Pumpkin Seed Pesto Recipe

June 17, 2020

Pumpkin Seed Pesto Recipe

When we discovered our son had a peanut allergy, my view of food was forever altered. My old man was a doctor, so I had some knowledge of nutrition, the foods to eat regularly, and those foods to eat sparingly. Yeah, you probably imagine my fondness for the latter. But, food allergies? That is a whole other ball game. No wiggle room there. None at all.

With my kid allergic to peanuts, walnuts and pecans, our allergist said to avoid all tree nuts and peanuts. We carry an epi pen at all times. My son has never been to a Thai restaurant. When we travel to foreign countries(back when you could do that before Covid-19) we carry a card that translates his allergies into the language spoken in whatever country we were visiting.

Parents with kids who have food allergies adapt and make do, period. As the years have rolled on, my vigilance has turned into a longing for the allergy to just magically go away. Wishful thinking perhaps but there is nothing wrong hope. And there’s nothing wrong with finding tasty ways around the allergy. With that let me share a Pumpkin Seed Pesto recipe that is nut free and darn tasty too.


  • 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
  • 3/4 cup flat leaf parsley
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt to taste

essential equipment

  • immersion blender

Pumpkin seed pesto toasting the pumpkin seed

To start things off, I lightly toast the pumpkin seeds till fragrant in my trusty old cast iron skillet. Luckily the last thing that kissed the skillet was bacon. Always a great start.

Pumpkin seed pesto grinding the pumpkin seed

Making this Pumpkin Seed Pesto is all about working the various ingredients in stages. After toasting the pumpkin seeds and letting them cool, grind them up in the immersion blender.

Pumpkin seed pesto adding garlic and parsley

Set aside the ground pumpkin seed and add the parsley and garlic. Give it a coarse chop. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how this Pumpkin Seed Pesto would turn out sans basil but you know what? Flat leaf parsley does the job too.

Pumpkin seed pesto pulsed

Put the pumpkin seeds back in along with the grated parmesan. Add the olive oil as slowly as possible and blend till you get a consistency resembling this. This is a small batch so it shouldn’t take too long for your Pumpkin Seed Pesto to get where it needs to go.

Pumpkin seed pesto finished

Salt to taste, grab a mason jar and get some water boiling for the penne because you got yourself a nut free Pumpkin Seed Pesto. This was my first run at making pesto in a long long time. Mostly because we avoid nuts due to my son’s allergy and also because pine nuts are kinda pricey. Now that I know I can have nut free pesto in my recipe arsenal, I have reason to buy more basil and keep some better parmesan. I used that green cylinder of Kraft Parmesan and it still tasted good. Nowhere to go but up.

Enjoy! Or should I say “mangia”



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