This nut-free pesto is made with sunflower butter, so it's completely safe for people with tree-nut allergies. It also happens to be vegan and loaded with hidden greens, but we promise you can't tell. You can use it as a 1-1 substitute for regular pesto in any recipe you choose.
Our cousin has a nut allergy, so we tested this recipe for her (Maddie, this one is for you), and I have to say...it's a keeper. This nut-free pesto is also vegan, Whole30, Paleo, gluten-free, and dairy-free, so it pretty much fits any diet you might be on. If you wanna go crazy and add cheese, you can do that. It's your pesto, not mine. Oh, and did I mention that this stuff takes like 5 minutes to make? Yeah, 5 minutes.
- Fresh basil
- Fresh spinach. We use baby spinach, but any spinach will do.
- Sunflower butter. This takes the place of pine nuts in traditional pesto recipes. Make sure the only ingredient is sunflower seeds (or sunflower seeds and salt). Don't get a sunflower butter that has sugar as an added ingredient. We use this Organic SunButter.
- Olive oil
- Fresh lemon juice
- Spices: black pepper, salt, and crushed red pepper
Step 1: Add spinach, basil, garlic, lemon juice, sunflower butter, olive oil, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper to a food processor and process it until it's smooth.
Step 2: Enjoy this over pasta, chicken, salmon, or whatever you'd like! You can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Frequently asked questions
Of course! If you're not vegan/Whole30/paleo/dairy-free, feel free to add cheese! I'd recommend good quality parmesan or pecorino Romano. Just add it to the food processor with the other ingredients or mix in finely grated cheese at the end. I'd start with a tablespoon or so and go from there.
Yes! I've also tested almond butter and mixed nut butter, which usually includes some combination of almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, or flax seeds. If you try other substitutes, let us know how it was in the comments!
You can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.