Nut-Free Pesto

Makes 1 cup

Removing nuts from your diet doesn’t mean pesto is off the table. This nut-free pesto recipe uses sunflower seeds instead of traditional pine nuts. And since there’s no Parmesan cheese, this recipe is also dairy free.


  • 1⁄3 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed with the side of a knife
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon, about 1½ tablespoons
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 10 grinds black pepper


Pulse the sunflower seeds and garlic in a food processor until evenly chopped. Add the basil and continue to pulse.


With the processor running, add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and blend until smooth.


Use immediately, refrigerate for up to 4-5 days or freeze for longer-term storage.

Nutrition Analysis (per 2 tablespoons): 150 cal, 16 g fat, 0 mg chol, 150 mg sodium, 2 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein.


Reprinted with permission from Make It Paleo II, published by Victory Belt Publishing. Recipe and photos by Hayley Mason and Bill Staley.