Sunflower Seed Pesto

  • Servings : 2
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Ready In : 10m

This sunflower seed pesto is spectacular on pasta, veggies, pizza, toast. The light nuttiness of the sunflower seeds mixes with the punch of the fresh garlic, and the bright taste of basil wonderfully and really captures the essence of summer. The photo shows it mixed with gluten-free spaghetti and a mound of fresh vegetables. But it’s so tasty, anything goes. Double this recipe if you like it!


  • 1 cup basil
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice


Step 1

Combine all ingredients in food processor and process until creamy. Usually 1-2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Toss with warm pasta, spread on toast or pizza, use as a dip.


Renee Press is the founder of Fire and Earth Kitchen in Seattle WA. which offers cooking classes, food coaching, and chef services. She's on a mission to make vegan, gluten-free cooking easy, accessible, and delicious for everyone.

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Comments (9)

  1. posted by beckles23 on June 27, 2014

    This looks delicious! I love the idea of using sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts which I would usually go for!

    • posted by Renee Press on July 17, 2014

      I LOVE sunflower seeds in pesto. Very healthy too. Pumpkin Seeds also work!

  2. posted by Toni on August 17, 2014

    This was amazing, Renee! So much cheaper than using walnuts and pine nuts, too.

    • posted by Renee Press on August 18, 2014

      so glad you enjoyed it Toni! I love sunflower seeds, so much nutritional bang for your buck.

  3. posted by LocoLucy on August 17, 2014

    Thank you I love this vegan happy blog!!!! Thank you Thank you.

  4. posted by anushka tinoco on February 24, 2017

    this is the best pesto i have ever tried, my husband and i loved it, thank you!
    how long does it last in the fridge? is there any way to make it last longer?

    • posted by Renee Press on February 25, 2017

      So happy to hear you love the recipe! Will keep for about a week in the fridge. You can try freezing it as well! I haven’t but have a feeling it will be ok.

  5. posted by Bud on September 27, 2017

    This was pretty good…it didn’t blow me away. Maybe I didn’t include enough basil. How do you measure fresh basil leaves?


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