Cilantro Pesto – Nut-Free & Dairy-Free

by Maggie on January 30, 2013

cilantro pesto She Let Them Eat Cake 2

We love pizza in this house, it makes an appearance every week on our menu planning chalkboard (thank you Pinterest).  Our favorite topping is pesto and roasted veggies.  Typically we use our dairy-free almond pesto or walnut pesto recipes. But recently we heard about cilantro pesto.

There’s a lovely chef at our local Farmer’s Market who sells all kinds of dips and sauces, and cilantro pesto is one of them.  But I’ve never been brave enough to try it.  I do love cilantro, but a whole bowl of cilantro pesto?

I changed my mind when I was reminded of the benefits of cilantro.  Besides being alkaline and high in antioxidants, did you know that cilantro helps our bodies remove heavy metals? No, not the Ozzy Ozborne type.

Cilantro binds to heavy metals (like mercury and aluminum) and loosens them from our body tissue so they can leave the body.  How fabulous is that?

Pass the cilantro pesto please.

Cilantro Pesto

  • 2 cups cilantro, washed and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds (toasted would be good too)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup flax oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

1. Add cilantro, pumpkin seeds, garlic, flax oil, olive oil, and lemon to the bowl of a food processor or a blender.
2. Puree until it reaches desired consistency.
3. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Serve.

Yield: Approximately 1 cup cilantro pesto

I urge you to try this, it didn’t taste a thing like cilantro.  It just tasted like yummy and garlicky pesto. Put it on your pizza, your sandwich, or your crackers.

I started a new book this week – The Gluten-Free Edge: A Nutrition and Training Guide for Peak Athletic Performance and an Active Gluten-Free Life – you need to get your hands on a copy, it’s fascinating!






{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

wanda January 30, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Sounds awsome!


Maggie January 31, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Thanks Wanda 🙂


Heather January 31, 2013 at 11:56 am

I have fallen in love cilantro but it did take time! I am obsessed with pumpkin seeds to so I can’t wait to try this 🙂


Maggie January 31, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Oh Heather, I think you’ll love this then!


Shirley @ gfe January 31, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Oh, Maggie, this does sound good, especially if it doesn’t taste like cilantro! I like cilantro, but woudn’t want pesto that was “full on cilantro.” I love pesto on pizza and lots of other ways, too!

Melissa and Pete’s book is awesome, isn’t it? I’m overdue on sharing my review.



Maggie February 4, 2013 at 9:30 am

Yes Shirley it is so awesome. I think it should be required reading for my Nutrition Program. It’s amazing! I’ll share it when I’m done 🙂 Thanks for stopping by as always xo

Reply January 31, 2013 at 5:39 pm

I am curious about not only the cilantro, but also the pumpkin seeds and the flax oil for pesto. Thanks for expanding my culinary horizens yet again.


Maggie February 4, 2013 at 9:31 am

You’re so sweet, thanks Megan 🙂 Enjoy!


Alta February 1, 2013 at 7:40 am

Ooh, I have a whole bunch of cilantro out in my garden! This sounds so tasty.


Maggie February 4, 2013 at 9:32 am

Alta I am so envious of your cilantro. I can never get it to grow here. Maybe the climate, maybe my thumb?


Carol February 4, 2013 at 9:14 am

Love this – how I love cilantro, just imagining all the ways to use this!


Maggie February 4, 2013 at 9:38 am

Thanks Carol!


Kim - Cook It Allergy Free February 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm

BRILLIANT!!! Love love love this. And I am always looking for ways to sneak cilantro in to our diets since it is so detoxifying and healthy for us. Definitely going to make this since I am growing cilantro right now. 🙂


Maggie February 6, 2013 at 10:42 am

Thanks Kim! I love it too 🙂 Healthy and delish = parenting YAY! I am so envious of your growing cilantro, Alta has some too! We’re covered in a blanket of snow!


Alisa February 6, 2013 at 7:07 pm

I’ve been thinking lately about trying some pesto variations. We aren’t big cilantro fans, but mint has been calling my name! Great use of flax oil here Maggie.


Maggie February 6, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Thanks Alisa! Let me know how the mint variety turns out. Seriously though, the cilantro is worth a shot!


Kim February 13, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Hey Maggie,

I’ve made this pesto twice in a matter of four days. It is absolutely delicious!! I’ve been looking for a cilantro pesto recipe and am so glad you posted yours as it’s fantastic!! Thanks a bunch!!



Maggie February 14, 2013 at 9:56 am

Hey Kim,
Thank you so much for letting me know. I’m so glad you love it, I do too 🙂 Hope you’re doing well. xo


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: