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This delicious pesto can be used in so many dishes. Toss with pasta, put over baked potatoes, add into scrambled eggs, or spread on crackers or toast! If you don’t have a food processor for this recipe, you can also use a blender or a mortar and pestle. Sunflower seeds are also a great, more affordable alternative to pine nuts.


  • 2 Cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 Cup nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 Cup olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup sunflower seeds or pine nuts
  • 3 Garlic cloves, minced (about 3 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 Tsp salt, more to taste
  • 1/8 Tsp freshly ground black pepper
Main Ingredient(s): Basil, Garlic


  • Place the basil and sunflower seeds or pine nuts into a food processor and pulse several times.
  • Add the garlic and cheese or yeast and pulse several times more. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.
  • While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream. Occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor.
  • Stir in salt and pepper, add more to taste.

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VT Fresh is funded in part by the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. In Vermont, SNAP is called 3SquaresVT. It can help low income people buy foods for a better diet. To find out more, contact the Vermont Foodbank toll-free at 855-855-6181.

Published On: June 1, 2021