Nut Free Vegan Pesto

Nut free vegan pesto by Pasta-based. An overhead shot of a food processor with creamy pesto inside. A hand comes into the frame and scoops some of the pesto with a spoon.

This recipe for basil pesto is completely vegan and nut-free. It’s packed with fresh basil, garlic, and sunflower seeds. It’s creamy with the perfect texture for pasta, pizza, bread, and more.

Nut free vegan pesto by Pasta-based. An overhead shot of a bowl of pasta covered in bright green pesto sauce.

Different ways you can use basil pesto:

  • In pasta, obviously! Our favorite recipe to use pesto in is this Brussels Sprouts and Vegan Italian Sausage recipe. The recipe in that post uses a cashew pesto but you can substitute this nut free pesto to make a similar recipe.
    • Pro-tip: when you’re boiling the pasta, use a ladle and scoop out some of the starchy pasta water. If your pesto is a too thick to spread, you can add some of the pasta water to loosen it up
  • On pizza! Spread a generous layer of pesto on the raw pizza dough, then top with more pesto and fresh basil when the pizza comes out of the oven.
  • On roasted veggies! For Christmas dinner last year, we made charred cauliflower steaks and topped them with a few dollops of a super nutty, basil packed pesto. It was amazing!
  • In tacos! It sounds a little strange but it’s actually so good! You can use the recipe as-is or add a little cilantro, lime juice, or maybe even an avocado to spice things up.
  • On potatoes! Baked potatoes or smashed potatoes taste amazing when topped with some vegan sour cream and vegan basil pesto.
  • On bruschetta!
  • Make a bruschetta and I’ll eat the whole loaf of bread on my own. It’s so easy to make, just toast a sliced baguette with a light brush of olive oil. When it comes out of the oven, rub the slices with fresh garlic cloves. Add toppings – like this nut free pesto sauce.

This vegan basil pesto recipe is dairy free, nut free, and so easy to make. You can use your blender or your food processor. Use a spatula to wipe down the edges as you blend so that you get an even blend.

Pro-tip: if you’re using this sauce for pasta, save some of the pasta water after boiling the macaroni. You can use the starchy pasta water to loosen up the pesto sauce so that it coats your pasta better.

Sunflower Seed Pesto (vegan, nut-free)
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Calories per Serving: 194 kcal
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 cups basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender. Blend until creamy.

June 19, 2019