I'm used to using olive oil to make pesto. However, at the moment I have a bottle of sunflower oil instead of olive oil at home. Is there going to be a problem when I make pesto with that?

I am not serving any guests with this and am personally not too fuzzy about food. But I don't want it to taste terribly.

  • It's probably fine, they're both edible oils. The pesto might taste different, but maybe not in a bad way. Probably the only way to know for sure is try it (or hear from someone who actually has tried it, which I have not).
    – Megha
    Aug 6, 2016 at 12:06
  • I would suggest you taste the oil itself before deciding... if it is not unpleasantly bitter/rank (some cheap sunflower oils are), you should be fine. Aug 8, 2016 at 10:11

2 Answers 2


I see no problem with your plans. You will - obviously - get a somewhat different taste, depending on which type of sunflower oil you use.

  • For the refined, basically tasteless oil, the pesto might be a bit blander and the taste of your other ingredients more pronounced.
  • If you are using a cold-pressed unfiltered oil, you'll get the nutty undertones of the sunflower seeds, which will work well with a classic basil / pine nut / parmesan type of pesto.

Note that many commercially sold pesto jars use only a small amout of genuine olive oil and often also skimp on the pine nuts, cheaper neutral oils and sunflower seeds are a frequent stand-in. So you should be absolutely fine.


You can use sunflower oil instead of olive oil if it's available right now. Nothing to be a problem when you make pesto with that.

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