cube of grated processed cheese. It tasted very good!
    – Ojasvi
    Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 9:45

For texture, you’ll want to use a hard, dry and somewhat brittle cheese (such as Parmigiano, Grana Padano or Pecorino) which does not melt easily. The texture is right when you can break pieces off it with a Parmesan knife. If you can easily cut it into slices with a knife, it is probably too soft. The same probably goes for cheese which already comes in slices. Chances are the heat of the pasta will turn it into a viscuous mass almost instantly.

As for flavor, you’ll have to judge for yourself, as you’re about to enter the world of fusion cuisine.

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