Basil Walnut Pesto

Basil Walnut Pesto comes together in about 15 minutes with just 6 ingredients. Great for pasta, sandwich spreads, and soup garnishing! Freezer-friendly.

Basil Walnut Pesto is deceptively easy for how flavorful and luxurious it tastes.

It’s the sort of thing that I don’t make very often, but whenever I do, I find myself thinking, that is so much easier than I remember.

Basil Walnut Pesto comes together in about 15 minutes with just 6 ingredients. Great for pasta, sandwich spreads, and soup garnishing! Freezer-friendly.

I toast the unpeeled garlic cloves and the walnuts which I believe amps up the flavor, but if you really can’t be bothered to do that, you’ll still have a delicious batch of pesto.

Traditional Genovese pesto is made with pine nuts, but since they are so expensive, I always use walnuts.  Almonds also work here.

The rich, buttery favor in Pesto comes from high-quality olive oil, but fresh basil is really the star here. Since fresh basil may turn dark when blended in a food processor, I add fresh parsley, too.  This ensures a bright green color.

Basil Walnut Pesto comes together in about 15 minutes with just 6 ingredients. Great for pasta, sandwich spreads, and soup garnishing! Freezer-friendly.

Basil Walnut Pesto is freezer-friendly! Pour into a jar and top with olive oil to keep air out. Be sure to leave enough space at the top of the jar for expansion. Thaw in the refrigerator when you’re ready to use it.

Watch this video and see how fast Pesto comes together – and discover 4 delicious ways to eat it!

Save this Basil Walnut Pesto to your “Main Dishes” Pinterest board!

And let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’m always pinning tasty recipes!

Basil Walnut Pesto comes together in about 15 minutes with just 4 ingredients. Great for pasta, sandwich spreads, and soup garnishing! Freezer-friendly.
5 from 1 vote
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Basil Walnut Pesto

Basil Walnut Pesto comes together in about 15 minutes with just 4 ingredients. Great for pasta, sandwich spreads, and soup garnishing! Freezer-friendly.
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 264 kcal

Ingredients

  • 6 cloves garlic unpeeled
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cup packed fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Toast the garlic cloves in their skin in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking often, until brown spots form, about 5 minutes. Remove to a small bowl to cool before peeling.
  2. Meanwhile, return the skillet to medium heat and add walnuts. Toast until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes, shaking frequently to prevent scorching. Remove from heat.
  3. Combine peeled garlic, walnuts, basil, parsley, parmesan cheese, and olive oil in a blender or food processor; blend until smooth.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve as a topping on pasta (3/4 c. pesto per pound of pasta), as a spread on sandwiches, or as a garnish to soups.

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Basil Walnut Pesto comes together in about 15 minutes with just 6 ingredients. Great for pasta, sandwich spreads, and soup garnishing!

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12 comments

  1. Homemade pesto is such a wonderful, simple treat – love it!! Yours looks absolutely amazing.

  2. Hi – I love the pictures you took for this post, so colorful! I always use walnuts for pesto, too, pine nuts are silly expensive where I live as well. Pinning.

  3. i have a question

    What means the c in 1c. olive oil?

    • Hi Tony, it means cup – 1 cup of olive oil. It’s a standard abbreviation we use in the US, but you are NOT the first person to ask about this. I’m trying to go back and fix my old recipes and spell that out. Sorry for the confusion! Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

  4. How long can this keep?

    • I have kept it for up to a week in the fridge or frozen for much longer (indefinitely?). I would add a thin layer of olive oil over the top of it in the jar, to preserve the bright green color. I hope that helps! I hope you like it. It’s absolutely my favorite. I will literally eat it plain out of the jar. Have a great weekend!

  5. Way too peppery.i suggest less basil or pepper. Or both. The basil already has enough of a peppery taste. 

    • Hi Greg, sorry to hear that! Definitely a personal preference. I make it just like this and eat it with a spoon, but I will modify the recipe with your feedback to warn people. Thanks for letting me know.

  6. Came here from your Noodles and Co pesto cavatappi copy-cat recipe — delicious! My wife and I found it a *tad* too oily, but it’s also possible we didn’t add the full 6 cups of greens, it can be hard to tell exact measurements with those. Still our new go-to pesto recipe, though!

    • Thank you so much, Dan! Sorry about the oiliness. I will retest and see how much I can reduce the amount of oil. I was planning on making it today, anyway. Thanks a lot and have a great weekend!

  7. Instead of freezing Can you Can this in a water bath?

    • Hi Theresa! I am not an expert in canning, but I do have a really great book put out by Ball on the subject (it’s called the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving). This is what I can find in the book. They do have a Pesto recipe, but it’s in the “freezer” chapter. They also talk a lot about low-acid vs. high-acid foods, and based on the pH scale they have, I believe herbs would fall under “low acid” and would need to be pressure-canned, not just a standard water bath. Again, not an expert here but that is the info I’ve found in my canning book. I hope that helps! Thanks for your question Theresa!

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