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Are there any ways to make pesto without nuts? Have a dinner guest with nut allergies.

asked by a Whole Foods Market Customer over 4 years ago
12 answers 7115 views
Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added over 4 years ago

Yes -- in fact, pesto doesn't need nuts. Just leave them out, and if desired, add a little extra cheese.


Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added over 4 years ago

Yep! The French equivalent, pistou, does not include nuts. Just taste and see what you think. I agree with Amanda, a little extra cheese might be in order.

added over 4 years ago

Agree with first two answers! My son has a severe nut allergy and I just leave them out.


Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 4 years ago

Mmmm. Pumpkin seeds sound wonderful. I must be on your guest list. I'm allergic, too, and just leave them out and bulk up on the cheese. Never thought about a seed substitution, and it does sound really, really good. I'll try that next time.

added over 4 years ago

Are pine nuts in the same class as walnuts, almonds, etc? And how about cashews -- they grow completely differently from other "nuts"?

added over 4 years ago

My husband is allergic to all tree nut but not seeds so pumpkin, sunflower seeds and pine nuts are ok for him. It really depends on a persons specific allergy so it is best to just leave them out unless you check.

added over 4 years ago

If someone's allergic to pine nuts, another crunch could be unsalted sunflower seeds. They remind me of pine nuts, especially in texture.


June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

Good pine nuts (not from China) are hard to find these days, and SO expensive. I don't like walnuts in Basil pesto, so I just leave the nuts out altogether.

added over 4 years ago

My husband, who also suffers from nut allergies, is allergic to certain types nuts. Pine nuts do not bother him at all, while other nuts do. You want to inquire with your guests as to what specifically they are allergic to. You may choose that it is better to be safe than sorry and omit them from your recipe all together. Flavored oil are a great option for adding depth of flavor.

added over 4 years ago

Toasted bread crumbs would make a great substitute, try panko (Japanese style crumbs), gently warmed in a pan till lightly brown. You could also add some lemon zest

added over 3 years ago

I add chickpeas. They add good texture to the pesto as well as a little nutty flavor.