Nut Free Vegan Pesto

Close up of some nut free vegan pesto in a jar.

This nut free vegan pesto is one of my favourite sauces. It’s so full of flavour from the fresh basil and it contains plenty of healthy fats which add richness to the sauce. Fresh homemade pesto sauce just tastes so decadent, especially when tossed with pasta or used as a pizza sauce. 

Nut Free Vegan Pesto – Key Ingredients & Substitutions

I’m excited to have finally perfected a recipe for nut free pesto sauce without that is also dairy free. All it took was a couple of simple ingredient substitutions – pumpkin seeds instead of the pine nuts that are traditionally used in pesto sauce, and nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan cheese. If you haven’t tried cooking with nutritional yeast yet – do! It’s a plant based delicious alternative to cheese and it really does taste similar, in my opinion. Other than that, it’s a pretty standard pesto recipe.

This is a great recipe to make when you’re entertaining guests (particularly if they have various dietary restrictions since this recipe doesn’t contain any common allergens, is gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free). This nut free vegan pesto is also sure to be a hit with your herbivorous friends and family members or anyone who’s lactose intolerant or just prefers to avoid dairy. It’s really easy to make and can be prepared a couple days in advance so it’s ready to go when your guests arrive.

If you want to jazz this nut free vegan pesto sauce even more and take it to the next level there are a few additions you could toss in before blending. A handful of sun dried tomatoes would be a nice addition and would add a major flavour boost. Or you could throw in a few fresh chili peppers if you’re a spicy food lover.

For another tasty plant based pesto recipe, try this vegan walnut pesto. It’s just easy to make and is so flavourful.

Close up of some nut free vegan pesto in a jar.
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5 from 1 vote

Nut Free Vegan Pesto

This nut free vegan pesto also happens to be vegan. It's perfect on pasta or pizza.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword dairy free, nut free, vegan
Prep Time 12 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 174kcal


  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • Add fresh basil, olive oil, pumpkin seeds, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt and pepper to a food processor or blender.
  • Process/blend until smooth.
  • Makes slightly less than 1 cup of nut free pesto.


Calories: 174kcal | Fat: 16.9g

Nut Free Vegan Pesto Nutritional Information: