Nut Free Pesto

Close up of pesto in a jar.

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This nut free 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. 

I’m excited to have finally perfected a recipe for pesto sauce without nuts 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 healthy and 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 pesto is also sure to be a hit with your vegan and vegetarian 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.

A mason jar filled with nut free pesto with a spoon and lid.
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5 from 1 vote

Nut Free Pesto

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


  • 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 Pesto Nutritional Information:

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