Home » Appetizing Homemade Pesto Without Pine Nuts Recipe

Appetizing Homemade Pesto Without Pine Nuts Recipe

This post contains affiliate links. If you click and buy we may make a commission, at no additional charge to you. Please see our disclaimer for more details.

Some homemade pesto is just what you need when you need to spruce up your sandwiches, roasted vegetables, or an otherwise simple bowl of pasta. The fresh ingredients and the burst of flavors make it a delicious and wholesome dish that is easy to prepare and full of nutrients. 

The word “pesto” means pounded in Italian, and this is because pesto was traditionally prepared, pounding various kinds of ingredients over a mortar and pestle. Today, you have the convenience of a blender to help you with that. 

While pesto can have a lot of ingredients, one of the common misconceptions is that it is incomplete without pine nuts. Pine nuts bring their share of nutty flavor, but you can use a variety of other nuts to create unique taste palettes like pecans, pistachios, walnuts, or almonds. Or, you could choose to go nut-free entirely. Adding pine nuts to pesto is, hence, not mandatory. 

Appetizing Homemade Pesto Without Pine Nuts Recipe
Source: figs and kale

Pesto without Pine Nuts: Why You Must Try it

Many people do not like the flavor of pine nuts or are allergic to them. 

So, it’s important to have another variant of pesto at hand that tastes as sumptuous without them, as finding high-quality pine nuts is difficult at times. 

If you have a sizable stock of fresh basil, then there isn’t much that you need to prepare the pesto. You can store it in small jars, freeze them and use them over the summer, right up to the chillier months. Use it when running short of pasta sauce for a fancy dinner or just as a dip for your crackers when you are enjoying a game night. It goes with almost everything, and it is easy to make it too. 

What are the Key Ingredients of Pesto without Pine Nuts?

Suppose you want to make the traditional pesto without the pine nuts. In that case, all you need is a fresh batch of basil, some extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, salt, and some sort of cheese like pecorino and parmesan. A hint of pepper can alleviate it to a whole new level. 

If you want to add some texture, along with some bite and crunch, then you may add walnuts or pecans or any variety of nuts for that nutty flavor. In addition, if you want to make it creamier and fuller, you may add avocados to them too. 

How Long Can Pesto Last?

If you store a jar of pesto in the fridge, it can last for up to a week. On the other hand, it can last you for 4 to 5 months if you freeze it. This is great if you want to make a batch before the holiday season or during the summer months when you have multiple friends over for outdoor picnics. 

Should You Toast Your Ingredients Before Making Pesto?

There are no rigid rules about how you want to make your pesto. You may toast some of the ingredients with garlic and nuts to walnuts and pecans if you want a nuttier flavor. However, toasted garlic can make the pesto intense, and if you go overboard, it could also turn it bitter. 

Hence, you cannot afford to be heavy-handed when you toast the ingredients. The right approach would be to leave the garlic and toast the nuts. You can stir the almonds, walnuts, or pecans in a dry pan for three to five minutes and then remove them from the heat when they release a nutty aroma. 

Some Common Substitutes for Making Pesto

If you want to make pesto without pine nuts, then here are some other variants you can use, not just for the nuts but also for other ingredients. 

Pine Nuts

Instead of pine nuts, you can use pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachio, and even sunflower seeds. 

Basil

There are several other herbs that you can use instead of basil for making pesto. Some of them are sage, cilantro, kale, parsley, and mint. 

Parmesan Cheese

Usually, any hard and salty cheese would suffice for making pesto; some are pecorino romano, asiago, and aged manchego. 

Some Common Substitutes for Making Pesto
Source: natashaskitchen.com

Variants of Pesto You Should Know About 

If you want to try something different once in a while, you can try certain variants of pesto: the pistou and the picada. 

Pistou is what you get when you try making the Provençal version. It comprises olive oil, garlic, and basil but does not contain nuts or cheese. Hence, it is ideal for those who have lactose intolerance or are allergic to dairy products. However, the quantity of garlic is quite high, and it is not as creamy as traditional pesto. 

On the other hand, you have the Picada, the Spanish version of pesto. It is made from parsley and does not contain any cheese as well. It does contain nuts, but you can make it without pine nuts, using blanched and peeled almonds or hazelnuts as an alternative. Apart from pepper, the other unique ingredients are paprika and roasted peppers, making it much spicier than regular pesto. If you want something to jazz up your dish, then this is it. 

Variants of Pesto You Should Know About 
Source: theherbeevore.com

Bonus Read: Delicious Quiche Florentine Recipe [Spinach Quiche]

Recipe for Pesto without Pine Nuts

So now that you know all there is to know about pesto, here is how you can make it without the pine nuts. You can, of course, add other kinds of nuts or avocados if you want. This vegan version is ideal for anybody who wants an appetizing side. 

Directions

  • Preparation Time: 4 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 minutes 
  • Course: Brunch/ Main Course – as a Side Dish
  • Serving: 160 gm

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups of basil (about 70 to 80 g)
  • Grated parmesan cheese or pecorino cheese (40 g) 
  • Extra virgin olive oil (40 ml)
  • 3 cloves of garlic 
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • A sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper (optional)
  • A squeeze of lemon juice (optional)

Equipment

  • Mortar and Pestle or Food Processor
  • A pot for boiling water 
  • Ice bath 

Preparation

  • Wash the basil properly. Shake it and dry to remove excess moisture. 
  • Tear or chop the basil leaves into smaller pieces. 
  • Set a small pot of water to boil. Keep an ice bath ready by your side. 
  • Place the bunch of basil in hot water for 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Take it out and immediately transfer it to the ice bath to stop the basil from cooking further.

Cooking

  • You do not necessarily have to cook pesto, but here comes the main part. 
  • Shake off the excess moisture and press lightly with a cloth to remove drops of excess water. 
  • Transfer the basil to a processor and add all the remaining ingredients, apart from the cheese. At this point, you may also add the avocado or other form of nuts to the mix if you want. 
  • Blend till you have reached the desired consistency.
  • Alternatively, you can also transfer all the ingredients into a mortar and pestle. This will leave you with a chunkier consistency of pesto.

You may add a dash of extra olive oil at the end and sprinkle the pesto generously with the cheese of your choice. You can also add more salt according to taste. Give a final toss with a spatula or spoon to fold everything in, and your pesto is ready. 

Also Read: Easy & Delicious Pomodoro Sauce Recipe

Nutritional Facts 

  • Calories: 178
  • Total fat: 18.3 gms
  • Sodium: 3.8 mg
  • Potassium: 253.4 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 5.4 g
  • Protein: 1.0 gm
  • Vitamin A: 4.1%
  • Vitamin B6: 7.2%
  • Vitamin C: 19.2%
  • Vitamin E: 3.0%
  • Calcium: 1.2%
  • Copper: 4.4%
  • Folate: 10.6%
  • Iron: 2.0%
  • Magnesium: 4.0%
  • Manganese: 5.8%
  • Niacin: 4.4%
  • Riboflavin: 3.9%Zinc: 2.2%

Pro Tips for Making the Best Pesto 

  • When choosing basil for the pesto, make sure the leaves are bright green and slightly smaller. These are the freshest leaves of the plant and have the maximum flavor. 
  • If you are using any other form of nuts apart from pine nuts, you may toast them lightly over heat for 2 to 3 minutes to enhance their flavor. 
  • While transferring the basil leaves to the blender, remember not to over-blend the leaves. Blending it too much will turn them brown, and you do not want a brownish tinge to your freshly-made batch of pesto. 
  • The squeeze of fresh lime will keep the pesto fresh and green in color, and the citrus flavor will make your pesto taste so much fresher. 
  • While storing pesto in the refrigerator, store it with a layer of olive oil on top. This prevents the pesto from drying up and retains its creamy consistency and texture.
  • You can freeze pesto by transferring it to the freezer. You can also store them into ice-cube trays. Then, take out as many ice cubes as you need and thaw them. You can freeze pesto for about two months this way. 
  • If you want it to last longer, transfer it to freeze-pouches and put it in an air-tight container. Then, take out as many pouches you may need at a given point and thaw them. The pesto will last you for three to four months this way. 
Pro Tips for Making the Best Pesto 
Source: thevegan8.com

Conclusion

Pesto without pine nuts is an ideal alternative to eat healthy and tasty. While there are many sauces and dips you can buy off the rack at your local store, there is something so appetizing and fresh about a bowl of homemade pesto. You can make it with very few ingredients, even when you are in a rush and do not have time to make elaborate sauces. It goes with almost every snack and pasta you can think of and will always be a crowd-pleaser.

Appetizing Homemade Pesto Without Pine Nuts Recipe

Appetizing Homemade Pesto Without Pine Nuts Recipe

Pine nuts bring their share of nutty flavor, but you can use a variety of other nuts to create unique taste palettes like pecans, pistachios, walnuts, or almonds
Prep Time 4 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 12 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2
Calories 178 kcal

Equipment

  • Mortar and Pestle or Food Processor
  • A pot for boiling water 
  • Ice bath 

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups of basil (about 70 to 80 g)
  • (40 g) Grated parmesan cheese or pecorino cheese
  • (40 ml) Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • A sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper (optional)
  • A squeeze of lemon juice (optional)

Instructions
 

  • You do not necessarily have to cook pesto, but here comes the main part.
  • Shake off the excess moisture and press lightly with a cloth to remove drops of excess water.
  • Transfer the basil to a processor and add all the remaining ingredients, apart from the cheese. At this point, you may also add the avocado or other form of nuts to the mix if you want.
  • Blend till you have reached the desired consistency.
  • Alternatively, you can also transfer all the ingredients into a mortar and pestle. This will leave you with a chunkier consistency of pesto.

Notes

You can make it with very few ingredients, even when you are in a rush and do not have time to make elaborate sauces. Pesto without pine nuts is an ideal alternative to eat healthy and tasty.

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating