July 26, 2022
Looking for a delicious homemade pesto that tastes delicious and can be used in all your favorite recipes? This is it!
This recipe for pesto without pine nuts tastes just like the pesto you love and is easy to make.
Can You Make Pesto Without Pine Nuts
While traditional pesto calls for pine nuts, this tasty sauce can easily be made without pine nuts by using blanched almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds to make it nut-free.
Pine nuts are both expensive and not always easy to find. Furthermore, they often go rancid (stale) before you can use them all up, so this recipe for pesto without pine nuts keeps all the ingredients you love from the original and swaps the pine nuts for something else.
Just 5 ingredients are all you need to make a delicious homemade pesto sauce without pine nuts. Grab the following:
- Fresh basil leaves: these build the base of your sauce and pack in that classic flavor we love. Make sure to omit the stems.
- Blanched almonds or Walnuts: build thickness and structure to your sauce and are the substitute for pine nuts in the recipe.
- Garlic cloves: add flavor.
- Extra-virgin olive oil: Besides being delicious, it’s the liquid used to make the sauce and aids in blending.
- Grated parmesan cheese: adds saltiness to the pesto and melts and binds the pesto sauce ingredients when heated and combined with a recipe.
How to Make Pesto without Pine Nuts
You can use a blender or food processor to make pesto sauce at home. Gather your ingredients, and you’ll need to:
- First Pass
Place the fresh basil leaves, blanched almonds or walnuts, and garlic in a food processor or blender and process until they are finely chopped.
- Add the liquid gold
To the chopped ingredients, add the olive oil a little bit at a time and process until the mixture is smooth.
- Make it cheesy
Add the cheese and process it very briefly, just long enough to combine so you keep some of the grated cheese structure.
Transfer the homemade pesto sauce to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator or freezer.
Watch this video to see the magic happen!
What Else Can You Use Instead of Pine Nuts in Pesto
It’s true that you don’t have to use pine nuts to make pesto. Instead, you can use:
- Blanched almonds: these are almonds without skin and have the closest flavor to the original pesto recipe.
- Walnuts: they add an earthy and subtle taste to the pesto sauce.
- Pistachios: bold, a little sweet, and also a terrific substitute for pine nuts in pesto.
- Sunflower seeds: the ultimate replacement to make a nut-free pesto sauce.
- Pumpkin seeds: also nut free and similar to sunflower seeds.
How to Store Homemade Pesto
You can store homemade pesto inside an airtight container in the fridge for 7 to 10 days and in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Pesto without Pine Nuts
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, (no stems)
- 2 tablespoons chopped blanched almonds, without skin
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Place the fresh basil leaves, blanched almonds, walnuts, and garlic in a food processor or blender and process until they are finely chopped.
- Add the olive oil a little at a time to the blender or food processor and process until the mixture is smooth.
- Add the cheese and process it very briefly, just long enough to combine so you keep some of the grated cheese structure.
- Transfer the homemade pesto sauce inside an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 10 days or freezer for up to 6 months.