homemade nut-free nutella

I owe you all an apology. I promised to share my easy homemade mayo recipe, but I came upon a lovely surprise in the test kitchen recently and decided to put those plans on hold for the next post.

Actually, I put it to a vote, and asked what I should post next. Needless to say, the outcry for a homemade nut-free nutella kicked mayo's butt.

Before sharing, I should preface there's a few more things I'd like to try with this recipe. What you're about to see is a work in progress, but it is one that I promise won't disappoint you. As-is, I'm quite smitten with this devilishly delicious spread.

What would I do differently, you're wondering? For starters, I'm curious to see how it tastes with some vanilla bean, as I use in my regular homemade nutella recipe. And while I chose not to include powdered milk in that recipe, I do think it could work nicely in this nut-free version.

Yes, a few days ago I set out to make a nut-free version of Isabella's favorite food group—nutella. She started camp yesterday (finally!), and there's a strict no nut policy (obviously this applies to food, not the kids or parents). She loves peanut butter and nutella, so it has become my go-to sandwich when I'm feeling pressed for time on busy mornings—or just uninspired after packing more than 1,000 lunches over the course of her school career!

So many exclamation points—but it's homemade nut-free nutella, and that is cause for celebration!

Now, I'm going to let you in a little secret. Okay, it won't be a secret for long.

I don't like nutella. I realize I'm probably the only person who doesn't have a fondness for eating it straight from the jar. Added to things, like this frozen yogurt I created for Cuisinart, and I'm so there. On its own, though, it holds no allure.

What I did learn making this nut-free version is that I LOVE sunflower seed chocolate spread. It doesn't sound as sexy or catchy or nutella, but it's damn good slathered on a slice of baguette.


Homemade Nut-free Nutella

makes one generous cup

Before you get started, make sure your sunflower seeds are specifically labeled nut-free if you have a nut-allergy, or are making this as a treat for someone who's allergic. This means the bulk bins are off-limits, since there's too much risk of cross contamination. A quick search on Amazon, came up with these raw sprouted sunflower seeds that are nut-free, gluten-free, wheat-free and vegan.

If dairy is an issue for you, then by all means try this recipe with a dairy-free chocolate, but do keep in mind I tested it with 55% Guittard chocolate discs. I can't vouch for using a dairy-free chocolate, but would love to hear the testing results if you do, so please share in the comments.

1 cup ( 138 grams) shelled raw unsalted sunflower seeds

4 ounces (112 grams) bittersweet chocolate discs, melted

1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

1 to 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Add the sunflower seeds to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it becomes a fine, almost powdery, consistency. Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable, and process until it forms a smooth paste. You may need to add the additional teaspoon, depending on the sharpness of your food processor blades.

Pour in the the melted chocolate, and pulse until smooth and well-mixed. Add the confectioners' sugar and process until it forms a smooth, spreadable consistency, scraping down the sides as needed to make sure it is well mixed. Store in a tightly sealed glass jar and use as desired.

Storage note: My batch is only three days old, and since it doesn't contain any dairy, I'm opting to stow it away on my counter top.


  • Britt

    Love this! I was stunned when you said “nut-free”, but sunflower seeds for the hazelnuts makes total sense and is such a smart substitution. Looks delicious!

  • Gooseberry Patch

    Likewise, I was thinking “how in the world do you make a nut-free nutella?” So clever! We have some hazelnut allergies in our family, so I’ll have to try this someday!

  • Jennie

    Carla, excellent question. You’re correct, I used unsalted sunflower seeds. Thanks for asking, and I’ve updated the recipe to reflect it.

  • Maria Z

    You have made my day. My son has a severe nut allergy, so Nutella and I have had to have a long distance love affair. So glad I read Kim’s tweet mocking you for your dislike of it!

  • Vicki

    This looks awesome! I prefer the nut-free nutella over the mayo so I can’t wait to make this first thing tomorrow. Apologies in advance if you have already answered this question: Will a blender work in place of a food processor for this recipe?

  • Marine

    You are not alone! Albeit my fondness for Nutella growing up, I was baffled by my friends who ate it straight from the jar. “What are you doing?!! Are you insane??! That goes on toast! Or waffles! Or pancakes! Or… toast!” Naked Nutella is just…. weird. It’s a flavor meant to be shared with something else – the closest I will ever get to eating Nutella from the jar is licking the spoon after spreading some across some toast. This recipe intrigues me.

  • Jennie

    Vicki, I don’t think a blender, unless it’s a Vitamix, would have the power to grind the sunflower seeds. If you do decide to try making this using one, though, please fill us in on the results. A mini-food processor would definitely do the trick.

  • Janine

    I was really intrigued when I saw your post and I must say, this looks fantastic – I’m definitely trying out the sunflower seeds alternative soon!

  • Jennie

    Jana, I was curious about that same thing re: tasting too much like sunflower seeds while I was making it, but it’s very subtle, more an after note.

  • Tonnaya

    I got really confused with the recipe. A “nut free nutella”? Wait a minute. Then I said, why not? This should be really good.

  • Carolyn

    This recipe has made my day. When I saw it, I couldn’t wait to get home and try it. It’s the first thing I did when I got home (dinner be darned!). OH MY! I’ve never been a fan of Nutella – in many ways it felt like I was eating chocolate frosting. When I made this, I added 3 tbsp skim milk powder, and 1 tsp vanilla. I also reduced the sugar to 3 tbsp. This is SOOO good. Thanks again for another winner!

  • Melissa Graham

    We created a similar recipe for our Chocolate: Sweet, Savory and Good for You Too Purple Asparagus session. We used honey as the sweetener and cocoa as the chocolate. I’ll be intrigued to compare the two – I suspect yours will be richer.

  • Dana

    I make a no-nut nutella for my Mister, who has nut allergies. We use tahini for the nutty flavor, but i’m curious about the sunflower seed. I’ll have to give it a try.

  • gypsy

    I’ll cheat and add cocoa powder & sweetener to my Trader Joe’s sunflower seed butter. Maybe some chai spices.

  • shari brooks

    this is amazing….I just made this for my 9 year old daughter and she’s in heaven. Thanks for sharing…. I also added chilli powder for a zing!

  • Jennie

    Shari—love the spicy twist!
    Devon—Any neutral oil, that is only there to help thin the mixture, without adding any flavor, would work.

  • sheree

    I am not a fan of nutella either. Maybe mixed in something but otherwise, blech! My son has a nut allergy and I was so thrilled to find Sunbutter for the kids to replace peanutbutter. I can’t wait to try this! Sunflower butters take a bit of getting used to but honestly I like them much better than peanutbutter now.
    I am thinking about using expeller-pressed coconut oil (no coconut flavor, really) and a teeny bit of cream and seeing how that goes.

  • KT

    Awesome! I’ve never thought about this, for some reason. I’m going to melt the chocolate (Hershey’s bittersweet chips are peanut-safe) and sugar in with Sunbutter so I don’t have to grind it.

  • katherine

    Hi Jennie,
    I love your blog and have been looking for a nut free nutella recipe for a tart that I make and would love my son to enjoy. However, he also has an allergy to sesame seeds, and as such is to avoid all seeds. So, substituting sunflower seeds is a problem. Would you have any other thoughts about a nut-free, seed-free nutella?! Thanks!

  • Daniella

    I am severely allergic to nuts as well so this is wonderful to me. Everyone always talks about nutella and I have never been able to try it. But just to let you know, peanuts are not nuts. They are infact legumes (or beans). This is why people are either allergic to peanuts or nuts and usually never both. The camp’s “no nut” policy is very uneducated.