Basil pesto is one of my absolute favorite flavors ever. Unfortunately, when I had to stop eating most nuts in my twenties, I had to cross it off the list most of the times, since almost everywhere uses pine nuts in their recipe. I’ve played around with making my own using hemp hearts and pumpkin seeds, but it just wasn’t the same. Then, a few months ago, my mom made a batch of pesto that simply had no nuts or seeds, period. Total game-changer. I finally made my own, using some beautiful basil from the Saturday farmers market.

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Enjoy this as a sauce for pasta, tossed into salad, with zoodles, on eggs, spread on a sandwich, or as a dip.

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Nut-Free Basil Pesto


  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • The juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese*
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Pulse all ingredients except salt and pepper in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to one week.

Makes ~1 cup (about 8 2-tablespoon servings). 

*For my lactose intolerant friends, you can use nutritional yeast as a substitute for cheese

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