You want to make some pesto and can’t have nuts? No problem! I think this nut-free vegan pesto is going to be your new favorite.
Most recipes swap hella expensive pinenuts for real nuts, but what if you’re a nut-free kinda person? Whether it’s cashews, walnuts, or almonds, most vegan pestos rely on nuts as a primary ingredient. And yep, nuts can also be super expensive.
But don’t worry. This nut-free pesto recipe is here to save you. It’s made with sunflower seeds and tahini (sesame seeds) and a few other easy ingredients. And as an extra super healthy bonus, this nut-free pesto even has kale in it.
This is another simple and delicious recipe from Gettin’ Saucy, my new cookbook. It was inspired by my coworkers at my former cooking class job, one of whom made a pesto with sun-dried tomatoes, and another who taught me how to use nutritional yeast in pesto to replace Parmesan cheese. I’ve tossed in some tahini to make it a really creamy sauce. So it’s flavorful, affordable, and very, very good!
So how does one use these yummy pesto? Use on pasta, polenta, add to vegan mac and cheese, or in a creamy cashew cheese for manacotti or lasagna. Stir into hummus, serve alongside veggies as a dip, and blend with some extra olive oil and vinegar to make a pesto vinaigrette.
Simple & Delicious Nut-Free Vegan Pesto
2 cups packed fresh basil
1 cup packed fresh kale
1⁄2 cup sunflower seeds
1⁄2 cup nutritional yeast
1⁄4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons tahini
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- Add basil, kale, seeds, and nutritional yeast to food processor or blender. Turn machine on and let greens and seeds grind down. Slowly add in olive oil until mixture is creamy and smooth. Add tahini and salt, then blend a few seconds more.
- This turns out really thick and creamy. If you want it thinner, add a few Tablespoons more olive oil or water, stirring until it’s the perfect texture.
- You can keep leftovers for up to a week, but cover with a layer of olive oil to keep the bright green color. Basil always blackens, but it still tastes great!
Yield: about 1 cup