Toasted Sunflower Seed Pesto with Linguine

Updated: Mar 6

Spring days are just around the corner, which for me means pesto making a frequent appearance on my plate.

Pesto is a staple dish of mine in the spring and summer months, but not just any 'ol pesto. We're talking pesto with toasted sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts to kick up the flavor a notch. Besides being more delicious in my opinion, using sunflower seeds is perfect if you're trying to save some $$.

This rendition also stars spinach, to, you know, pack in some extra nutrition without compromising on flavor.


Serves 4


  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (can use pumpkin seeds instead, which is also delicious)

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

  • 1 cup spinach, packed

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 1/2 fresh lemon juice

  • 2-3 garlic cloves

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • pinch of chili flakes

  • cracked black pepper, to taste

  • 1 cup grated vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast

  • ! package of linguine, cooked (reserve some pasta water)

  • 1/4 cup pasta water to thin out (or as needed)

  • Garnish ideas: fresh or sundried tomatoes, a little more chili flakes, black pepper, vegan parm, drizzle of olive oil, lemon zest, some toasted sunflower seeds, basil


  1. Cook the linguine al dente (don't skimp on the salt for the water!)

  2. On medium heat, toast the sunflower seeds in a dry pan until lightly browned

  3. Blend all the pesto ingredients to a blender or food processor

  4. Coat the pasta with the pesto and add a smidge more pasta water if needed

  5. Top with your garnishes of choice and enjoy!

Lots of love,