This delicious vegan nut-free pesto is easy to make, packed with flavors, and requires simple ingredients. Perfect on pasta, over veggies, or pizza!
This pesto is vegan, nut-free, and gluten-free.
Pesto or pesto alla Genovese is a sauce made by crushing basil, pine nuts, garlic, and parmesan, with olive oil.
This flavorful green sauce is commonly used on pasta, pizza, and carpaccio to add freshness.
My nut-free vegan pesto is inspired by pesto alla Genovese but it’s not an authentic Italian recipe.
What you will need to make vegan nut-free pesto
- Basil leaves: (Duh!) for its characteristic flavor and bright green color.
- Garlic: for a nice kick in flavor.
- Sunflower seeds: instead of pine nuts to add crunchiness.
- Sunflower seed butter: for creaminess without using oil.
- Lemon juice: adds tang and brightness.
- Salt & pepper: to season
How to make vegan nut-free pesto
- Prep your basil leaves. Wash thoroughly with water and pat dry with a clean towel.
- In a food processor, add lemon juice, sunflower seed butter, sunflower seed, garlic.
- Season with salt and pepper, and pulse to combine.
- Finally, add the fresh basil and pulse until the pesto is smooth.
Always add your basil last to the blender. This way, basil leaves won’t get bruised and lose their bright green color.
How to serve pesto
- With pasta or over pizza
- On a cheese platter
- Mixed with a salad dressing
- Spread on sandwiches and toasts
- Over grilled veggies
- As a dipping sauce
Other recipes you might want to try
What you might need to make this vegan pesto:
This delicious nut-free pesto is easy to make, packed with flavors, and requires simple ingredients. Perfect on pasta, over veggies, or pizza! This pesto is vegan, nut-free, and gluten-free.
- 1 cup fresh basil (packed)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/3 cup sunflower seed (raw or toasted)
- 1 tbsp sunflower seed butter (optional)
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
- pinch of sea salt
- pinch of pepper
In a food processor, place lemon juice, sunflower seed butter, and sunflower seeds. (You can omit the sunflower seed butter or replace it with 2 tbsp of water for easier blending)
Add garlic, salt and, pepper, and pulse to combine. Finally, add the fresh basil on top.
Blend until well combined and smooth. You can add 1 tbsp of water at a time if it's hard to blend.
Taste test, and adjust seasoning. Add more salt, pepper, or lemon juice if needed.
- To store the pesto, pour it in a container, top it with olive oil or lemon juice (to avoid browning), and cover.
- Pesto can be kept in a sealed container for up to 1 week in the fridge. It may lose its bright green color but it will still taste good.
Pin this for later