If there’s one thing I’m consistent about it is my love for PESTO. All things pesto. I put it on my morning soft-scrambled eggs (breakfast heaven), on my grilled protein, in my soup, on my crackers, the list goes on.

I’ve made many iterations of pesto (check them out here) but the one I frequently land on is my Pumpkin Seed Pesto. Raw pumpkin seeds replace pine nuts for their health benefits (ahem, have you followed my parasite eviction journey), mild flavor, and ease of digestion. They’re also lower in histamine for people on a low-histamine diet.

How to make homemade pesto

The easiest and least messy way to make homemade pesto is actually in your food processor! A mortar and pestal provides the classic old-world touch, but let’s be real, we don’t have time for that in 2022. Simply pulse all the ingredients except the olive oil, vinegar and parmesan in your food processor until finely minced. Scrape into a bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients. This prevents you from having to clean an oil-greased food processor and all of its components!

Pumpkin Seed Pesto Ingredients

  • raw unsalted sprouted pumpkin seeds (I love the organic Go Raw brand)
  • fresh garlic (just one large clove)
  • salt and pepper
  • red wine vinegar (a little acidity adds brighteness)
  • fresh basil leaves (choose organic or home grown)
  • organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • freshly grated parmesan

How to marinade tomatoes

Marinaded or macerated tomatoes add brightness, acidity, juiciness AND sweetness to so many dishes! They also couldn’t be easier to make at home. You just need a bowl, a few simple ingredients, and some lead time to let them soak.

Simply combine halved organic cherry tomatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, vinegar, and fresh garlic in a shallow bowl. Let marinade in the fridge for up to 48 hours or on the countertop for several hours prior to using in a recipe. Store in a sealed glass container in the fridge for a few days max.

Pesto can feel heavy on the palate, and these garlic macerated tomatoes brighten up this dish and make it much more memorable!

how to make pumpkin seed pesto


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pumpkin seed pesto pasta

Pumpkin Seed Pesto Pasta with Macerated Cherry Tomatoes

  • Author: Alaena Haber
  • Prep Time: 2 hours (to allow tomatoes to marinade)
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 11 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: side dish, main


Flavorful homemade pumpkin seed pesto tossed with cassava pasta and brightened up with macerated cherry tomatoes… there’s just nothing better!



1 box Jovial cassava spaghetti

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

1.5 oz fresh basil, stems discarded

1/2 cup raw sprouted pumpkin seeds (unsalted)

1 large garlic clove, peeled

1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1/4 cup grated parmesan

Macerated Cherry Tomatoes

1 pint organic cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 large garlic clove, grated using a microplane grater

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

fresh cracked pepper to taste

freshly grated parmesan, for serving


  1. At least 2 hours prior (no more than 24-48 hours prior) to serving your pasta, make your macerated cherry tomatoes. They need to time to marinate! In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and toss gently. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Cook spaghetti according to package directions in salted filtered water for best results.
  3. Meanwhile, make your Pumpkin Seed Pesto. In a food processor, combine basil, pumpkin seeds, garlic, and salt until the basil and pumpkin seeds are finely minced.
  4. Transfer pesto to a small bowl and stir in olive oil and vinegar. Now stir in your parmesan and set aside.
  5. Toss the warm pasta in the pesto in a large serving dish and stir in the tomatoes.
  6. Serve pasta in individual serving bowls topped with freshly grated parmesan. It’s delicious on its own but I always love to add some protein like hard-boiled eggs, grilled salmon or shrimp, or leftover sliced chicken breast.


Be sure to plan ahead for macerating your cherry tomatoes so they have time to tenderize and take on the garlic flavor!

You really can use any pasta variety here. For a cold pasta salad, use a pasta that is better-suited to a pasta salad such as farfalle, macaroni, or rotini.


  • Serving Size: 4

Keywords: pasta, pesto, cassava, tomatoes, italian, lunch, dinner