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Sunflower Seed Pesto Sauce Recipe

Sunflower Seed Pesto is a nut-free version of traditional pesto! Swap sunflower seeds for pine nuts in this simple 5-minute seed-based pesto recipe.
5 star (1 rating)


  • 2 cups basil
  • cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • ½ cup 120 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • cup nutritional yeast, or parmesan cheese
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • Optional: squeeze of fresh lemon juice


  • Wash and prep basil: Begin by rinsing the basil under cold water to remove any dirt. Once cleaned, dry it on a kitchen towel or in a salad spinner.
  • Blend the ingredients: Next, add the cleaned and dried basil to a food processor. Add sunflower seeds and garlic cloves and pulse until finely chopped. As you're pulsing the ingredients, slowly pour in the in oil. You'll want your pesto to still have chunks for texture but all ingredients should be well coated in oil.
  • Add spices to taste: Finally, slowly add in nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper, tasting and adding more until you reach your preferred taste.


  • Make it vegan: Make this pesto recipe vegan by using dairy-free parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast.
  • Tools needed: food processor or blender, knife set, cutting board
  • Prep ahead: Make this simple pesto up to 2-3 days before serving, or freeze until ready to use.
  • Leftovers and storage: Leftover pesto should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days, and in the freezer for up to 2 months (possibly longer).
  • Nutrition notes: This recipe made as written (with vegan cheese and seeds) is plant-based, gluten-free, and nut-free. It is a good source of vitamin C, plant-based protein, and fiber.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 80kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 19mg, Potassium: 46mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 160IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 8mg, Iron: 1mg