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Nut free basil pesto homemade

Nut-Free Pesto

A simple nut-free pesto recipe using basil, garlic, olive oil and salt to make a pistou sauce

Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Keyword easy, nut-free, nut-free pesto, pesto, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 160 g
Calories 90 kcal
Author Fiona Maclean


  • 70 g (about 3 cups) fresh basil leaves
  • 40 g grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
  • 40 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • squeeze lemon juice optional


  1. Tear the basil into smallish shreds
  2. Put the peeled garlic cloves in a pestle and mortar with the salt and crush until you have a paste.
  3. Add the basil leaves in batches, crushing with the pestle until all the leaves are well blended with the garlic and salt and you have a paste.
  4. Add the grated cheese and mix
  5. Now pour over a little olive oil and blend well, using the base of the pestle.
  6. Continue adding olive oil until you have a thick 'sauce' of the desired consistency
  7. Taste and add more salt if necessary and a little lemon juice if desired.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

To make this in a food processor add all the ingredients except the lemon juice and olive oil and blend well until you have a rough paste. Now, drizzle in the olive oil until you have a sauce of the correct consistency. Add lemon juice and salt to taste