A delicious sauce made with fresh basil and garlic, typically pesto involves nuts, but not this one! Nut Free pesto is made with sunflower seeds to make it allergy friendly, but still delicious.
NUT FREE PESTO RECIPE
Pesto is a tried and true, no-cook sauce that is amazing on just about everything! I love a fresh nut free pesto tossed with hot pasta, or drizzling it over some fresh sliced tomatoes. Pesto is also great with potatoes, and I have added this nut free pesto to Air Fryer Potatoes many times.
Herby, fresh, green basil is the star of this pesto show, and is accented with garlic, olive oil, and our allergy friendly ingredient, sunflower seeds.
Sunflower seeds are a great substitute for nuts in many different recipes, and in nut free pesto they are absolutely perfect. I'm a huge fan of sunflower seeds in SunButter, and use it for sandwiches, desserts, and recipes like my Thai Lettuce Wraps.
This vegan pesto recipe uses whole, roasted sunflower seeds and is absolutely perfect, no nuts needed.
INGREDIENTS IN NUT FREE PESTO
Minced Garlic- Fresh garlic works best for flavor, but dehydrated or jarred minced garlic will work too.
Fresh Basil - 1 cup of very tightly packed fresh basil leaves is needed for this recipe. If you don't love the flavor of basil, you can use fresh spinach leaves instead, but the flavor will be much more mild.
Olive Oil - Use more or less to get the consistency the way you want it. Use the best extra virgin olive oil you have for this recipe. It makes a difference.
Lemon Juice- Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds acidity and brightness to our pesto
Sunflower Seeds - These little seeds are packed with flavor and are our substitution in this nut-free pesto.
Salt and Pepper - add to taste.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I'll get back to you ASAP!
HOW TO MAKE NUT FREE PESTO
- Place the minced garlic and basil leaves into a food processor (or high speed blender).
- Add in oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Then add sunflower seeds to the mixture in the food processor.
- Pulse until well combined, but not completely smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste, and add more oil if needed.
These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions, please see the recipe below.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH NUT FREE PESTO
Pesto is amazing in so many dishes! Try it with your favorite pasta for a super simple meal, or dip Italian bread into it for an appetizer or snack.
You can drizzle this no nut pesto over fish (if you eat fish), and it's perfect as a sauce on almost any kind of vegetable. Nut Free pesto pairs really well with cauliflower and broccoli. You can just steam or roast the veggies and drizzle away! It's also great on asparagus, zucchini, or tofu.
Try Nut Free pesto with Air Fryer Eggplant for a really special side dish.
CAN I MAKE PESTO IN A BLENDER?
I prefer the power of a food processer for pesto making, but a good, high powered blender like a Vitamix or a Ninja will do the trick too. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a knife to cut up the seeds and basil before putting into the blender so it's easier to blend.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE PESTO
It takes less than 5 minutes to make pesto start to finish. The food processor does most of the work too.
MORE DELICIOUS VEGAN SAUCES TO MAKE
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Nut Free Pesto
- Food processor
- Place the minced garlic and a cup of tightly packed fresh basil leaves into a food processor.
- Add in oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Then add sunflower seeds to the mixture in the food processor. Pulse until well combined, but not completely smooth.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, then adjust to desired consistency by adding more oil.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- You can substitute fresh spinach instead of the basil. If you use spinach it needs to be fresh and not frozen.
- You can omit the sunflower seeds or substitute with pepitas.
- If you add in too much oil and your pesto is too thin, you can thicken by adding more fresh basil or fresh spinach.
All though this website attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, the information should only be considered an estimate. Varying factors such as different product types, different brands, etc. can change nutritional information. It is your responsibility as a consumer to read all labels to make sure the ingredients fit your dietary needs as well as calculate your own nutritional information as a double check.