There are few things I love more on freshly made pasta than pesto, but as I’ve discovered in my journey to adopting a healthier diet, most (if not all) store-bought pestos contain cheap filler oils, like canola oil, which are prime culprits for causing inflammation in the body. Not wanting to compromise on my stance against seed oils, I set out to make my own pesto, and in the process discovered you can actually make a pretty awesome pesto not only without seed oils, but also without the other 2 main ingredients: pine nuts and parmesan cheese! So for those who have tree nut and dairy intolerances, or those looking for a lower calorie alternative to the pesto they know and love, this one is for you!


-1 cup fresh basil, leaves and stems

-3 tbsp sunflower seeds, raw and unsalted

-1 tsp minced garlic

-1/2 tbsp of lemon juice

-3 tbsp olive oil

-salt & pepper, to taste (add a pinch of both and then add more salt as needed after first blend)


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary.
  2. That’s it! Pair with your favorite pasta, use as a spread on a baguette, or drizzle over meats and/or vegetables, and enjoy!


If you, like myself, prefer a less dense and more saucy pesto, add a bit of water and blend until consistency is to your liking.

My favorite blender for this recipe is the Hand Blender €68.90 // €129.00 because it is perfect for blending small amounts.

If you made this recipe, I’d love to see your creation!

Tag me on Instagram at @meghflanagan and hashtag #EditEats

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