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The only thing better than fresh pesto is a fresh pesto that everyone in the family can enjoy! With my Nut-Free Pesto Recipe, you’ll be whipping up a zingy, super flavorful pesto sauce without nuts in no time, catering to all sorts of dietary needs.
Pesto Without Nuts
It’s challenging to imagine a dish that wouldn’t be enhanced by pesto. A hearty platter of roast chicken? Add some pesto! Creamy, buttery pasta? It’s even better with pesto. And a plate of warm, sliced garlic bread? Just picture it topped with pesto!
The beauty of pesto lies in its versatility. If basil pesto with pine nuts is all you’ve known, prepare to be delighted! You can craft it with a variety of herbs or greens, easily create a nut-free version, or even make a vegan pesto by substituting the cheese.
No matter who you’re cooking for, prepare to elevate your meal with an explosion of flavor! This fresh, zesty nut-free pesto, bursting with the vibrant notes of lemon, garlic, fresh herbs, and Parmesan, is a sauce you’ll find yourself making time and again!
No Nut Pesto Ingredients
- Parsley: Remove the stems! Parsley is more mild than basil, with a fresh and slightly bitter taste that complements a wide variety of dishes. However, you can also use basil for a stronger flavor, or spinach and kale for a milder flavor, if you prefer.
- Lemon Juice: Adds brightness and acidity to the pesto, which enhances the overall flavor of the pesto and helps maintain the vibrant green color of the herbs.
- Garlic: Garlic adds a sharp flavor to pesto that complements the earthy herbs and adds depth to the sauce. For a fun alternative, try swapping out the minced garlic for garlic scapes! These zingy, peppery garlic greens are available in the spring and have a uniquely spicy flavor.
- Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan is what adds a slightly nutty flavor to this nut-free pesto, in addition to thickening the pesto and giving it a creamy texture. You can swap it out for Pecorino Romano if you want to avoid cow-based dairy.
- Black Pepper: Enhances the flavor of the pesto without overpowering the other ingredients.
- Kosher Salt: Use kosher salt rather than table salt when choosing a salt for pesto.
- Olive Oil: Serves as the base of the sauce, giving pesto its smooth, rich texture. It also helps in blending the flavors together.
- Vegan option: Nutritional yeast can be used in place of Parmesan to create a nut-free vegan pesto. It adds a nutty flavor without using nuts, in addition to a cheesy flavor, making it the ideal vegan alternative to Parmesan cheese.
Note: Just because this recipe is nut-free doesn’t mean it has to be! If your loved ones don’t have nut allergies, feel free to add cashews, walnuts, or almonds to this recipe.
Pesto Recipe without Pine Nuts
- Rinse and dry the parsley. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender.
- Blend to your preferred texture, then serve and savor the rich flavor of pesto without nuts!
Nut-Free Pesto Sauce Tips
- Adjust flavors after blending with extra salt, pepper, lemon juice, or olive oil for added silkiness.
- For additional nutty flavor without nuts, consider adding nutritional yeast or seeds like pumpkin or sunflower for texture.
- Add more fresh herbs for flavor! I like to add in a handful of fresh basil or even a bit of fresh thyme.
- Cover and store immediately to prevent browning.
- No blender? Use a mortar and pestle or finely chop and mash the ingredients with a spoon in a bowl.
Pesto Recipe Nut Free FAQ
When replacing the nuts in pesto, I prefer to use seeds! Pumpkin seeds are perfect for the job as they have a very mild flavor. Sunflower and sesame seeds work great too. For flavor, add a bit of nutritional yeast to bring in that nutty taste.
Many commercial pestos contain nuts, so homemade versions are safer and customizable for those with allergies. Homemade nut-free pesto is fast and easy to make, and most importantly, delicious!
Typically, store bought pesto is made with nuts. While some varieties may be nut-free, it’s always best to check the nutrition label and make sure. When in doubt, make your own and take out all the guesswork!
Storing Leftover Pesto
- Fridge: Store pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. For best results, rest a layer of plastic wrap over the top of the pesto to prevent browning.
- Freezer: My favorite way to store pesto is to freeze it in an ice cube tray! Pop the frozen pesto cubes into sauces, pasta, or on top of pizza before baking, and enjoy the burst of flavor!
- Reheating and thawing: To thaw frozen pesto, let it rest in the fridge. Don’t heat the pesto in the microwave, as it can brown quickly that way.
What to Serve with Pesto
- Mixed with Avocado Pasta
- Alongside Blistered Tomatoes
- As a dip for Pizza Rolls or Pasta Chips
- As sauce on Lobster Ravioli
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Nut Free Pesto
See our Cooking Conversions Chart for help converting measurements!
- Rinse and dry the parsley. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender.4 bunches Parsley, 1 Lemon, 2 cloves Garlic, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, ¼ Tablespoon Black pepper, ¼ Tablespoon Salt, ¼ cup Olive oil
- Blend to your preferred texture, then serve and savor your delicious nut-free pesto!