Let me show you how to make homemade sunflower seed butter. If your kids like peanut butter, but you can’t put it in their school lunch box, then this is a good nut-free alternative.

Sunflower seed butter is sometimes known as sun butter. It’s basically creamed sunflower seeds that you use in place of other nut butter. However, it seems to be hard to come by, and wildly expensive.  I recently saw prepared stuff on sale for £17 for a jar.  Yes, £17!  

The ingredients on the jar were really basic. Simply sunflower seeds, olive oil, sugar, and salt. I figured I could make my own for much much less than that, and so devised my own sunflower seed butter recipe.

how to make sunflower seed butter

The great thing about sunflower seed butter is it’s a good nut-safe alternative to peanut butter.  Like many nursery schools, playschools, and primary schools, my daughter’s nursery school is nut-free. This means peanut butter sandwiches are a no-no.  So always on the lookout for healthy peanut-free lunch ideas, sunflower seed butter makes a great protein-packed, healthy lunch-box substitution for peanut butter sandwiches (or peanut butter and jam on toast!).  It’s vegetarian and vegan friendly (if you substitute or omit the honey) and gluten-free too.

Is Sunflower Seed Butter Safe for People With Nut Allergies?

My daughter doesn’t have a nut allergy. However, all sunflower seeds I’ve found do say that the seeds may have come in contact with nuts in the transport, packing or production stages. Therefore, if you have a severe nut allergy then it’s best to avoid this recipe to be on the safe side.

It’s also important to note that as this recipe contains honey, don’t give it to children under the age of one.

How to Make Sunflower Seed Butter

Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter Recipe

This tasty sunflower seed butter, made from sunflower seeds, is a great nut-free peanut butter alternative for school packed lunches.

Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • Food processor
  • 150 g of hulled sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon honey or you could use sugar if you’re vegan
  • 2 teaspoons oil I used olive oil as I like the taste it imparts, but you could use sunflower or vegetable oil


  1. In an un-oiled frying pan, gently toast your sunflower seeds until a golden brown colour. Take care not to burn them otherwise you’ll get a very dry sunbutter.
  2. Add all of your toasted seeds to the food processor, and the salt, and pulse until you’ve got a mealy powder.
  3. Don’t stop there: once powdered you need to run your processor at high-speed continuously for about 10 minutes (you may have to keep stopping and scraping the sides down) until it becomes peanut-butter like. It may feel like you’re never going to get there but trust me on this. If you have a less powerful food processor it may take a bit longer than 10 minutes – just keep an eye on your processor so it doesn’t overheat. Whatever you do, don’t add the honey or olive oil until the seeds have creamed otherwise you’ll end up with a very dry and gritty sunbutter. You have been warned!
  4. Once it’s butter-like, add your honey, and pulse for a minute or two to combine. Next, while the machine is still running, drizzle in your oil until you’ve got a consistency you’re happy with. I like my sunbutter quite thick, so two teaspoons suited me fine.
  5. Spoon into a sterilised jar, seal, and store in the fridge for up to a month. Use as you would any nut butter! I especially enjoy mine spread on some sliced apple as a healthy snack.

The bag of seeds cost me £1.50, and once you add in the tiny bit of salt, honey, and oil, this sun butter recipe cost me no more than £1.55 to make a small jar!  Take that £17 jar!

A Note On Blenders

I personally wouldn’t use a blender for this sunflower seed butter recipe. I don’t think there would be enough power to cream the sunflower seeds.  If you don’t have a strong enough food processor, I would imagine you could use an electric grinder mill and work in smaller batches, before combining it all to add the honey and oil.

This recipe takes at least 10 minutes of continuous pulsing on a standard food processor. So have a think first if your processor is up to the job.  My processor is quite new and has a 750W motor so I felt quite confident in its abilities. However, I did keep checking to ensure the motor wasn’t over-heating!

sunbutter recipe

ps: more recipes this way.

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