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Is Pesto Gluten Free? Read Here

  • Amy 

I have searched online for this question and have found plenty of things that say gluten free pesto and a few things that either say never or that there is no real way to tell.

If pesto was mass-produced then I would say yes, it most likely would be gluten free. However, pesto is commonly made at home so it is only natural for it to contain gluten.

Gluten in Pesto

How is pesto made?

Pesto is basically basil, garlic, olive oil, and pine nuts blended together and then served on a variety of foods including pasta and tomatoes.

The connection between pesto and gluten goes back to when it was commonly made using bread dough. The basil is blended into the bread dough before kneading and then spat out to form the traditional green pesto.

However, these days bread dough is not very common when making homemade pesto. A food processor can be used instead which negates the need to knead the dough, and this also reduces the gluten content.

Which brands of pesto are gluten-free?

Most brands of pesto contain garlic, which is a highly allergenic ingredient for some people such as celiac disease sufferers. However, some brands do not include any allergens, and others may use different ingredients like mustard instead of garlic.

If you’re looking for a safe alternative to store-bought pesto, you might want to try making it yourself. Mix ground almonds and olive oil together until paste forms. Add crushed garlic, salt, and pepper, and mix thoroughly. Use your hands to blend the mixture into a smooth blend pesto.

Here’s more :

  • Dollop of pesto

This basic pesto recipe is a great staple to keep on hand. It’s versatile enough to add to salads, sandwiches, pasta, pizzas, soups, stir-fries, etc. You can even make a quick batch and freeze it for later!


1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Set aside.
  2. Place the basil in a blender or food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Transfer the basil to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Pour the olive oil mixture over the basil. Stir well to combine.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  6. Serve chilled or return to room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Fresh pesto

This naturally gluten free pesto recipe is a delicious addition to many dishes. Try adding it to pasta, pizza, chicken salad, and more!


2 cups packed fresh basil leaves

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 clove garlic, peeled and pressed

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil


  1. Combine the basil, Parmesan, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. With the motor running, drizzle in 2 tablespoons olive oil through the feed tube. Process until combined.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a serving dish, cover, and chill for 30 minutes. Serve cold or at room temperature.
  4. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Pesto to omelets

This pesto pointers are very helpful for those who love eggs but have been avoiding them due to their high cholesterol levels. This simple eggless pesto recipe is perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks.


1 cup almond flour

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup pesto sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Spread out the almond flour evenly across the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.

These variations of pesto include vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers, and other veggies that are easy to find. The secret ingredient? Cilantro!


3 cups baby kale

1 medium head broccoli

1/2 onion

1 red bell pepper

1 jalapeno

1 bunch cilantro

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup lime juice

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon Himal


  1. Rinse the kale thoroughly under cold running water. Drain.
  2. Cut off the ends of the broccoli and cut into florets. Cut each floret into thirds.
  3. Chop the onion and green parts of the bell pepper. Chop the jalapeno.
  4. Remove the stems and seeds from the cilantro. Mince the cilantro.
  5. Put all ingredients in a blender or food processer. Blend until smooth.
  6. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve and refrigerate.
  • Skillet with pesto

This recipe is a cousin to pesto, only this one has no nuts. It’s also great on potatoes and rice.


2 large potatoes, cubed

1 small sweet potato, cubed

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 jalapeno, minced

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup sesame seeds

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the bell peppers and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let cool slightly. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
  5. Cover and keep warm while you prepare the rest of your meal.

Pesto in ice cube

Pesto in an ice cube is a fun way to add flavor to any dish without adding too much fat. Just freeze it in ice cube trays and pop out when ready to use.


6 basil leaves

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup walnuts

1/4 cup roasted almonds

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup fresh parsley


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Freeze in an ice cube tray.
  3. To serve, thaw the cubes and place 2 tablespoons of pesto in a small bowl. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.

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Amy Toliver

Hey'all I'm Amy, a born foodie and diagnosed with celiac disease 7 years ago. I refused to cave into tasteless, boring gulten free food and create my own! On my blog you'll find info & cool facts along with recipes, all on gluten free foods!