Nut-Free Pesto Recipe


I have a confession… I’m allergic to nuts. All of them. Like, I’ll go into anaphylactic shock and nothing good comes of that. It’s dramatic in the way I prefer not to be dramatic. I hate it, and it’s embarrassing. But, there is a bright side to this ridiculous and scary issue. I have learned some sneaky ways to make things that would normally have nuts in them, not have any, and I’ve been told you can’t tell much difference.

One of the things that I missed out on growing up was pesto. It always looked so yummy and was in all kinds of things that automatically became a big ol’ no-no for me. I started experimenting several years ago with different seeds, and different types of herbs and greens (and cheeses too). What I have for you today, is my very favorite pesto of all – Cilantro Pesto. It is deeeeelish! I’ve been known to eat it by the spoonful.

Before I send you on your merry way with this recipe, try some other options as well. Play around with your flavors. I know lots of folks have that thing where Cilantro tastes like soap (I’m so sorry) – so stick with Basil, you can also add fresh spinach, arugula, or Kale. I just love greens! You aren’t locked in to Parmesan cheese, you can use any kind of hard cheese (think Manchego, or Asiago). As for seeds, I like the sunflower best, but I really encourage you to play around. Edamame is a fun addition, as are pepitas. The really great thing about pesto is that you can’t mess it up. Go make some pesto that doesn’t harm your allergy ridden friends or family!

nut-free pesto ingredients

Nut-Free Pesto Ingredients

Here’s my basic recipe. Remember, you can switch any of these ingredients out to suite your taste.

  • Step 1: In your food processor, add cilantro, cheese, lemon juice, 1 clove of garlic. Pulse a few times to break down.
  • Step 2: Turn on, and stream the olive oil in, slowly to make a nice thick-ish sauce (you may not need the full cup). You want it to loosely hold its shape. Add salt and pepper.
  • Step 3: Taste, and adjust the garlic and seasonings to your liking.

This makes aprox 1.5 cups of pesto. The ways to serve pesto are almost limitless. For this batch, I froze half of it to use another time (just put in a freezer bag and label it). The other half, I used in place of cocktail sauce for Shrimp Cocktail. It was life changing, people! Use this, or any of the pesto creations you make as you would any pasta sauce; over chicken, as a marinade for tofu, as a dip, or simply spread on a cracker with cheese = instant appetizer!

Want to try this recipe? Get your ingredients at Green BEAN Delivery.

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Kristine B. has been working at Green BEAN Delivery since 2014. To say she loves food is an understatement. After having her own catering company for six years, Bockman studied at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. Upon her return to Indianapolis, Bockman worked at Smoking Goose Meatery until joining Green BEAN Delivery.

Recipe Credit

Kristine B., Green BEAN Delivery