Pumpkin Seed Cilantro Pesto

Recipe by: Lisa Markley, MS, RDN

pumpkin seed cilantro pesto

This amazing pesto combines protein-rich pumpkin seeds and liver detoxifying cilantro into a delicious pesto that can be used as a dip for vegetables or a sauce for spaghetti squash.

 Makes approximately 1 cup


  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro (approximately 1 bunch)
  • 3/4 cup baby spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons chickpea miso paste (optional)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. To toast pumpkin seeds, heat a dry skillet over medium and spread pumpkin seeds evenly in the pan. Heat seeds for 2-3 minutes until they become fragrant and begin to pop.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine pumpkin seeds, cilantro, spinach, garlic, lime juice, miso, oil, salt, and pepper and process until smooth. Thin with additional oil, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Cook’s notes: Try parsley in place of cilantro, if desired. Sunflower seeds make a delicious substitution for pumpkin seeds.
Chickpea miso adds the savory umami flavor usually created by Parmesan cheese traditionally found in most pesto recipes.
To freeze, scoop into a freezable container leaving 1 inch of space at the top to allow pesto to expand as it free.
Labels: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegan, Paleo, 30 minutes or less

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