There’s no way to sugar-coat it. Having a food allergy sucks. I recently wrote an article for SHAPE about how to navigate social situations to help you worry less about what you can eat and focus more on enjoying the moment.

However, one of the unexpected upsides to having a dietary restriction is the creativity involved with trying to come up with safe options to satisfy a craving. Pesto is one of the foods I’ve missed most since having to cross nuts off the list, since it’s traditionally made with pine nuts. I’ve experimented with that one quite a bit.

I did this nut-free pesto over the summer is one of my all-time favorite recipes on here, but I wanted to come up with a higher protein option. While this is not a traditional pesto (the texture is more like hummus), it’s a flavorful, versatile spread to brighten up your day. The peas also add some protein and even a little fiber. Whether you need to eat nut-free or not, it’s a delicious way to add some color and nutrients to your day!

Pea pesto toast



Easy Green Pea Pesto Spread


  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt to taste


  1. Pulse ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Enjoy this as a dip for veggies or as a topper for toast or crostini. It’s also delish on sweet potato toast! I also tested this warmed up and tossed with spaghetti squash and green veggies as a lower-carb alternative to pasta, and it was awesome! Have fun experimenting.

~Makes about 2 cups

Nutrition information (via USDA Supertracker) per 2 tablespoon serving (using parmesan): 51 calories, 2 grams protein, 3 grams total carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 4 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), 43 mg sodium


Do you have any food allergies? 


You might also like: Easy Nut-Free Basil Pesto:

Easy Nut-Free Pesto

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