Garden Pesto with Sunflower Seeds

Garden Pesto with Sunflower Seeds- a vibrant, fragrant, flavor packed sauce recipe you can use on wraps, sandwiches, pasta, crackers, pizza, fruits, veggies or cheese. Pesto isn’t just for pasta, and with the amount of Basil that yields on just one plant in your home garden, you gotta get creative with this delicious topping!

In my Homemade Garden Pesto, I have substituted pine nuts with roasted sunflower seeds. Though I do love the flavor of pine nuts, they are just too expensive, and in my experience their shelf life isn’t long. Feel free to play around with different nuts in this recipe, there really are no rules! You can also roast your garlic instead of using raw for a sweeter, less intense flavor.

Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin E. Promoting healthy skin, hair, nails, and heart health. They also are high in Vitamin B 1 which gives the body lots of natural energy!

You Will Need:

  • 1/4 cup of no salt/no shell Sunflower Seeds – Buy pre-roasted or roast in the oven or a dry pan yourself
  • 3-4 cloves of raw Garlic ( or 5-6 cloves of roasted garlic)
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese ( if making this vegan, sub. vegan cheese or just leave out)
  • 3 Cups of Fresh Basil Leaves washed and dried **(feel free to try different types of basil as well, I am using a Lemon Basil breed).
  • Olive Oil ( you will need enough to thin your pesto to desired consistency)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Squeeze of Lemon Juice


In a food processor, combine sunflower seeds, and garlic and pulse until it forms a crumble. Then add the cheese, and basil, pulse again until everything breaks down a bit. Once everything is broken down part way, turn the processor on and stream in your olive oil until a desired consistency occurs. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.

Pesto can be used right away, refrigerated in an airtight container for about a week, or frozen up to 6 months.

*Tip when Freezing: Put your pesto in ice tray cubes, freeze, and store in zipblock bags. This way you can add a punch of flavor in any dish all year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *