Easy Nut-Free Pesto Recipe You Can Make in 10 Minutes

Pesto is a flavorful sauce that can be used in a variety of dishes.  Traditional pesto is usually made with basil, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and garlic, and it’s a great way to add flavor to pasta, chicken, or fish. But what if you have nut allergies? Not to worry. I’ve got the perfect easy nut-free pesto recipe you can make in 10 minutes, just for you. 

If you’re looking for a quick and delicious homemade pesto, you’ve come to the right place. Why have store-bought pesto when you can have the freshest pesto? This recipe can be made in just 10 minutes!

overhead of huge pile of basil leaves on table
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Allow me to back up just for a second or two here. When my brother asked my sisters and me to come over to make pesto, I thought it would be an hour or so. I mean, how long can it take right? It’s a ten-minute recipe.

When I came around the corner, I saw piles! Huge piles and a surplus of basil! 

​This was not going to be a five-minute job as they say!

We chatted, listened to Italian music, and drank a little wine! Of course!

How fun does that sound! Then came the ‘plucking’, and more plucking! 

In full disclosure, technically, it would only take you 10 minutes to make, unless, of course, you are at my brother’s home with piles of basil! 

planter with very large basil plant in it

What Can I Use Instead of Nuts in Pesto?

​If you have a tree nut allergy and are looking for an easy recipe, try substituting seeds like sunflower or pumpkin seeds for a delicious, nut-free alternative. These quality ingredients provide a similar crunch and nutty flavor, making it a safe and simple option for your pesto dishes.

What is Nut-Free Pesto Made Of?

The best way to describe what nut-free pesto is made of is a delicious basil sauce made with lush green leaves and without pine nuts, offering a safe and allergy-friendly alternative.

What is the purpose of nuts in pesto?

Nuts in pesto, my friend, are like the secret agents of flavor! They swoop in with their rich, nutty charm to add depth and character to that vibrant green basil sauce. Just as a superhero has a sidekick,

Basil has its trusty companion in nuts. They bring a satisfying crunch and a delightful nuttiness to the party, making every bite of pesto an adventure for your taste buds. The good news is that if you cannot have nuts, alternatives may be used to provide that delicious nutty flavor.

large bunch of basil leaves on table with a few bad leaves that are too yellow to use for basil
Pluck only the best leaves! Discard or compost, yellow, brown or wilted leaves.

Elevate Your Pesto Experience with Pecorino Romano Cheese

One of our favorite ways to enjoy fresh pesto is by giving it a unique twist with Pecorino Romano cheese. This Italian cheese adds a rich and savory depth to the traditional basil pesto, elevating its flavor profile. With just a handful of ingredients, you can transform your ordinary pasta or sandwich into a culinary delight that’s bursting with our favorite things: vibrant green pesto and the unmistakable taste of Pecorino Romano.

Whether you’re drizzling it over a bowl of steaming pasta or spreading it on a warm slice of bread, this nut-free pesto recipe is a true celebration of our favorite flavors. The combination of fresh ingredients and the kick from Pecorino Romano makes it a delightful addition to any meal.

basil leaves being plucked and put into a collander
Remove the stems from the leaf.

Is Pesto Actually Healthy?

Yes! Homemade pesto is a great way to get your daily dose of vegetables. It is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. In addition, pesto is a good source of healthy fats, which are beneficial for your heart and brain.

glass bowl filled with plucked basil leaves ready to make pesto

What Type of Pasta to Use for Your Healthy Pesto

When picking out pasta for your pesto sauce, there are a few things you’ll want to consider. First, decide what type of hot pasta you want to use. There are many different types of pasta, from thin spaghetti to thick fettuccine.

If you’re looking for a light and refreshing sauce, go with something like angel hair pasta or thin spaghetti. If you’re looking for a heartier dish, try using fettuccine or another thick pasta.

And finally, consider the ingredients that you’ll be using in your pesto sauce. If you’re using lots of fresh herbs, go with thinner pasta so the flavors can shine through. If you’re using more hearty ingredients like nuts and cheese, go with thicker pasta to balance out the flavors. Any leftover pesto may be stored in an airtight container.

What You Will Need:

  • Fresh basil leaves (pluck only the best leaves and leave the wilted leaves in the compost bin)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil 
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Garlic cloves peeled
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Pine nuts (optional for those without a nut allergy )
stainless steel pot with basil leaves in it

Once you have your leaves plucked, it’s time to blend then with the olive oil.

Equipment to use:

glass bowl full of basil with parmesan cheese shredded on top

Add parmesan, olive oil, and garlic to your food processor.

Ingredient measurements 

  • 4 cups Fresh Basil
  • 3//4 cup Extra virgin Olive Oil Use a quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves fresh Garlic cut garlic cloves in half ( as much as desired )
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 cup Grated 
  • Parmesan Cheese1 Ice Cube (This will help shock the basil to keep it bright green)

Step-by-step Instruction:  

  • First, pluck 4 cups of fresh basil from the plant (remove any leaves that are brown, wilted, or yellow)
  • Add basil to food processor bowl
  • Blend with 3/4 cup of Olive oil
  • Mix in minced Garlic Cloves
  • Squeeze a splash of Lemon Juice
  • Pulse until blended but not overly so (approximately 15 seconds)
  • Scrape down the side of the bowl and pulse for 5 more seconds
  • Add one or two ice cubes (keeps the green, green)

Easy Nut-Free Pesto Recipe You Can Make in 10 Minutes

collander of fresh basil

Easy Nut-Free Pesto Recipe You Can Make in 10 Minutes

Healthy Pesto Recipe
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 people


  • Food Processor
  • Bowl
  • Garlic Press
  • Paring Knife


  • 4 cups Fresh Basil
  • 3//4 cup Olive Oil Use a quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves Garlic cut garlic cloves in half ( as much as desired )
  • squeese Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesean Cheese
  • 1 Ice Cube This will help shock the basil to keep it green


  • Pluck 4 cups of fresh basil from plant
  • Add basil to food processor bowl
  • Blend with 3/4 cup of Olive oil
  • Mix in Garlic Cloves
  • Squeeze of Lemon Juice
  • Pulse until blended but not overly so (approximately 15 seconds)
  • Scrape down side of bowl and pulse for 5 more seconds
  • Add Ice Cube
Keyword healthy pesto recipe, pesto


  • Tossing in one or two ice cubes will shock the basil and keep it a bright green color green than turning it brown.
  • If blanching first, dip the leaves in hot water for 2 minutes, then quickly place them in an ice bath.
  • Pesto may be stored in a zip-lock bag in the freezer until ready to use.
  • Freshly made pesto may be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • Wrap a pretty ribbon around a small jar and give it as a gift to someone special!
glass of red wine on table with basil leaves piled behind it

As with any gathering, we shared a glass of wine and some delicious appetizers.

platter of different cut up vegetables

Love Pesto? How about these Amazing Basil Pesto Recipes?

I came across some fantastic recipes on the web that explore various ways to make pesto easy and delicious while providing nut-free alternatives. Michele from Vintage Home Designs shared her ingenious method of freezing basil pesto, making it perfect for easy dinner prep. It’s a game-changer for those looking to enjoy the fresh taste of homemade pesto without the hassle.

If you’re on the hunt for a new chicken recipe, Jamie from Family Savvy has a mouthwatering baked chicken pesto parmigiana that’s sure to please your taste buds. It’s a delightful fusion of flavors and a testament to the versatility of pesto in different dishes.

And for a delightful twist on the classic, Love and Lemons presents a pesto pizza that’s hard to resist. Sun-dried tomatoes add a burst of intense flavor to this already delicious pesto recipe, making it a must-try for pizza enthusiasts.

Lastly, Skinny Taste’s grilled pesto shrimp skewers are a true treat for seafood lovers. These skewers, featuring nut-free alternatives, are bound to leave you drooling and satisfied with their savory, herbaceous goodness.

green thumbtack
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Pesto is the perfect way to use up all of those beautiful basil greens that are taking over your fridge. It’s also a great way to get in some healthy fats and protein, thanks to the addition of nuts or seeds. If you make a big batch of fresh basil pesto, you can have it on hand for quick meals all week long and during the winter months. So go ahead and whip up a batch of this easy pesto – we promise you won’t regret it! Your family will give it a 5-star rating!

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  1. 5 stars
    This looks so delicious! I can’t get over how beautiful and healthy your basil looks.

      1. Yum! I love fresh pesto. Hugs to you, my friend.

  2. I love basil pesto. It’s hard for too choose a favorite pesto because I enjoy spinach ans sundried tomato pest too.

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