I love pesto and my son loves fresh basil but is allergic to ground nuts and peanuts. Is there a way to make pesto without nuts?

  • Posted by: TriciaD
  • July 16, 2014


Julia July 18, 2014
I love just putting fresh basil, a bit of olive oil and garlic in a food processor and using that as "Pesto"
Susan July 18, 2014
As already mentioned, just leave the nuts out! It will be just as delicious, though the consistency will be slightly different than what you're used to in a traditional pesto. If you want to thicken it up you could add some cheese, or not ...
Casey July 18, 2014
Pine "nuts" are really seeds. Are you sure he's allergic to them?
Pine nuts are traditional in pesto.
SKK July 18, 2014
I always make pesto without nuts. The basil and the olive oil and the parmesan cheese are quite sufficient.
mgeller604 July 17, 2014
Use pumpkin seeds instead of nuts. More flavor if you toast them first.
Matt H. July 17, 2014
Soy nuts (roasted soybeans) might also work as a substitute, although I don't know if they would immediately get mushy after being blended into a pesto.
ChefJune July 16, 2014
The French call it "Pistou," and do it without nuts at all. Delicious!
sara D. July 16, 2014
just opting out of replies

Voted the Best Reply!

amysarah July 16, 2014
A traditional Pistou sauce from southern France, next door to Liguria (home of Pesto) is essentially pesto minus the pine nuts, and usually the cheese (like Patricia Wells') - though I've had it with cheese as well. It's delicious. I don't think you need to sub anything.
boulangere July 16, 2014
I say pesto, you say pistou......great advice from amysarah. I'm also allergic to pine nuts, so very happily just leave them out.
HalfPint July 16, 2014
Just leave the nuts out. I make Patricia Well's Light Basil Sauce which is basil, garlic, olive oil and salt. It's delicious and I don't even miss the nuts.
Maddie P. July 16, 2014
My boyfriend has a peanut and tree nut allergy and I just leave the nuts out. I think the pesto is just as good sans nuts!
Susan W. July 16, 2014
You can just leave them out, but did you know they are actually a seed and not a tree nut? Obviously check with your own sources, but many people allergic to nuts are not affected by seeds.
sara D. July 16, 2014
You can try using toasted bread crumbs. I also use pumpkin seeds, but you will want to find out more about pumpkin and or sunflower seeds as an non-allergen alternative to nuts.
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