Vegan Cheese Twists with Nut Free Pesto (Allergy-Friendly)

Cheese and pesto goes together so well. Why should you have to miss out on this flavour combination if you have food allergies? This easy recipe for vegan cheese twists with nut free pesto hits the spot. Somewhere between a vegan cheese straw and an allergy-friendly pesto pastry scroll, these are a perfect snack, side dish or starter to enjoy with friends and family without worrying about food allergies.

Vegan cheese twists on off white rectangular plate with text "allergy-friendly vegan cheese twists with nut free pesto"

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3 easy ingredients

Our allergy-friendly pesto and vegan cheese twists only use 3 easy ingredients:

  • 2 sheets of dairy free puff pastry (gluten free if required)
  • 3 Tablespoons of dairy and nut free pesto
  • 1 Tablespoon of grated or shredded dairy and nut free vegan cheese (extra to garnish)

I also like to use some fresh herbs with the extra vegan parmesan to garnish – either some chopped garlic chives or parsley.

Allergy-friendly puff pastry

I use Pampas frozen puff pastry sheets. These are an Australian product containing margarine instead of butter. However these do contain wheat and soy. There are other dairy free brands available at supermarkets here in Australia.

If you need a gluten free puff pastry, Simply Wize makes a good ready made version (with no top allergen ingredients, but does have a precautionary “may contain” statement for nuts, sesame and soy). I do find gluten free pastry harder to work with as it often cracks. Be sure to let the pastry sheet defrost properly and roll out with a rolling pin before using.

Dairy and nut free pesto

When you have food allergies, especially to tree nuts and dairy, pesto is a flavour that you usually need to avoid. Traditional pesto is made by blending basil, pine nuts, garlic and hard cheese (parmesan or pecorino) together with olive oil. Pine nuts are a tree nut and cheese is of course a no-go cow’s milk/dairy allergies. Some pesto is made with other tree nuts like cashews. The safest way to enjoy pesto with allergies is to make your own!

Our recipe for dairy and nut free pesto is very quick and easy. You’ll only need 3 Tablespoons for this recipe.

Dairy and nut free vegan cheese

Be careful to choose a vegan cheese that suits your allergies. Some vegan cheeses still contain dairy proteins, others are made with tree nuts such as cashews, and many contain soy.

For this recipe I use Bio Cheese Grated Parmesano which is available at our local shops. It is made with a coconut oil base. This vegan parmesan comes in thin grated strands which work well for both the filling and for garnish.

Packet of Bio Cheese dairy free Parmesano vegan cheese

As always, check the ingredients and any may contain statements carefully to ensure the ingredients you use are safe for your allergies.

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C/390F.

Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking or parchment paper.

Take 2 square (approximately 24x24cm of 9 1/4 x 9 1/4 inch)sheets of frozen puff pastry from the freezer and allow to thaw until easy to work with.

Spread one pastry sheet with 3 Tablespoons of dairy and nut free pesto using a butter knife. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of nut and dairy free vegan parmesan cheese over the top of the pesto.

Take the second sheet of puff pastry and place over the top of the first, pressing down to stick the two sheets together.

Making the twists

Using either a sharp knife or a pizza wheel, divide the pastry sheets into 4 quarters. Then cut each quarter into 4 even strips to make 16 pieces.

4 step instructions for preparing,  cutting and twisting vegan cheese twists from puff pastry
How to assemble and cut the vegan cheese twists from sheets of puff pastry

Take one strip of pastry and twist it (at least twice) to form a rolled finger. Place on the prepared baking tray. Repeat with the remaining strips until you have 16 rolls.

Baking, serving and storage

Place the baking trays in the over for 12-14 minutes and bake until the twists are nicely browned. Remove from the over and allow to cool slightly on the tray.

These delicious twists are best served warm and enjoyed immediately. Place on a serving dish or platter and sprinkle with chopped chives or parsley and some extra vegan parmesan.

If you are saving the vegan cheese twists for later in the day, allow to cool completely and then store in an air tight container. You can crisp the twists in the oven again before serving if desired.

Twists are best eaten the same day as they are made or the puff pastry will begin to soften.

This recipe will make 16 twists and is perfect for a side dish or starter to share between 6-8 people.

Vegan cheese twists on a wooden board with text "allergy-friendly vegan cheese twists with nut free pesto"

More dairy and nut free recipes

These cheese twists would be delicious as a side with our creamy dairy free potato and leek soup.

All of the recipes on our recipes page are made without milk or tree nuts. For some nut free treats, try our coconut and maple flavoured dairy free fudge or our easy to make Oreo truffles.

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Dairy and Nut Free Vegan Cheese Twists (Allergy Friendly)

Allergy Spot
A quick and easy snack or side dish made with just 3 ingredients and free from tree nuts and dairy. Gluten free option.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 22 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Australian
Servings 16
Calories 171 kcal

Equipment

  • 2 baking trays lined with non-stick baking or parchment paper
  • measuring spoons
  • butter knife
  • sharp knife or pizza wheel

Ingredients
  

  • 2 sheets (24x24cm, 9 1/4 x 9 1/4in) dairy free puff pastry (gluten free if required)
  • 3 Tablespoons dairy and nut free pesto
  • 1 Tablespoon grated or shredded dairy and nut free vegan cheese (extra to garnish)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/390F.
  • Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking or parchment paper.
  • Take 2 square (approximately 24x24cm of 9 1/4 x 9 1/4 inch)sheets of frozen puff pastry from the freezer and allow to thaw until easy to work with.
  • Spread one pastry sheet with 3 Tablespoons of dairy and nut free pesto using a butter knife. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of nut and dairy free vegan parmesan cheese over the top of the pesto.
  • Take the second sheet of puff pastry and place over the top of the first, pressing down to stick the two sheets together.
  • Using either a sharp knife or a pizza wheel, divide the pastry sheets into 4 quarters. Then cut each quarter into 4 even strips to make 16 pieces.
  • Take one strip of pastry and twist it (at least twice) to form a rolled finger. Place on the prepared baking tray. Repeat with the remaining strips until you have 16 rolls.
  • Place the baking trays in the over for 12-14 minutes and bake until the twists are nicely browned. Remove from the over and allow to cool slightly on the tray.
  • These delicious twists are best served warm and enjoyed immediately. Place on a serving dish of platter and sprinkle with chopped chives or parsley and some extra vegan parmesan.

Notes

If you are saving the vegan cheese twists for later in the day, allow to cool completely and then store in an air tight container. You can crisp the twists in the oven again before serving if desired.
Twists are best eaten the same day as they are made or the puff pastry will begin to soften.
This recipe will make 16 twists and is perfect for a side dish or starter to share between 6-8 people.
Keyword allergy-friendly, dairy free, easy, egg free, gluten free, nut free, quick, sesame free, vegan, vegetarian, wheat free

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