If you’re following a gluten-free diet, finding tasty and satisfying meals can be a challenge. One condiment that has gained popularity in recent years is pesto, a flavorful sauce made from basil, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. But is pesto gluten-free? Let’s dive into the ingredients and find out.
Are you craving a flavorful, herby sauce to liven up your gluten-free pasta, sandwiches, or salads? Look no further than pesto! But before you start slathering it on everything in sight, you may be wondering: is pesto gluten-free?
What is gluten-free pesto made of?
Traditionally, pesto in its simplest form is made by crushing a few key ingredients together. The original forms of pesto are from Genoa and Sicily, respectively as pesto al Genovese (basil pesto) and pesto rosso (pesto with sundried tomatoes).
Pesto sauces are made with numerous different ingredients, usually a combination of basil, nuts (mostly pine nuts), Parmesan (or pecorino)cheese, garlic, and olive oil. These ingredients are all naturally gluten-free, so if you’re using a homemade or store-bought pesto made with these ingredients, you’re good to go.
Watch out for additives and alternative ingredients
Like I’ve said above, it’s important to be aware that some store-bought pestos may contain additives or alternative ingredients that contain gluten.
For example, some manufacturers may add wheat-based thickeners or flour to their pesto to give it a thicker consistency. Try to avoid pesto with ingredients that contain gluten like yeast. Yes, it is naturally gluten-free but some manufacturers do include wheat flour or wheat starch in it(especially dry).
Additionally, some variations of pesto may include ingredients that contain gluten. Examples may include, sun-dried tomato pesto (not all brands) or pesto made with nuts other than pine nuts may contain gluten. So be sure to check the ingredient list to understand all the ingredients in your pesto and also look for a gluten-free label to be sure.
Homemade pesto is the way to go
Most of the pesto you encounter in the U.S. is different for a few reasons. First off, most of what you see here is made by machine, usually a food processor or hand blender.
This holds true even if it is homemade. Which still can taste reasonably good, but because the ingredients aren’t hand-chopped you end up with a texture that is more like a moist paste and there is little to no definition between ingredients.
The same applies to gluten-free pesto. If you’re looking to be extra cautious, the best option is to make it yourself at home. This way, you will better have control over the ingredients you use in your pesto and can be sure that everything is gluten-free. Plus, homemade pesto (honestly in my opinion) is often fresher and more flavorful than store-bought varieties.
What brand of pesto is gluten-free?
There are several brands of pesto that are gluten-free. Some popular options include:
Green Pesto Alla Genovese by Legnano
Legnano’s Vegan Pesto Sauce is a delicious and authentic Italian sauce that combines the bold flavors of emerald green basil, extra virgin olive oil, and pine nuts. They use only premium ingredients from Italy, carefully selecting non-GMO produce to deliver a rich and wholesome taste that’s perfect for any meal.
Their Pesto Alla Genovese is also gluten-free, meaning it’s safe for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease to enjoy without worry. Because Legnano understands the importance of offering options for those with dietary restrictions, and they’ve made their sauce completely free from gluten-containing ingredients.
Compagnia Sanremo Pesto DOP Basil Pesto
Compagnia Sanremo, a classic Italian brand offers a variety of gluten-free pestos, including traditional basil, sun-dried tomato, and roasted red pepper flavors.
Their basil pesto is an authentic Italian sauce made with high-quality ingredients like the famed “Intensely fragrant”Genovese basil D.O.P., Extra virgin olive oil, Cashew nuts, Pine nuts, and Salt.
It’s an intensely fragrant and flavorful pesto sauce that is traditionally served with spaghetti, lasagna, and gnocchi. and comes in a 6.7 ounces jar, making it a perfect addition to any pantry. Add Compagnia Sanremo Pesto’s Basil Pesto to your favorite dishes and enjoy the authentic taste of Italian cuisine
Delicious & Sons Organic Italian Basil Pesto
Delicious & Sons’ Organic Basil Pesto Sauce is made with high-quality natural ingredients sourced from local organic farmers in Italy. The sauce is made with organic basil, organic sunflower oil, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese PDO, organic potato starch, organic pine nuts, salt, acidity regulator (lactic acid), and antioxidant (ascorbic acid).
This delicious Italian sauce comes in a 6.7 oz jar and is free from gluten, eggs, and added sugars, making it suitable for a variety of dietary needs, including keto.
Campo D’Oro’s Fresh Basil Pesto Sauce
Campo D’Oro’s Fresh Basil Pesto Sauce is made with only three high-quality natural ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, basil, and Pecorino cheese. This delicious sauce comes in a 6.35 oz jar and has a low sodium content. The other ingredients included in this low sodium pesto are sunflower oil, “Pecorino Siciliano PDO” cheese, potato flakes, sugar, wine vinegar, salt, garlic, parsley, and hot pepper.
This 100% natural, Non-GMO Pesto Sauce has no additives or preservatives, making it a healthy and flavorful choice for your meals. The sauce is directly imported from the heart of Sicily, ensuring that you’re getting the authentic taste of Italian cuisine.
It’s important to note that not all flavors or varieties from these brands may be gluten-free, so be sure to check the ingredient list and look for a gluten-free label when purchasing. It’s also a good idea to double-check with the manufacturer if you have any concerns about the gluten-free status of a particular product.
In conclusion, pesto is generally gluten-free as long as it is made with traditional ingredients such as basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and olive oil.
However, it’s important to be aware of additives and alternative ingredients that may contain gluten and check the ingredient list and look for a gluten-free label when purchasing store-bought pesto. Making your own pesto at home is the safest and most flavorful option for those following a gluten-free diet.