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Prepare Vegan Nut-Free Pesto Like a Pro

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Updated on January 31, 2024

Reviewed by Yasmin Elwan

Navigating the culinary world with a nut allergy or adhering to a vegan lifestyle could potentially feel like quite the gauntlet. This blog is going be your trusty guide through the delightful and incredibly versatile territory of vegan nut-free pesto; we’ll delve into its ingredients, health benefits and myriad uses in our kitchens.

Having dietary restrictions doesn’t mean one has to miss out on the good stuff life has to offer – like that rich and luxuriously indulgent taste of pesto! So don’t despair because it turns out there’s an entire universe bursting with exciting alternatives just waiting for us to explore! So sit back comfortably with your brew of choice because flavourful decadence is but a click away!

Key Takeaways

  • Vegan nut-free pesto is a delicious alternative to traditional pesto that doesn’t include any nuts. Instead, it uses ingredients like pumpkin or sunflower seeds for a similar texture and flavour profile.
  • It is perfect for those with nut allergies or anyone looking for a different twist on this classic Italian sauce.
  • Vegan Nut-free pesto is packed with heart-healthy fats and omegas, making it a healthy choice. It is also often free from gluten, dairy, and added sugars.
  • You can use vegan nut-free pesto as a pasta sauce, sandwich spread, salad dressing, or pizza topping. The possibilities are endless!

What is Vegan Nut-Free Pesto?

A bowl of vegan nut-free pesto surrounded by fresh herbs and vegetables.Vegan nut-free pesto is a delicious alternative to traditional pesto that doesn’t include any nuts. Instead, it uses ingredients such as pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds to create a similar texture and flavour profile. This makes it perfect for those with nut allergies or anyone looking for a different twist on this classic Italian sauce.


Ingredients and Substitutions

To make your own vegan nut-free pesto, you can use different items to replace the nuts and cheese you find in most pesto kinds. Here are some choices:

  1. Pumpkin seeds: They’re a great substitute for walnuts or pine nuts.
  2. Nutritional yeast: It’s perfect for adding a cheesy, tangy taste.
  3. Sunflower seeds: Use these roasted ones instead of nuts.
  4. Hemp seeds: These can replace pine nuts in your sauce.
  5. Kale or spinach: Either one is a tasty change from the usual basil.
  6. Avocado: can add a buttery consistency and great flavour.

Benefits of nut-free pesto

Nut-free pesto is a win for food lovers with allergies. It’s kind to those who can’t eat nuts or cheese, but it doesn’t skimp on taste as it’s creamy, rich and full of yummy flavours you’ll love. It also ticks many health boxes. Nut-free pesto is stuffed with heart-healthy fats and omegas. Plus, it often comes gluten-free dairy-free and sugar free too! Being nut-free makes this type of pesto great for the budget as well.

How to Make Vegan Nut-Free Pesto

A close-up photo of fresh basil leaves and sunflower seeds.

To make vegan nut-free pesto, start by gathering your ingredients: fresh basil, garlic, lemon juice, sunflower seeds (or pumpkin seeds as an alternative), salt, and olive oil. Add these ingredients to your food processor and transfer them into a smooth mixture.


Tips for Making the Perfect Pesto

To get a great pesto, keep these tips in mind. First, use fresh basil leaves. The taste is worth it! Next, pick the right oil. Extra virgin olive oil makes your pesto taste rich and adds good health benefits. You can use many types of seeds or nuts for a nut-free option. Try pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or hemp seeds! If you don’t have dietary restrictions, cashews or walnuts are also good options instead of pine nuts in your vegan pesto recipe. Also, make sure to add enough salt to bring out the flavour of all ingredients.

Ways to Use Vegan Nut-Free Pesto

There are numerous creative ways to incorporate vegan nut-free pesto into your meals. Use it as a delicious pasta sauce, spread it on chicken or cheese sandwiches for an extra burst of flavour, drizzle it over salads as a zesty dressing, or even use it as a topping for homemade pizza. The possibilities are endless!


Pasta sauce

Pesto gives the pasta a fresh taste! Using pumpkin seeds instead of walnuts or pine nuts is one of the smartest substitutes that does not compromise the taste of pasta with pesto sauce. It is meant for everyone, even those who can’t eat gluten or oil. Other vegan pesto alternatives include avocado-based recipes, too. Cooking with nut-free pesto variations makes dinner quick and tasty, just like in the best Italian homes!

Sandwich Spread

You can use vegan nut-free pesto as a sandwich spread. It is smooth and spreads well on bread. Avocado gives the spread a rich, creamy feel. Pesto sauce in sandwiches or paninis matches perfectly with turkey, mozzarella with tomatoes, and chicken. Store-bought brands of this pesto are also fit for spreading on sandwiches. They are free from gluten, dairy, soy and egg, which makes them safe for everyone to eat.

Salad Dressing

Using vegan nut-free pesto as a salad dressing is easy. You just need to mix it with some olive oil and vinegar. This makes a yummy pesto vinaigrette. You can also substitute the vinegar for lemon juice if you want. For an extra tasty dish, try it on a pesto orzo salad! Jar pesto works well too; just make sure it’s dairy-free and nut-free. If you like your dressings creamy, add some non-dairy milk or yoghurt to your pesto. It turns into a silky smooth, creamy pesto that tastes great on any salad!

Pizza Topping

If you are a food lover searching for delicious and unique pizza toppings, then you must try vegan nut-free pesto on pizza. This flavorful sauce adds a burst of freshness to any pizza. Imagine spreading a vibrant green pesto on your dough, then topping it with juicy roasted tomatoes. The combination of the herby pesto and fresh baked dough creates a mouthwatering taste sensation.

To take it up another notch, you can even add crumbled tempeh as a meat substitute and sprinkle some vegan Parmesan cheese on top. This summertime pizza is perfect for those looking for a dairy-free option without sacrificing flavour or texture.

Top Vegan Nut-Free Pesto Brands

Let’s be honest: not everyone has time to cook; even the easiest sauces can seem daunting. That is why we find store-bought vegan nut-free pesto jars a great relief. Let us explore some of the top brands to ensure you the best quality and healthy pesto sauce:

  • Diforti’s Basil Pesto: this brand offers you rich pesto sauce with no nuts, perfect for sandwiches, wraps and pasta. The jar is 160 g, and it is for £3.25.
  • Le Conserve Della Nonna: It is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free pesto sauce. The jar is 190g and costs £2.50.
  • Mr Organic: All Mr Organic’s products are vegan and vegetarian, which makes it one of the top convenient brands in the market. Their vegan pesto sauce is organic and dairy-free, plus they offer nut-free pesto with many flavours: grilled red pepper, chilli and ginger, and sundried tomatoes.
  • Pow Food: It is a catering business that sells ready-made healthy meals, soups and snacks. Their vegan nut-free pesto sauce contains omega seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, nutritional yeast and other super healthy ingredients. They sell 240 ml. of pesto for £4.75.

Vegan nut-free pesto is a delicious and versatile alternative to traditional pesto. With pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds as substitutes, it can be enjoyed by those with nut allergies or following a vegan diet. Whether used as a pasta sauce, sandwich spread, salad dressing, or pizza topping, this dairy-free and gluten-free option is sure to add flavour to any dish. So, give it a try and experience the goodness of nut-free pesto!


1. Can I store leftover vegan nut-free pesto?

Yes, you can store leftover vegan nut-free pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days. It’s best to cover the surface of the pesto with a layer of olive oil to prevent oxidation and maintain freshness.

2. Where can I find vegan nut-free pesto if I don’t want to make it myself?

You may be able to find pre-made jars of vegan-nut free pestos at specialty grocery stores or health food stores. Additionally, some online retailers offer a variety of options that can be delivered straight to your doorstep.

3. What Nuts are dangerous for nut allergy?

Tree nuts and peanuts are the worst nuts to cause allergic reactions. Other nuts such as almonds, Brazil Nuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts may trigger a nut allergy.

4. What nuts are allergy-free?

You can safely eat seeds like pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sun flower seeds. Beans such as soybean, garbanzo beans, chickpeas and peas.

5. Can I get rid of a nut allergy?

It is believed that nut allergies are chronic and can never go away. However, recent studies found that 20 to 25% of nut allergies in kids are gone by the age of 14. Curing nut allergy usually involves immunotherapy treatment, which depends on gradually exposing a person to increasing amounts of the allergen substance they are allergic to. The goal of immunotherapy is to desensitize the person’s immune system to the allergen so that they no longer have an allergic reaction.

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