Easy Paleo Pesto Recipe

When I started posting photos of my Whole30 meals, I wasn’t expecting much of a response. It’s just food. Well, apparently food is something people enjoy seeing photos of. Who knew??

And then, people started asking for my recipes. So I’m going to share! Give the people what they want, right? I’m a huge fan of pasta. I’m Italian! Of course I love pasta…but it’s a big, big no-no on The Whole30.

I’m also a huge, huge, huge (did I mention HUGE?) fan of pesto. I actually could just eat nothing but pesto and be totally and completely happy. Except that traditional pesto has aged parmesan as one of the main ingredients. Dairy products are on the big NO list.

But, I love a challenge, so I started to experiment with my favorite recipe. My preferred type of pesto, and the one I use most often, is basil pesto. This is the type of pesto that you’ve probably had in restaurants and out of a jar. You can make other types, but there’s just something about fresh basil….

That is a fresh basil plant. ⤵Fresh Basil Plant

You can buy them at Trader Joe’s, like I do, or you can easily grow basil in your window sill. I happen to be a big fan of basil, but I kind of suck as a gardener.

It’s sad, because I actually enjoy gardening…and my mom has an amazingly green thumb. So does my dad…and my brother. I guess I just got gifted in the writing department, and I couldn’t do both.

…at least, that’s what I tell myself. *sigh*

But, this girl can cook!

At least, most things. And so, I buy a few basil plants when I want to make pesto. I’ve tried potting them, watering them, tenting them…and I kill every.single.one.

It’s sad, really, but I‘m okay sacrificing a few basil plants in the name of delicious food. 

Super easy paleo pesto using fresh ingredients.

Easy Paleo Pesto

  • 1 cup fresh basil (packed down)
  • 4-5 fresh garlic cloves (or you can use roasted garlic instead)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • The zest of 1 lemon
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/8 cup hemp oil
  • 1/8 cup EVOOSuper easy paleo pesto!
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Grab a heavy-bottomed skillet and heat it over medium-high heat. Toast your pine nuts until fragrant, then remove them from the heat. st. Pine nuts have a small surface area and are very sensitive to heat, so be watchful. They go from brown to burnt really fa

Add all of your ingredients except the last two  to your food processor, and pulse to combine. slowly drizzle in the EVOO and pulse again, adding the salt and pepper. Continue pulsing your sauce until it’s smooth and delicious.

Serve over spaghetti squash, or just eat it with a spoon!

What’s your favorite sauce?

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  1. the crunchy mommy on June 15, 2015 at 8:16 am

    I’m not Italian (though I think in a previous life I may have been) but I loooooooove any and all tomato based sauces… I LOVE a spicy marinara like no other!!!!

    I never really got into pesto but I’ll certainly be giving this recipe a try!

    • Brea on June 15, 2015 at 8:26 am

      Try pesto with some spicy meatballs! I was a red sauce fiend and after figuring out homemade pesto, I just have one more way to enjoy “pasta”!

  2. Najmah on June 15, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Hi, Brea! Your recipes are interesting. Will check your instagram! <3

    • Brea on June 15, 2015 at 8:26 am

      Thank you!

  3. laci on June 15, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Love this ! I needed a easy one like this thanks !!

    • Brea on June 15, 2015 at 9:06 am

      You’re welcome!

  4. Kelly on June 15, 2015 at 8:58 am

    This looks so delicious! My only concern would be my ability to keep plants alive! LOL

    • Brea on June 15, 2015 at 9:06 am

      I feel ya!

  5. Betty on June 15, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Oh I love pesto, thanks for sharing this lovely recipe!
    I will try it today for my dinner 😀

  6. Christal on June 15, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    That picture with the meatballs, has me drooling over here! Is there a replacement for hemp oil? I want to try this asap! My Zucchini plant just produced it’s first fully grown Zuc. and I’m dying for some zoodles. I normally use marinara but that pesto looks amazing!

    • Brea on June 15, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      Yum! Let me know how it turns out! I adore zoodles!

  7. Justine Y @ Little Dove Creations on June 15, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    I agree, basil pesto is the best! And I always make it fresh because I don’t think it tastes as good from a jar. I’m really excited about this recipe and I still really want to try spaghetti squash noodles! Thanks for sharing Brea!

    • Brea on June 15, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      I absolutely LOVE spaghetti squash! Let me know how it goes!

  8. Donna on June 15, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    I am a HUGE pesto fan – but I have to admit, I have never made it without parmesan – will have to give it a go 🙂

    • Brea on June 15, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      It was surprisingly delish!

  9. Kat | curlsnchard.com on June 15, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    You know, it might just be your apartment/house and not even you – if plants don’t get the right amount of light and/or air, they die no matter what you do. Your pesto sounds delicious!

    • Brea on June 15, 2015 at 3:31 pm

      Really, Kat? How would I know? I would LOVE to have a little herb garden!!

  10. Cynthia on June 15, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Great Post!
    Cynthia @craftoflaughter

  11. Jessica @ Moxie and Mischief on June 15, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    This sounds really yummy!

    • Brea on June 15, 2015 at 9:57 pm

      Thank you!

  12. Kristle on June 16, 2015 at 12:02 am

    YUM. I definitely need to make some of this! Thanks for sharing.

    • Brea on June 16, 2015 at 2:44 am

      You’re welcome!

  13. Iryna Bychkiv on June 16, 2015 at 4:18 am

    Looks good! I love pesto too. My mom makes it so delicious. But, yeah, we always add parmesan cheese. Gotta try this one too, since I love vegan recipes and often cook them!

    • Brea on June 16, 2015 at 8:27 am

      Awesome! Let me know how you like it!

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