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

a Whole Foods Market Customer


Chef K. July 30, 2012
I add chickpeas. They add good texture to the pesto as well as a little nutty flavor.
Kitchen B. May 17, 2011
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
Juliette May 17, 2011
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.
ChefJune May 17, 2011
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.
LucyS May 16, 2011
If someone's allergic to pine nuts, another crunch could be unsalted sunflower seeds. They remind me of pine nuts, especially in texture.
cohens001 May 16, 2011
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.
susan G. May 16, 2011
Are pine nuts in the same class as walnuts, almonds, etc? And how about cashews -- they grow completely differently from other "nuts"?
boulangere May 16, 2011
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.

Voted the Best Reply!

fiveandspice May 16, 2011
If you prefer the texture that comes from having the nuts, you could also try making it with sunflower or pumpkin seeds. It would change the flavor profile a bit, but it might be delicious.
wssmom May 16, 2011
Agree with first two answers! My son has a severe nut allergy and I just leave them out.
Greenstuff May 16, 2011
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.
Amanda H. May 16, 2011
Yes -- in fact, pesto doesn't need nuts. Just leave them out, and if desired, add a little extra cheese.
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