The easiest 5-minute nut-free basil pesto made without pine nuts. It’s bright, flavorful, and only calls for six healthy ingredients. Way better than any store-bought version!
The best basil pesto without pine nuts
Pesto is so versatile and can be used in many ways! You can use it as a sauce for pasta or orzo salad. You can use it as a steak, shrimp, or chicken marinade. And you can even drizzle it over roasted or grilled vegetables. Or use it as a dip for smashed potatoes.
Before I started cooking, I always thought pesto was super hard to make. I was SO wrong! In fact, pesto is so easy to make that you only need a food processor and 5 minutes.
The fresh basil, parmesan, and garlic add the best depth of flavor. This recipe does not have pine nuts in it, but I promise you can’t tell. It’s garlicky, fresh, and bright.
I always keep a jar of this nut-free pesto in my fridge. It stores well, and I add it to my salads and sandwiches and even drizzle it over leftovers to brighten them up.
Why you’ll love this nut-free recipe
- There are no pine nuts in this pesto recipe.
- It’s light, refreshing, garlicky, and super flavorful.
- This recipe is 100% nut-free.
- Serve with pasta, salads, roasted veggies, or as a condiment.
- It’s made with 6 simple and healthy ingredients.
- It’s lower in calories than traditional recipes.
This healthy pesto recipe is perfect all year long and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. It’s made without pine nuts and comes together in 5 minutes. Here is a list of ingredients so you are prepared:
- Basil: This adds the best bright and fresh flavor! You’ll need 2 cups of basil leaves. Make sure to remove any large pieces of the stem if you are picking it off a plant.
- Baby Spinach: This adds volume and lots of vitamin A to this healthy pesto recipe.
- Lemon Juice: For a tangy flavor. I love the taste of lemon juice, and a little goes a long way in this nut-free pesto recipe. But feel free to add more if you want!
- Garlic: You only need 1 clove to add the best garlic flavor.
- Salt & Black Pepper: To your taste preference.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: This makes the pesto light and smooth. You only need 1/4 cup, which is much less than traditional recipes and makes this pesto healthy and skinny.
- Parmesan Cheese: For the absolute best flavor. This is my secrete to making this nut-free pesto have a deep flavor without pine nuts.
Kitchen tools required
You only need three kitchen utensils to make this nut free pesto recipe. Here is a list:
- Food processor
- Measuring Tools: 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, 1 Tablespoon, 1/4 cup, and 1 cup.
How to make basil pesto without pine nuts
This delicious nut-free basil pesto is healthy and super easy to make. Everyone will love it, and any level cook can make it! Here are step-by-step instructions:
First, add the basil leaves and baby spinach to a food processor and pulse several times.
Then, add the lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper and pulse a few more times. Then, use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the food processor.
Next, set the food processor to low and gradually add the olive oil in a steady stream. This method helps emulsify the oil into the pesto.
Finally, add the parmesan cheese and pulse to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking and enjoy this pesto without pine nutes!
Is pesto good for you?
Yes, when consumed in moderation, pesto is healthy and good for you. In this pesto recipe without pine nuts, the spinach adds lots of vitamin A, the basil is packed with vitamin K, and the olive oil and parmesan add healthy fats.
What to serve with pesto
Pesto is typically served with pasta or tortellini, but there are so many other ways too! Here are some ideas for you:
- Make a summer orzo salad.
- Drizzle it over your favorite roasted vegetables. I love cauliflower and broccoli.
- Marinate your chicken, steak, salmon, or shrimp in it.
- Use it as a salad dressing. I love it in this kale crunch salad.
- Spoon it over pizza.
- Use it as a dip. I love these crispy smashed potatoes or these sweet potato fries.
- Spread it on bread for a sandwich.
- Serve it as a sauce for any grilled or baked protein. I love this crispy salmon and chicken recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make it dairy free?
To make this pesto dairy-free, substitute the parmesan cheese with 2 – 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast.
Can I eat this pesto if I am allergic to nuts?
This pesto recipe is 100% nut-free and made without pine nuts. It is safe to enjoy if you have a nut allergy.
Is it gluten free?
This healthy basil pesto is also gluten-free.
Is this recipe skinny?
Yes, this pesto recipe is considered “skinny” because it is lower in calories than traditional recipes and has half the amount of olive oil in it.
How long does it keep?
Homemade pesto will keep in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 7 days.
Can I freeze pesto?
You can freeze pesto for up to 3 months. Just add it to a freezer-safe bag or container.
How to store leftover pesto:
Store leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
If you love this recipe, try these next!
- Orzo Pesto Salad
- Goat Cheese & Pesto Crusted Chicken
- Pesto Salmon with Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli
- Broccoli Cheddar Turkey Meatball Poppers
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Pesto without Pine Nuts
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, packed
- 2 tbsp lemon juice, about ½ a lemon
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Add the basil leaves and baby spinach to a food processor and pulse several times. See the pictures above for reference.
- Add the lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper and pulse a few more times. Then, use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the food processor.
- Set the food processor to low and gradually add the olive oil in a steady stream. This method helps emulsify the oil into the pesto to make it smooth.
- Finally, add the parmesan cheese and pulse to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking and enjoy!
I only recommend products I absolutely love and use myself. In full disclosure, by purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. Thank you for supporting Healthful Blondie!
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