Sunflower Zucchini Pesto Pasta

Toasted Sunflower Zucchini Pesto Pasta is a perfect side dish for the summer. You can easily make it the main event by adding BBQ chicken or crispy chickpeas. I like using toasted sunflower seeds in my pesto in place of pinenuts because they are much more cost-effective and have a rich nutty flavour when toasted. Instead of pasta in the recipe, I use spiralized zucchini which is a light and gluten-free alternative.

Sunflower Zucchini Pesto Pasta by @jesselwellness

Virtual team building Cooking Classes to bring co-workers together across the country

Did you know that I offer remote Cooking Classes and Lunch & Learns? This month we are celebrating the beautiful zucchini. During my Celebrate Zucchini Virtual Cooking Class, we will make Toasted Sunflower Zucchini Pesto Pasta and my Chocolate Zucchini Muffins. The class is designed so we cook together from start to finish so you can learn all of the steps and ask questions along the way.

Learn more about my corporate classes here and send me an email to set up a remote cooking class for your team!

Virtual Corporate Wellness Cooking Classes and Lunch & Learns

Toasted Sunflower Zucchini Pesto Pasta Recipe

gluten-free + vegan + nut-free + paleo

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 5 minutes | Serving Size: 4 sides

Toasted Sunflower Basil Pesto Ingredients

  • ½ cup raw sunflower seeds, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 cups basil, packed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Zucchini Noodles Ingredients

  • 2 large zucchinis, spiralized, grated or cut into noodles
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered


  1. Toast the sunflower seeds in a dry saucepan on high heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
  2. Place the garlic in the food processor or small blender and pulse until minced.  Add the basil, olive oil, water, 6 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and pulse until smooth.
  3. Toss the zucchini noodles in the Sunflower Basil Pesto. Top with cherry tomatoes, remaining 2 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds, and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.
  4. If you prefer a warm dish, place zucchini noodles, pesto and tomatoes in a pan and cook on medium heat until heated through. Add 2 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and enjoy.

NOTE: Add BBQ chicken or crispy chickpeas for a more filling main dish.

Sunflower Zucchini Pesto Pasta by Holistic Nutritionist Jesse Lane

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