Looking to learn how to make pesto without nuts? Look no further! My delicious nut free pesto recipe is quick, delicious, and full of vibrant, fresh flavor. This simple recipe adds a burst of flavor to pasta, chicken, veggies, and wraps!
PESTO SAUCE WITHOUT NUTS
This is the best homemade pesto recipe! While traditional pesto is made with pine nuts, I replaced them with hemp seeds to make a delicious sauce that’s suitable for anyone with nut allergies.
You only need a handful of ingredients and less than 5 minutes to make this incredibly perfect pesto. It’s a great way to use up a surplus of basil, to add fresh flavor to hot pasta dishes, elevate a sandwich, or simply to drizzle over caprese salad for a burst of freshness. Either way, this nut-free pesto sauce will add a vibrancy to any dish that’s sure to captivate whoever you serve it to.
WHAT IS PESTO?
Traditional basil pesto is a classic Italian sauce that originated in Genoa, Italy. It is believed to have predecessors that date all the way back in the Roman Age when ancient Romans used to eat a paste that is extremely reminiscent of the pesto we make today.
A classic pesto recipe is made of fresh basil leaves, fresh garlic, pine nuts, salt, and a hard cheese that is blended with extra-virgin olive oil. In Italy it is typically served over pasta dishes, but in America it is used on many more dishes.
WHAT YOU NEED FOR NUT FREE PESTO
- Cutting board
- Food processor or high speed blender
- Fresh basil: You want to use fresh basil leaves for this, dried will not work
- Baby spinach: I like the addition of spinach because it tones down the basil flavor slightly
- Parmesan cheese: I used grated parmesan, but please buy a good quality of cheese or grate your own
- Hemp seeds: You could also use sunflower seeds
- Extra virgin olive oil: Use a good quality olive oil, my favorite is this organic one
- Lemon juice: Optional, but it helps brighten the flavor and keep the pesto bright green
- Salt and pepper: Add these to your taste
HOW TO MAKE PESTO SAUCE WITHOUT NUTS
- Place basil, spinach, parmesan cheese, hemp seeds, and salt and pepper into a food processor
- Chop the ingredients in the food processer until they reach a paste-like consistency
- With the food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil until it is fully emulsified
- Turn the machine off, finish with a squeeze of lemon juice, and give it one final blend to make sure everything is combined
- Taste, adjust seasoning if needed, and enjoy!
INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS AND VARIATIONS
Fresh basil: Substitute for all spinach, kale, parsley, or pretty much any kind of green
Spinach: You can use all basil
Parmesan cheese: Pecorino Romano is a great substitute
Hemp seeds: Sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds will also work
Olive oil: Use avocado oil instead. I don’t recommend using a low quality oil like canola or vegetable because the taste won’t be as good
Kale Pesto: Use 1 cup of basil and 1 cup of packed kale
Spinach Pesto: You can use all spinach instead of the half and half like I did
Parsley Pesto: Make your homemade pesto with 2 cup of parsley instead
Vegan Pesto: You can totally substitute the parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast or a vegan parmesan
Sundried Tomato Pesto: Add in 2 sundried tomatoes to the original recipe
Garlic Pesto: Add 2-3 peeled garlic cloves into the original recipe
WAYS TO USE PESTO WITHOUT NUTS
This nut-free pesto recipe is such a delicious, versatile sauce! It’s an easy way to add a ton of flavor to any dish, here’s a few of my favorite things to use it on:
- Spread over grilled chicken breast
- Stir into pasta with shrimp
- Dot it on pizza
- Drizzle it over caprese salad
- Use as a sandwich spread
- It’s delicious on eggs
- Mix into vegetable soups
Store any leftover pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. Or, you can keep it in the freezer for up to six months.
CAN YOU FREEZE LEFTOVER PESTO?
Yes, you most definitely can! All you have to do is pour any leftover pesto into ice cube trays and place them into the freezer. When you want fresh pesto simply pop out one or two cubes and let it defrost in the fridge overnight. This is a great way to get fresh, bright flavor all year, especially in the winter months when basil is not in season.
(The pesto cubes will last for up to 6 months)
Did you make my easy pesto sauce without nuts? If you did, I would greatly appreciate you leaving a comment and star rating down below. Additionally, you can follow me on Instagram and tag me if you make this or any other of my easy, delicious recipes.Print
How to make Pesto without Nuts
Learn how to make the best pesto without nuts! This simple recipe is made in 5 minutes and adds vibrant flavor to pasta, chicken, sandwiches, and more!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 16 tablespoons 1x
- Category: Sauce
- Method: Blend
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, stems removed
- 1 cup packed baby spinach
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (good quality)
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of half a lemon
- Place basil, spinach, parmesan cheese, hemp seeds, salt and pepper into the base of a food processor
- Pulse the ingredients on high until they reach a paste-like consistency
- With the food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil until it is fully emulsified and your pesto is smooth
- Turn the food processor off, add in the lemon juice, then give it one final blend of high to make sure everything is combined
- Taste, adjust seasoning if needed, and enjoy!
- Use all basil instead of half spinach half basil
- Substitute the hemp seeds with sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- Use a good quality parmesan cheese, not the powdered, un-refrigerated kind
- Adjust seasoning as needed
- Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one week
- Freeze leftover in ice cube trays for up to 6 months
Keywords: how to make pesto sauce without nuts, nut free pesto, pesto without pine nuts