Pumpkin Seed Pesto Pasta

I discovered pesto, as part of my culinary exploration during my Post Graduate days. Flavors and Big Chill (Restaurant’s – Delhites will know) had arrived on the gourmet scene and had a tantalizing array of flavors from Italy. It used to be be our gang’s once in a while treat, where we would blow up money saved from our meagre monthly stipends. But boy! It was so worth it! Savoring every bite, it has made for lifetime memories.

As you all know, my elder daughter is allergic to all tree-nuts; she hasn’t been able to eat a lot of dishes that are my all time favorites hence I am constantly on the lookout to re-create traditional recipes sans nuts. 

Here is a version of the green pesto with pumpkin seeds instead of pine nuts. Infact, I find it tastier than using pine seeds which makes the pesto sauce too thick and a bit heavy, for me. The greens used can be a solely or combination of basil, coriander, parsley, spinach depending on what is available in your kitchen. My pesto looks dark green due to all the spinach in the mix.

Prep Time: 10 Mins

Cooking Time: 15 mins
Recipe Level: Easy

Spice Level: Mild

Serves: 4
Shelf Life: Eat fresh. Refrigerate upto 2 days
Serving Suggestion: With green salad 


A sauce pan, fry pan, wooden spoons, food processor and serving plate


  • 1/2 cup pumpkin shelled seeds
  • 1 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup  coriander leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cups olive oil (good quality)
  • A handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 200 gms rice pasta
  • 1 tsp salt to taste
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder, to taste
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta to the water and cook until al dente
  2. While pasta is cooking, gather all the ingredients.
  3. Roast the pumpkin seeds on a skillet for 2 minutes. 
  4. Combine all the ingredients pumpkin seeds, garlic, leaves, lemon juice, olive oil, slat and pepper -blitz it.
  5. Drain pasta, add a tsp of olive oil and mix it well. 
  6. Place pan back on the stove and add pasta and pesto to the pan. Stir to combine, adding a tsp of water if required.
  7. Slice the cherry tomatoes. Mix in the pasta
  8. Garnish with parmesan and basil leaves, with a sprinkling of chilli flakes


  • For my kids, I do not add any black pepper or chilli flakes. It tastes yummy, the natural flavor of greens enhanced by pumkin seeds and good quality olive oil.

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