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A piece of toast slathered with vegan nut-free pesto.

Nut-Free Pesto

  • Author: Adriana
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: ~ 1 cup
  • Category: Pesto Recipes
  • Method: Cold Prep
  • Cuisine: Nut-Free Pesto


We return to our pesto series with this recipe for nut-free and dairy free pesto! We’ll use hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds to make this nut free pesto shine. Bonus: this pesto freezes well- so go ahead & make a double batch in your blender to save some for a rainy day.


  • 2 cups basil, tightly packed
  • 1/3 cup hemp seeds (sub pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds)
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper (or more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup – 1/3 cup olive oil, depending on preferred consistency. More oil = thinner pesto! If only using 1/4 cup oil, you may need to add 2-3 tablespoons water.


  1. Measure and add all ingredients to a food processor and puree until combined.
  2. You can toast the hemp seeds if you’d like to, this will increase the flavor of the hemp seeds!
  3. Before removing from the food processor, taste and adjust flavors as you see fit. 
  • Taste a little bland? Try adding more salt, pinch at a time.
  • Taste okay, but a little dull? Try adding more lemon juice, 1 teaspoon at a time.
  • Doesn’t taste cheesy enough? Add more nutritional yeast

     4. Remove from food processor or blender and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.


** This nut-free pesto freezes well! Freeze for up to 3 months, defrost in the fridge prior to using!

** Substitute any seeds you have if you don’t have hemp seeds on hand. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are our next favorite choices.

Keywords: Nut-Free Pesto, Dairy-Free Pesto