Sunflower seed pesto with pasta makes a light and delicious summer dinner! This easy gluten free pasta salad is full of flavor from this tasty nut free pesto. You won’t miss the nuts or dairy with all the bright flavors from fresh basil, garlic, and lemon juice.
Do you miss pesto? If you have food allergies, it might be a food that you haven’t tried in a while.
Maybe you can’t have dairy, or nuts, and you’re just not sure if pesto can exist and be allergy friendly. There’s good news – you can make a super flavorful pesto sauce without all the allergens.
There are lots of options for making dairy free, nut free, allergy friendly pesto. In this sunflower seed pesto, seeds take the place of nuts, and some nutritional yeast adds that cheesy flavor. If you don’t love sunflower seeds, this can also be made with pumpkin seeds.
The result is a light and delicious sunflower seed pesto that’s perfect for serving over pasta, fish, or chicken.
What brand of gluten free pasta should I use in this recipe?
Some gluten free brands to check out would be Ancient Harvest, Jovial, and Cybele’s. You can use a different shape if you like as well. I used gluten free rotini here, but we’ve also made this with macaroni and other shapes of pasta, too.
Just make sure that you don’t overcook the pasta – gluten free pasta tends to get very mushy very quickly, and then it’s just a big mess.
Can I make this pasta with pesto ahead of time?
If you make it ahead of time, I recommend keeping the sauce separate. Once a pasta salad sits in the refrigerator overnight, the pasta tends to absorb the flavor, and it can get a little tasteless. Make your pasta, make the sauce, and refrigerate them separately. When you are ready to serve them, toss together and enjoy.
Can I use a different vegetable other than peas?
If you don’t like or can’t have peas, you can add tomatoes, zucchini, or just enjoy the sunflower seed pesto and pasta plain! This dish would also be nice with some added chicken for protein. Once you get started with this easy sunflower seed pesto, you’ll want to add it to lots of recipes.
Try spreading it on crackers or bread sticks, or even using it as a dip for vegetables.
This sunflower seed pesto goes well with:
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Pasta with Sunflower Seed Pesto and Peas.
- Place all ingredients except for the peas and pasta in a food processor. Pulse until well blended, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Put the cooked pasta, peas, and pasta in a large bowl. Toss well to coat.
- Serve immediately.
This recipe was originally published in July 2015. It has been updated.