Sauces

Basil Walnut Pesto

25 June 2022 | Last Updated: 9 August 2022 By Aleksandra

Basil walnut pesto is a delicious sauce that you will want to dollop on everything. It may be a little less traditional than this basil pesto, but it’s equally delicious. Loaded with aromatic fresh basil, delicious walnuts, and brightened up with lemon juice and zest.

Basil walnut pesto in a brown bowl.

Ingredients

Below you will find information about the ingredients and how to prepare the recipe. For the measurements and detailed instructions scroll down to the printable recipe card.

Here’s what you need to make basil walnut pesto:

Labeled ingredients for basil walnut pesto.
  • basil – you may substitute with parsley or arugula
  • parmesan cheese – use original Italian Parmigiano Reggiano for the best flavor
  • fresh garlic
  • olive oil
  • walnuts – you can substitute pine nuts, almonds, pecans, or pistachios
  • lemon zest and juice – freshly squeezed!

How to make basil walnut pesto step by step

A collage of 4 photos showing how to make basil walnut pesto.

STEP 1: Add walnuts, parmesan, lemon zest, and garlic into a food processor.

STEP 2: Pulse until finely chopped.

STEP 3: Add basil leaves and pulse until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

STEP 4: With the food processor running at low speed, add the olive oil in a slow and steady stream until the oil is incorporated.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you’d like your pesto sauce thinner, just add more olive oil.

Serve and enjoy!

Tips

  • For a more pronounced nutty flavor, you can toast the walnuts first in a dry pan for a minute or so over low heat until lightly browned and fragrant. Transfer them quickly from the pan to the food processor – they can burn quickly.
  • Don’t mix the sauce after adding olive oil over high speed or it may turn bitter. You want to pulse it very gently over the lowest speed.
  • I prefer my pesto on the thicker side, if you want it thinner, just add more olive oil.

Ways to use pesto

Pesto makes everything taste better! Its uses are countless. Use it as:

  • Pasta sauce.
  • Salad dressing (thin it out with more olive oil or water).
  • To spread on toast, bruschetta, focaccia, sandwich, pizza, flatbread or panini.
  • Toss on top of steamed / fresh / roasted veggies.
  • As a sauce for a burger.

Recipes:

Here you’ll find all my ideas and recipes with pesto.

Storage and freezing

The basil pesto will keep up in the fridge for up to 3 days (stored in a tightly closed container or tightly covered with plastic foil). If you want to keep it longer, pour a small layer of olive oil on top of the pesto. This way you can keep it in the fridge for up to a week.

Pesto freezes very well. Put it in a tightly closed container or plastic bag and freeze for up to 6 months.

More pesto recipes you may like

Overhead photo of basil walnut pesto in a brown bowl.

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Basil Walnut Pesto

Basil walnut pesto is a delicious sauce that you will want to dollop on everything. Loaded with aromatic fresh basil, delicious walnuts, and brightened up with lemon juice and zest.
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Basil walnut pesto in a brown bowl.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 cup (almost)
Calories 786kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces (45g) basil leaves this about 3-4 loosely packed cups or 2 well-packed cups
  • 1/2 cup (45g) grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup (33g) walnuts
  • 1/4 cup (50g) olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Add walnuts, parmesan, lemon zest, and garlic into a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
  • Add basil leaves and pulse until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • With the food processor running at low speed, add the olive oil in a slow and steady stream until the oil is incorporated.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you’d like your pesto sauce thinner, just add more olive oil.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • For a more pronounced nutty flavor, you can toast the walnuts first in a dry pan for a minute or so over low heat until lightly browned and fragrant. Transfer them quickly from the pan to the food processor – they can burn quickly.
  • Calories = the whole recipe (a little over 3/4 cup). This is only an estimate!
Course sauce
Cuisine Italian
Diet Vegetarian
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