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Basil Sunflower Seed Pesto Recipe


Basil, garlic, sunflower seeds, and Parmesan cheese blend into pesto sauce which is tossed with hot pasta for a quick meal. The pesto may be made and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • 4 cups coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup hulled raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed


Place basil, sunflower seeds, olive oil, Parmesan, butter, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process to a puree, scraping down sides often.

Transfer pesto to a small bowl with a lid. Press a sheet of plastic wrap to the surface of the pesto sauce, then seal with the lid. May be refrigerated up to 2 weeks.

Yield: about 1-1/2 cups

To use pesto: Cook 1 pound of pasta in salted water. When pasta is cooked al dente, combine 3/4 cup pesto with 2/3 cup hot pasta water in a large bowl. Drain pasta and add to the bowl. Toss to combine. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Toss again and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Related Video
How to Make Pesto
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