Fresh Pesto Sauce Recipe (without nuts!)

This nut free pesto sauce recipe that can be used as a dip, a topping for bread, a sauce for pasta and so much more. It’s absolutely delish! Tastes like summertime

Nut Free Pesto Sauce Recipe

I am working on harvesting some of our garden surplus like the herbs that we haven’t used up and we had a ton of basil. I harvested two pounds of basil leaves from the walkways in the garden. Man did I smell good! What to do with all this basil? Make nut free PESTO!

Any post on this blog may contain affiliate links that pay me a very small commission for items you purchase using the links but costs you nothing extra. 


basil growing in the garden

Nut free pesto

I am allergic to nuts and I don’t know if I will react to pine nuts or not so I wanted to come up with a nut free pesto I could eat too, so I decided to roast up some sunflower seeds to use in place of the pine nuts. I used 1/4 a cup of seeds and toasted them lightly in a skillet.

sunflower seeds roasting in a skillet

blender with roasted sunflower seeds, thai peppers, garlic, basil, parmesan cheese for nut free pesto sauce



To use pesto as a pasta sauce, just cook your pasta, top with the desired amount of pesto and mix well. It’s a gorgeous sauce for pasta. It tastes so fresh and nourishing. My kids love this dish. 

This pasta sauce freezes great too so you can have fresh pesto pasta all year round. Just put it in a jar, leaving room for it to expand and set it in the freezer. 

Nut free pesto can also be used on crostini, as a dip for fresh garlic bread, as a pizza sauce, as a sandwich spread and so much more.

Basil pesto in a mason jar on the counter

Sunflower pesto sauce

Nut Free Basil Pesto Sauce Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

Fresh basil pesto without using walnuts or pine nuts. 

Course: Seasoning Mix
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: basil pesto, nut free pesto, pesto sauce
Servings: 8
Author: Christina
Ingredients
  • 2 c basil leaves washed and removed from stems
  • 1/4 c sunflower seeds
  • 1 thai pepper
  • 1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4-1/2 c olive oil
Instructions
  1. Place sunflower seeds in a pan and toast on medium heat until they smell amazing. 

  2. Place in blender with basil, thai pepper, parmesan cheese, and garlic.

  3. Blend well.

  4. Drizzle in olive oil until you get a sauce consistency. 

For more information on using herbs from your garden, check this out.

Don’t forget to pin for later!

This nut free pesto sauce recipe that can be used as a dip, a topping for bread, a sauce for pasta and so much more. It's absolutely delish!

A great way to get started gardening is to try bucket gardening. There is no weeding and it’s a small space to keep up with while you’re learning.

Bucket Gardening 101

A great way to get started with gardening is to ...
Read More
Pork is one of my favorite meats. I love bacon, pork chops, ribs, roast, all the pork. I love having quick easy dinners with pork.

Quick Easy Dinners with Pork

Pork is one of my favorite meats. I love bacon, ...
Read More
There’s nothing better than being able to rummage around the house to find things kids can make. I love these twig star ornaments that you can make with sticks from the yard.

Twig Star Ornaments for Kids to Make

There’s nothing better than being able to rummage around the ...
Read More
In Oklahoma there is still plenty to do in the garden in November. Even though the garden season is winding down, there is still plenty to grow.

What to Do in the Garden in November

In Oklahoma there is still plenty to do in the ...
Read More

30 comments

  1. That’s a pretty clever way to make pesto for those who have nut allergies. I can hardly imagine a day without nuts – so I expect I’d be eating sunflower seeds by the hands full.

  2. Robin Stoddard says:

    I have a huge sunflower right out front ..tips on harvesting it???

    • I was told to let it dry on the stalk if you can. Birds were eating all of ours, so we cut the heads off and are drying them on screens. Once the back turns black and crunchy, you can work the seeds out of the head. We had to cut ours with a saw because they were HUGE!

  3. Lisa Johnson Cowell says:

    I have only made pesto a couple of times with walnuts. I don’t have a nut allergy, but am allergic to pine, so just stay away from the pine nuts, just in case. I have sunflower seeds, so I thought I would run out and make this right now…and then I remembered, I forgot to plant basil this year! I usually have a dozen different varieties to sell at farmers market, but for some reason, I totally spaced on it this year. I am going to have to start some and see if I can get it to live inside during the winter.

  4. Leslie Reynolds says:

    Wow! Yummy..

  5. Recipe: Basil-Parsley Pesto & Bacon Pasta | Pineapple Sage says:

    […] reading about a nut-free, homemade pesto sauce at Little Sprouts Learning, I felt inspired to try my hand at making this classic Italian staple. […]

  6. Andrea says:

    I’ve made pesto with walnuts, but obviously that’s not good for nut allergies. Sunflower seeds…awesome idea!

  7. I saw it, lots of GREAT ideas!

  8. Sharon says:

    Now, I would really like to try and make this….pinning.

  9. Yavonna says:

    great job , your kids are learning so much.

  10. Mike the Gardener says:

    This recipe sounds wonderful … never thought of not making it without the pine nuts

    • I’ve never had pesto because I didn’t want to die, but now I can make it for myself. Good solution. I don’t know what pine nuts taste like, but it’s delicious with sunflower seeds. Someone should make both and describe the difference to me. He he 🙂

  11. I love homemade pesto! Adding sunflower seeds is a great idea.

  12. chris says:

    This sounds great! I have so much basil that I would like to use, so I’ll definitely keep this recipe in mind 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  13. Two pounds of basil must be an enormous amount! I’ve never tried sunflower seeds. Good idea. Your pesto looks delicious 🙂

  14. Terri Lowell says:

    I’m gonna have to try this, and soon! 🙂

  15. Mmm. I love the sunflower seed idea for pesto!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.