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Easy 5-Minute Green Onion and Sunflower Seed Pesto Sauce Recipe

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Here is my recipe for 5-minute green onion and sunflower seed pesto sauce!

Here is my recipe for 5-minute green onion and sunflower seed pesto sauce!

Green Onion Pesto Recipe

Green onion pesto—some call it a poor man's pesto. But it's perfect for those days when pine nuts are a touch pricey or when fresh basil is just out of season and not available.

I actually like it better, but it's sort of a different beast, and although you could use it as a pasta sauce, I like it as a garnish, stirred into mayonnaise, or served at the restaurant as a topping for crispy, fried sweet potato fritters.

The itemized recipe as follows does give amounts, but please take the quantities as given with a grain of salt. This is a terrifically easy recipe that consists of a few good ingredients thrown haphazardly into a blender. It's a taste-as-you-go kind of process and one that should be started and finished within about 2 minutes! It goes (almost) without saying as well that this recipe is well open to modifications, interpretations, and complete changes in direction! Leftover pesto will last a few days covered in the fridge.


  • One big bunch (about 1 pound) of green onions trimmed to remove the white bottoms (you only want the less assertive greens here)
  • 1/4 cup of shelled sunflower seeds
  • The juice of 1 to 2 limes
  • 1 clove of garlic (don't even bother to peel it—just pop er' into the blender!
  • 1/4 to 1 cup of vegetable oil (or any mild-tasting oil) Using less will result in a thicker pesto, one that can be formed as a garnish. Using more oil will result in a more sauce-like pesto—a la traditional basil/pine nut pesto.
  • Salt to taste


  1. Chop the green onions roughly and toss them into the blender along with the nuts, the garlic, and the lime juice.
  2. Turn on the motor and drizzle in the oil until the desired consistency is reached.
  3. Season to taste with salt.
  4. The end!

Do this once, and you'll see how open to adaptation this technique/recipe is.


  • Switch the green onions with cilantro.
  • Try it with olive oil and lemon.
  • Try it with different nuts.
  • Mix it with sour cream for a veggie dip.
  • Toss it on hot pasta.
  • Keep it thick and spread it on toasted baguettes for sandwiches.
  • Toss it with simply steamed new potatoes.
  • Use it for a 10-minute dinner as a coating for simply broiled white fish fillets.

There are endless variations. So good, so easy.