Oscar-Worthy Creamy Pesto Dip

I don’t like movies.


I know, I know… you’re looking at your screen like I said I kill puppies.

They are just SO predictable/disappointing/over-acted/etc.  I do make exception for movies based on true stories.  Zero Dark 30, for example, was incredible.  I also liked Les Miserables… even thought it was a musical and it was long.  It could have something to do with the bottle of wine we snuck into the theater…

Either way, I DO love the awards shows.  I like to judge check out the dresses, and love the performances between awards.  How awesome is Adele?!  

Adele Oscar performance


When Special K contacted me about trying their new Sweet & Salty Popcorn Chips and sharing them with friends at an Oscar party, I jumped at the chance.  I love a party! 😉

The awesome party package they sent included the chips, nail polish, a game to guess the winners, and…. a red carpet!!!  ***I received this product and party kit at no cost from Special K; however, all opinions are my OWN!***

red carpet


I invited over some of my favorite movie buffs and prepared a spread of meatballs, Creamy Pesto Dip, Brown Beer Hummus, veggie sticks, cheeses, and Red Wine Chocolate Cookies.  And the chips, of course.

The chips were totally addicting.  How can it get better than sweet & salty?  We inhaled 2 boxes.  Which really isn’t bad considering a serving is 28 chips.  Only 120 calories AND I can pronounce every ingredient on the (short) list.

Oscar spread


Our favorite performances were – of course – Adele and Les Mis.  I can’t believe they got the whole cast on stage!  I also laughed like a 10-year-old boy at the “We Saw Your Boobs” song. #sorryimnotsorry.

Did I mention it was a pajama party?

Oscar party


Back to the spread.  The dips were fantastic with the chips.  I shared the Beer Hummus on Monday, but today I have the Creamy Pesto Dip for you.  This recipe was inspired by this recipe created by my girl Kierston.  She is a Canadian figure competitor and I have LOVED following her journey!

I lightened it up a bit to meet my dietary needs by eliminating the pine nuts and parm and using nutritional yeast.  Because nutritional yeast has a cheesy-nutty taste to it, it made a fabulous pesto and packed in the B-12 and protein.

Citrus and spice are a couple of my favorite ways to add depth and a bright punch to recipes.  I added lemon juice and red pepper flakes to accomplish that here.  After combining the first ingredients in the food processor, I transferred the mix to a bowl to stir in the Greek yogurt (more protein – woot!).  I couldn’t believe how light and flavorful the result was!

Creamy Pesto Dip 1


Vegan or dairy-free?  Make your protein-packed pesto creamy by adding tofu to the blender!

Creamy, fluffy and packed with protein.  And it got the thumbs up from Carol.


Creamy Pesto Dip

Creamy Pesto Dip

  • 1 C fresh basil leaves (packed)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 C nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 C Greek yogurt

Place basil, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and peppers in food processor.  Process until combined.

With processor running, slowly add in oil.

Transfer to a bowl.  Stir in Greek yogurt.


Makes ~1 C.


I wish I had an excuse to throw a party every weekend!  It’s fun… and a great motivator to clean the house. 😉

What is your favorite party dip?

Do you like movies?  What was your favorite this season?



  1. says

    I’m kind of embarrassed to say I didn’t see one movie that was nominated. Oopsss. I’m not a huge movie person, but I feel a little out of it since I didn’t see any of them.
    That pesto dip sounds awesome! Normally pesto has pine nuts correct? I forget, but if so, I’m glad you made this version because I despise pine nuts more than anything!

    • Laura says

      Right 0 pine nuts are traditional, but this is nut-free. Another option is wanuts – they are awesome in pesto! So is kale… hmmm… I need to go to the store…

  2. says

    Thanks for making a vegan option!

    I love Adele,though the emotion she portrays in so many of her songs breaks my heart. (Love Kierston too. She’s wonderFUl!)

    I actually like movies, but I guess not enough to actually go. I did see Argo (it was really good, I’m glad it won).

  3. says

    I LOVE that it was a pajama party!! Sounds like you had a great time. I like watching the award shows just to see the red carpet and the pretty dresses. What can I say. Your pesto dip looks delicious. And I agree with Lisa – I’m glad that your dip doesn’t have pine nuts because I’m allergic!

  4. says

    That pesto looks awesome! Now I now how to use up that pack of silken tofu.
    I love movies, but I’m a little bit behind on the Oscar winning ones. Need to get the DVDs. I loved Django Unchained, though. And Mr. Waltz, of course.

  5. says

    Swapping greek yogurt for sour cream in dips is awesome, and I do it all the time! :) I’m not a huge move fan either. I usually get distracted about 5 or 10 minutes in–I’d usually rather being doing something else. It’s got to a be a REALLY good film to get my attention.

  6. says

    I’m like you and aren’t a huge fan of movies either! I feel like they’re usually super predictable and there’s just something better I could be doing with the time

  7. says

    Aww pajama parties are so much fun! I miss living in a student house because we used to have those all the time! Oh yeah, I have trouble watching TV (some movies are ok) because it puts me to sleep. Now books are a different matter 😛

  8. says

    I love going to the movies but Jason doesn’t. He likes movies but wants to watch them at home, which I don’t like as much because I get distracted.

    They sent you nail polish? That’s random! I’ve had those chips before though and they are good.

  9. says

    Believe it or not, I haven’t seen any of the Oscar nominated films this year. Oops! I’m going to remedy that by watching Argo and Silver Linings Playbook this weekend…I hope!

    And this pesto yogurt dip sounds amazing. Good thinking on combining the two!

  10. says

    I saw your Instagram pic of the red carpet and had a giggle.
    I am an awards show junkie. I am not ashamed. I only saw 3 of the best pic nominees, but hey, that’s pretty good! I’m also a movie addict. I am not ashamed.
    I loved Silver Linings and Argo! And I can’t deny a Tarantino movie now with Christoph Waltz. Django “the D is silent” Unchained was really good although hearing the N word 109 times just made me mad. I get they said that word a lot, but I still hate it and it’s such a sad word to me :( Oh well.
    Back to the point of this comment: This dip sounds dopeshow. I need to make sure I bookmark it so I can make it for my next par-tay!!

    • Laura says

      that was the last one I was before Les Mis. I left the theater and didn’t really know what to say for a couple hours after… what an odd movie.

  11. says

    I thoroughly enjoy movies and watch particular ones over and over. However, I refuse to pay the ticket price at the theater and therefore haven’t watched anything film so far this year.

    Sounds like a pretty decent party for a non-movie lover. 😉

  12. says

    Awww thanks Laura!!! You made me smile…actually, you made me #FUFACE :)

    Great twist on the recipe! Sounds and looks delish!

    I’m always up for a PJ party. Have you heard of the new word of the day? Pyjama Rich. Look it up lol

    Have a great day!


    • Laura says

      I don’t even remember the noms from 2 years ago! You’ll have to let me know if I missed anyhting good. :)

  13. says

    THIS is my favorite party dip now. I’ve been waiting for this recipe all week!! I literally think I could eat this on everything savory that ever existed. Have you tried it on top of your fish? I bet it would be amazing! I have a deal for you- I’ll make cookie dough balls, you make dip and we will get together and eat a lot. 😀

    • Laura says

      That’s such a good idea! I want it with salmon now!

      Yes. Balls, dip, protein powder… it will be a night to remember. :)

  14. says

    what a fun party – I want a red carpet!!

    sweet and salty is one of my favorite combinations, I may have to find these…

    now that we have theaters with “living room” style seating, Jason and I do go to the movies more… for years I rarely went to see a movie because I really hate traditional theaters – sitting so close to people, hearing people eat, GAAH 😉

    the last great movie we saw was one we “rented” on Amazon at home – Hesher. I recommend it, very good movie! Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s best role.

    • Laura says

      Do you guys have the restaurant theaters too? We have one here called Cine Bistro… I hear the food is actually good!

      • says

        YES and we LOVE them!! I feel like I can go to movies again, and if we can sneak away during the week to a matinee? we are sometimes in a near empty theater which is even more awesome. the food is decent at the one we go to often, and at our favorite theater downtown, the food is fantastic! cocktails and beer while watching a movie? just another plus. 😉

  15. says

    Sounds delicious! And those sweet + salty chips are their own form of addictive crack-o-liciousness. Yes, it really IS a good thing the serving size is so ‘forgiving’…

    I love movies, but I can only sit still if I’m in a movie theater. Otherwise I have to stop and start and take breaks to keep myself focused.

  16. says

    Glad to not be the only not-that-big-of-a-movie-person person–although I did make an exception for the new Die Hard last weekend. I mean, helicopter explosions, how can you say no to that? Anyhoo, kinda jealous that Special K sent you their chips, I love those things! I also love pesto and beer. Plus pajamas? Sounds like my kind of party.

  17. says

    I love that it was a pajama party! Definitely my kind of party – I am SO not a girly girl or one to get dressed up (it’s kind of pathetic, actually). And, I think I need to come to one of your parties- what an excellent hostess you are!
    I didn’t watch the Oscars at all. I have a really bad attitude about awards shows. I think they are such a ridiculous waste of money to put on!
    That being said… I ADORE watching Joan Rivers critique the fashion the next day on E!

  18. says

    Dude! I was just telling Meghan (Clean Eats Fast Feets) that I should invite company over more often because my house goes from “wtf” to vampire sparkly in no time flat…well, as long as you don’t open the hall closet or look under my bed! 😉

    Love the spread AND the fact that it was pajama themed…any excuse not to wear pants is good in my book! I’ve been living in the same yoga pants now for over 36 hours! Lol And you know I’m all about this dip! THANK you for making it low fat…not that I’m necessarily opposed to fat, but without the nuts and cheese, I could say eat the entire batch and not feel too bad about it! What can I say, I’m a dipaholic!

    Favorite movie this season: Warm Bodies was awesome! Laughed my ass off! And don’t hate me, but I liked the last Twilight movie too! 😉

    • Laura says

      Right?! I am going to be searching for stuff for weeks after I shoved it all in cabinets and drawers. Oops. Maybe I should clean “for real.” Nah… 😉

      I’m not scared of fat… but I am a volume eater and a grazer. If I make it low fat, then I can have ALL the foods. Bwhahaha!

      Veggie Heather made me watch Twilight. I’m still mad at her for that… 😉

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