Nut-Free Basil Pesto Recipe

//Nut-Free Basil Pesto Recipe

Nut-free basil pesto is the perfect partner for budget-friendly weeknight dinners.

Most basil pesto recipes call for pine nuts, which can put a serious dent in your budget. Our simple basil pesto recipe has a budget-friendly twist: sunflower seeds.

basil pesto recipe | the 52 new foods challenge | jennifer tyler lee | 2

For comparison, sunflower seeds will cost you about $0.17 per ounce. Pine nuts will ring in at about $1.40 per ounce. Over 8X more expensive.

basil pesto recipe | the 52 new foods challenge | jennifer tyler lee | 3

Bonus, it’s nut-free! My kids don’t have allergies, but our school is nut-free, so I am always looking for delicious and easy recipes that can be equally featured on our dinner and lunch menus.

It’s the kind of recipe that you want to stock up on because it’s super flexible. Last week we used it as a base for our Breakfast Pizza.

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Then on our dinner menu paired with pasta and cherry tomatoes.

basil pesto recipe | the 52 new foods challenge | jennifer tyler lee | basil pesto pasta

It made an encore appearance in the lunchbox the next day.

basil pesto recipe | the 52 new foods challenge | jennifer tyler lee | healthy lunch ideas

Tip: If you want to freeze your basil pesto, leave out the cheese. Portion the cheese-free pesto into an ice cube tray, cover, and freeze. Once frozen, remove the pesto cubes from the tray and store them in a glass container in the freezer. When you’re ready to use your sauce, defrost a cube or two and add the grated Parmesan.

Nut-Free Basil Pesto from The 52 New Foods Challenge

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients for Nut-Free Basil Pesto:

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup hulled roasted sunflower seeds
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
Kosher salt

Directions for Nut-Free Basil Pesto:

1. Place the basil, sunflower seeds, cheese, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the ingredients are well chopped, about 2 minutes.

2. Add the oil and process for another minute, or until smooth. Add salt to taste. For a smoother texture, add a little extra olive oil.

Pin It! Nut-Free Basil Pesto from The 52 New Foods Challenge

Pin our Nut-Free Basil Pesto Recipe! And for more budget-friendly recipe inspiration, follow our Easy Dinner Recipes Board on Pinterest.

basil pesto recipe | the 52 new foods challenge | jennifer tyler lee | 3

Nut-Free Basil Pesto Recipe
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • ⅓ cup hulled roasted sunflower seeds
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • Kosher salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Place the basil, sunflower seeds, cheese, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the ingredients are well chopped, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the oil and process for another minute, or until smooth. Add salt to taste. For a smoother texture, add a little extra olive oil.
Notes
If you want to freeze your basil pesto, leave out the cheese. Portion the cheese-free pesto into an ice cube tray, cover, and freeze. Once frozen, remove the pesto cubes from the tray and store them in a tightly wrapped glass container, or a zip top plastic bag, in the freezer. When you’re ready to use your sauce, defrost a cube or two and add the grated Parmesan.

 

By | 2018-02-02T17:09:40+00:00 March 9th, 2015|Dinner|0 Comments

About the Author:

Heralded by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution as “A mom and genius game creator helping kids eat fresh food!”, Jennifer Tyler Lee is an award-winning cookbook author, game creator, and healthy eating advocate. Jennifer has garnered national TV, radio, and print coverage for her family cookbook, The 52 New Foods Challenge, and her nutrition game, Crunch a Color®: The Healthy Eating Game. Jennifer’s work has been spotlighted by Jessica Alba, Michael Pollan, Jamie Oliver, Laurie David, Rachael Ray, US Weekly, The 700 Club, and Oprah.com—among many others. Her fresh approach to cooking together as a family inspired a nationwide series of kids cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma, The 52 New Foods Junior Chef Series, along with an exclusive edition of her book. A former strategy consultant, she lives in the Bay Area with her family.

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