Print Friendly and PDF


Nut-free pumpkin seed pesto on red lentil pasta

Nut-free pumpkin seed pesto on red lentil pasta

Pesto is an incredibly versatile sauce that can be enjoyed in countless ways. In addition to mixing it into pasta, noodles, rice and spiralized vegetables, I love to use it as a dip for crackers and crudités, a topping for toast, pizza, salad, eggs, and baked potatoes, or a flavour booster for proteins.

Homemade pesto is super easy to make and you can have fun playing around with different nuts/seeds, greens, herbs, and “add-ins” (such as green superfood powder, chlorella, collagen peptides or bone broth powder, etc.). Here I went with a nut and dairy-free combination of pumpkin seeds, spinach, and cilantro.


  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds (sunflower seeds also work well here!)

  • 3 cups raw baby spinach

  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro

  • juice from 1/2 to 1 lemon, adjusted to taste

  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt, adjusted to taste

  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional as needed for desired consistency


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spread pumpkin seeds on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes until just browned. Set aside to cool.

  2. To a food processor or blender container, add cooled nuts, spinach, cilantro, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, cayenne, and pepper. Blend well.

  3. With processor/blender running, slowly drizzle in 1/3 cup oil and process until well combined, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides with a spatula as needed.

  4. Add additional seasoning, lemon juice, or olive oil as needed for desired taste and consistency.

Nut-free Pumpkin Seed Pesto can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or frozen for several months. I like to freeze it using an ice cube tray so that it’s easy to thaw in single-serving portions.