I am a HUGE fan of Pesto sauce and decided to ask around & find out a way to add it to my son’s  menu in a nut-free way.    Pumpkin seeds seem to be the answer to keeping a delicious “nutty” flavor in a nearly-classic pesto sauce!


  • 1/2 cup(s) hulled, roasted, salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 2 tablespoon(s) fresh-grated Parmesan
  • 2 clove(s) garlic
  • 1 cup(s) basil
  • 1/2 cup(s) fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon(s) lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil

Note:  Even Trader Joe carries pepitas so hopefully they are not too hard to come by.  Some packages may have a process-in-a-facility-with-nuts warning. You can also buy raw pumpkin seeds and roast them at home in a manner of minutes – DELISH!


  1. Make the pesto: Combine the pumpkin seeds, Parmesan, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until the seeds are finely ground — about 30 seconds. Add the basil, parsley, lemon juice, and lemon zest and pulse in the olive oil until the herbs are chopped and olive oil is just incorporated. Serve immediately, refrigerate for up to two days, or freeze for up to two months until ready to use.

I will cook it up this weekend to see if it goes over well with my 2 year old. 🙂

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