Dairy-free, Nut-free Sunflower Pesto


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • ½ cup shelled unsalted sunflower seeds (raw or? toasted) or nuts of choice (if tolerated)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil + 2 tablespoons olive oil or oil ?of choice
  • 1 clove garlic or ½ teaspoon gluten-free asafoetida
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons water, as needed
  • Dairy-free Parmesan cheese or low-fat grated cheese of choice, optional
  • Sprigs of fresh basil


1. Combine basil, sunflower seeds, oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until leaves are incorporated into mixture and seeds are ground. Add water a tablespoon at a time, if needed, to help mix ingredients.

2. Serve immediately over your favorite gluten-free spaghetti or noodles. Garnish with sweet peppers, cucumbers and fresh basil. Top with grated cheese of choice.

TIP: Pesto will darken naturally if allowed to stand too long or when kept in the refrigerator. Reduce this oxidation by storing it in a glass jar with a thin layer of oil over the pesto.

Recipe Courtesy:  Dr. Stephen Wangen
Created by:  Living Without test kitchen director Madalene Rhyand

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