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Two 4-ounce canning jars with vegan pesto

Nut-Free Vegan Basil Pesto

Easy, nut-free, garlicky, vegan basil pesto done in just 5 minutes. The perfect sauce to dress up your pasta, sandwiches, veggie wraps, or soups.
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Servings 8 ounces


  • 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds no shell
  • 2.5 cups fresh basil packed or 2.5 ounces
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil


  • Set a cast-iron skillet or non-stick pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the sunflower seeds and toast for about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • In a blender or food processor, add the fresh basil, toasted sunflower seeds, garlic cloves, salt, and olive oil. Blend until you have a paste. Scrap the sides and push the ingredients towards the blade in between blends - when the blender is not active.
  • Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or store in the freezer.


  1. To freeze, pour the pesto into a mason jar and add a bit of olive oil on top to act as a seal to prevent oxidation. Then, close with a lid.
  2. I blend my pesto on a low “liquid” setting on my blender. 
  3. If you want a boost of umami or "cheesiness" in this pesto recipe, add 1-2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast. 
Keyword Dairy Free, Pesto, Vegan