• Serves 4
  • 15 minutes
  • Difficulty Easy
  • 8 Ingredients


There is nothing like the smell of fresh basil and it is so easy to grow in any garden or balcony pot! This fresh pesto is perfect as a dip or through pasta. You could even take this recipe to school and use herbs from your school garden. Stir through our Orecchiette pasta recipe for a delicious meal or after school snack.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 bunch Basil
  • 1 handful Baby spinach leaves
  • 400 g tin Chickpeas (reserve the liquid)
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1/2 lemon Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/3 cup Rice bran oil
  • 100g Fresh parmesan cheese (from a block, not pre-grated pack)
  • Pinch Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Place the basil leaves and spinach in a blender/food processor, add peeled garlic, chickpeas, lemon juice and oil.
  2. Blend until your desired consistency - some people like it really smooth, others love it chunky.
  3. If too thick, use some of the reserved chickpea juice to thin to your preferred consistency.
  4. Mix in parmesan cheese and add salt and pepper to taste.


Stir through fresh cooked pasta, add chicken and top with fresh grated parmesan. Lots of kids love pesto through scrambled eggs to make green eggs and ham! Serve on crackers with cheese and tomato, or as a dip. If you have no nut allergies in your family, you can put toasted pinenuts or cashews instead of the chickpeas.

  • Oh I like the idea of this.. will have to try


  • I do love pesto and have only ever tried it with nuts but i do like tjis recipe i think chickpeas wpuld work well


  • Thanks for sharing this recipe – sounds great and I’m sure I’ll love it. Any tips on getting fussy, fussy people to try it?


  • Thanks for the recipe. Can’t wait to try it.


  • I love pesto


  • A great recipe for pesto and easier then I was taught.


  • Yum !!


  • Fantastic nut free recipe. Thanks fur sharing.


  • great nut free alternative for those with allergies. =) i love that we can substitute and make ways !


  • A great nut-free alternative; thanks for sharing!.


  • This is one of the few things of this style my sister could eat – sounds super tasty too


  • Yay a pesto I can enjoy… Nut free…


  • well i have to say that i love your choice of oil. i always buy rice bran oil for the health benefits it has.

    • cheers for contributing this recipe idea. i have loved it and have shared this onto facebook. i sure am happy to do that as this recipe is fabu!


  • My daughter would like this as she wont eat any type of nut!


  • Thanks for this recipe – I do like nut free alternatives.


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