No-Garlic Pesto Recipe

No-Garlic Pesto Recipe

This delicious no garlic pesto recipe (also no cheese and no pine nuts!) takes all the ingredients that might cause you trouble out, and put nothing but deliciousness in! Goes with any veggies or breads or makes the perfect condiment!

If you’ve followed my gluten free recipes for awhile, you may be surprised to learn that I don’t live exclusively off gluten free baked goods. It’s true: a girl sometimes needs a good pesto recipe to go with her gluten free flatbreads, you know? And this girl needs a no-garlic pesto recipe. Which can be a problem, since traditional pesto recipes contain tanto garlic. And cheese, which is also a no-go for this gluten free girl.

gluten free no garlic pesto in bowl


Oh, and did I mention that my hubby has a pine nut “issue”? Pine nuts cause him to have a metallic taste in his mouth — it’s an actual thing. It’s called “Pine Mouth” and according to this Bon Appetit article, it “makes your entire tongue taste like pennies. For weeks.”

I don’t recommend it, so lest I inflict this inhumane punishment on my sweet man (or anyone else for that matter), I also must avoid the other hallmark pesto ingredient: pine nuts.

gluten free pesto ingredients

No-Garlic Pesto without Pine Nuts and without Cheese – Revolutionary!

So what to do when I crave a good pesto, but can’t have garlic, cheese or pine nuts? I did what I always do — I invented my own recipe! (Note that this pesto without garlic recipe is also PALEO friendly and pretty much Low FODMAP – bonus! Choose canned lentils and rinse them well or 1/2 an avocado for lower FODMAP recipe.)

gluten free pesto plants

Fresh herbs and peppers make everything better! I was so excited to get to put my home-grown plants to work in this recipe!


Herbs like fresh basil are the key to making this pesto so full of flavor!

gluten free basil in blendtec

I also added a new healthy ingredient that I’ve been loving in my smoothies lately: MCT oil from organic coconutsMCTs are medium-chain triglycerides which are easily digested and provide energy and support a healthy metabolism. It also adds to the creaminess of this no-garlic pesto dip. If you don’t have any on-hand though, never fear! Just use more extra virgin olive oil, as noted in my recipe.

gluten free flatbread with no-garlic pesto and fruits

Usually when I create these kinds of savory recipes, I don’t even bother sharing them on my blog because my readers don’t seem too interested unless there’s some light and fluffy confection associated with them. (Dessert first, I always say!)

In this case, no sweets or treats, but I can promise you that this pesto without garlic, pine nuts or cheees makes an insanely good topper for my gluten free flatbreads or pitas, and even makes the hands-down best Greek Pizza sauce for your homemade gluten free pizzas.

gluten free pesto pizza


It’s also amazing on gluten free pasta (think about it slathering all those yummy gluten free raviolis you’re going to be making soon!). It would even be amazing on zucchini noodles (“zoodles”), or as a dip with homemade gluten free crackers. Shall I go on?

gluten free pesto in blendtec 3

I use my Blendtec* Twister Jar to make this pesto not only healthy and oh-so-savory-delicious, but also EASY! The Twister Jar is made just for blending yummy things like nut butters, hummus, and of course, this pesto!

gluten free flatbread with no-garlic pesto cu

At any rate, I share this recipe now for partly selfish reasons. The recipe is truly so good that I never want to lose it or have to re-invent the no-garlic pesto wheel when I can’t find my notes. Plus I needed to share it with friends who begged for the recipe after tasting it (here ya go, D & J!), so I figured this was the easiest way to share it with them and with you!

gluten free flatbreads with no-garlic pesto and knife

Trust me when I say this no-garlic pesto recipe is worth trying, even if you can enjoy garlic or pine nuts or cheese. So raid your neighbor’s garden for a jalapeno (thanks, Ted!) and pick your basil plant clean — this recipe is worth it!


No Garlic Pesto Recipe

No Garlic Pesto Recipe

Yield: approximately 1 1/4 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This delicious no garlic, no pine nut pesto recipe takes all the ingredients that might cause you trouble out, and put nothing but deliciousness in! Goes with any veggies or breads or makes the perfect condiment!


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (or pine nuts or pecans or almonds, or a mixture)
  • 1/2 cup canned garbanzo beans (rinsed) OR canned and rinsed lentils for lower FODMAP OR 1/2 ripe avocado for Low FODMAP
  • 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. MCT oil (Nutiva Organic MCT Oil from coconut) OR 1 Tbs. additional virgin olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno (optional or use 2 for extra heat)
  • 1 tsp. fresh or dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper or white pepper


Prepare ingredients by washing and draining, as necessary.

Add all ingredients to a Blendtec (high quality blender) Twister Jar or food processor bowl and process for 2 minutes, or until creamy. Alternatively, chop and dice ingredients by hand, stirring to combine until desired smoothness.

Serve immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

Pin it for later!

No Garlic Pesto Recipe that is also low FODMAP and free of dairy, gluten and pine nuts!

*I am a Blendtec Ambassador because I love and believe in the quality of their products. I use my blender for everything from daily smoothies to cinnamon roll icing! As always, all opinions are my own.  See my disclosure policy for more information. Working with select brands I love allows me to keep bringing you free recipes, and I hope that in the process, you’ll learn about some of the safe gluten free products I choose for my family. Thanks so much for your support! (Enter code GFJULES at for 25% off at

No Garlic Pesto Recipe that is also low FODMAP and free of dairy, gluten and pine nuts! | gfJules

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18 thoughts on “No-Garlic Pesto Recipe

  1. Love this idea!!
    Have you tried freezing this?
    I have a TON of basil and would like to make a big batch and freeze for later enjoyment!

    • Oooh I haven’t yet, but what a great solution to an over-abundance of basil! I hope you love the recipe!
      If you freeze it, come back and let me know how it goes!

  2. This really is revolutionary!! I need to plan this into my weekly dinner. Sounds amazing spread over pizza 🙂 We have tons of artichoke hearts we need to use up… I know what I’m making this weekend!

  3. This is so timely, Jules. I was just looking at my basil plants and thinking pesto. While we have no problems with garlic or cheese, I am definitely going to try this recipe. I love having options!

    • It really causes me issues, so garlic-free is a must for me. But this recipe is so full of flavor I don’t miss it at all, Kelly!