Classic Pesto

A basic pesto full of classic Italian flavors with a nut free substitute.

Prep time:


  • 3 cups Italian basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds OR pine nuts
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper

  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Food processor or blender
  • Air tight container

  1. Place the basil and sunflower seeds in the food processor and pulse until combined.
  2. Next add the parmesan cheese, minced garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper and pulse again about 3 times. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure the ingredients are in the center of the bowl. Place the lid back on.
  3. Pulse the food processor wile slowly adding in the olive oil, stopping to scrape the sides again as needed. Pulse until combined or to your desired consistency.

  • Instead of pine nuts, I like to use sunflower seeds. This is good for people that have allergies to nuts, and saves money!
  • To add extra flavor, toast the pine nuts or sunflower seeds until there is just a little color (about 1 minute).

Allergen Warning: Contains tree nuts. To avoid, use sunflower seeds. Contains milk products.