Picture of Pesto without nuts
My boyfriend is allergic to nuts, so I had to figure out how to make pesto without the pine nuts. This one is so good that you won't even miss them. :)

It'll take about five minutes to make. It also makes enough pesto for two 16 oz packages of pasta, so it's cheap too!

Step 1: Ingredients:

Picture of Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup parmesan (my container had a weight of 2.5 oz)
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (start with 1/4 cup and work your way up)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Step 2: Prep.

Picture of Prep.
Pull all the leaves off your basil stems and roughly chop your garlic.

Chopping the garlic is not entirely necessary, but I like to give it a head start so there's no large pieces left.

Step 3: Process!

Picture of Process!
Put the basil, cheese, and garlic in your food processor. Set the speed to low and drizzle in your olive oil. Start with 1/4 cup, check the consistency, and add more if you like.

I normally add the full 1/2 cup, because I like my pesto to be more runny. :)

Step 4: Add salt, pepper, lemon

Picture of Add salt, pepper, lemon
Scrape down the sides and add a generous pinch of salt, some pepper, and a bit of lemon juice. Pulse this together and taste. Keep adding and pulsing until you like the way it tastes. :)

And now you're done. Easy, right?

Step 5: Eat some, freeze the rest!

Picture of Eat some, freeze the rest!
This recipe makes about a cup, and 1/2 cup is enough to cover a big pot of pasta - so you'll have a good amount left over. It freezes very well - you can either freeze it in one lump, or freeze it in an ice cube tray.
JackG514 days ago
EmilyS2217 days ago
JulieC827 days ago

Great recipe, super easy and tastes divine! Thanks for sharing!

td.mi.511 months ago

Pine nuts are not nuts at all. They are the edible seeds of pines. Your boyfriend might like to ask his allergist if he could eat these seeds. I'm sure the pesto with no nuts (some people use walnuts or pistachios) or any pine nuts (seeds) is quite tasty too though.

Hi td.mi.5
My son is allergic to all nuts plus legumes and pinenuts ( even though they are technically a seed).
jessyratfink (author)  td.mi.511 months ago

My boyfriend ended up in the ER a few years back due to a pasta dish that included them - pine nuts had the same effect on him as peanuts and tree nuts. He had never been told about pine nuts, but as it turns out many people who have severe nut allergies are also told to avoid pine nuts by their allergists these days. I wish we would have known well before!

Andreastyl.9 months ago

OO thank you for this recipe! :D

heather.laroy11 months ago

My son has nut allergies so thanks so much for sharing your recipe. Can't wait to try this!

whiskeyish made it!1 year ago

I love this recipe--it's simple, fresh and inexpensive. I was easily able to double it up (huge garlic and basil haul at the farmer's market!), and froze my leftovers for a few weeks' worth of magic pasta salad. Lovely--thanks, jessyratfink!

green garlic.jpglots of basil.jpgfood processor.jpgpesto.jpg
srhprieb2 years ago
This was sooooo good! I always forget to buy pine nuts, but I have a basil plant...this is my new go-to! Thanks! :)
REAL REAL REAL italian (northern) pesto has no nuts...so. Put down that this is grade A =)

... u mad bro?
Blood sample?
Rapphyo2 years ago
Remember, only Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano for pesto .
Paperduck3 years ago
If allergies are the problem you could try to substitute pine nuts with almonds or roasted sunflower seeds. I say almonds because they are the "nuttiest" thing I can think of which my girlfriend who is also allergic to nuts can eat.
I never tried this in pesto but it might be worth looking into.
billbillt3 years ago
This will be the one I will make..I despise pine nuts..
FoolishSage3 years ago
I've only ever seen pine nuts in pesto when it is store bought. I often make it at home similar to how you describe it here!
MsJaxFla3 years ago
Oh wonderful.... I am copying it into an email to myself right now. I am not allergic, love pine nuts. I just can not afford them. Thank you so much for this recipe.

MsMissyG3 years ago
I will have to try this...im allergic to pine.