Learn to make the best homemade Basil Walnut Pesto in under 10 minutes using simple ingredients. Use this versatile Italian sauce to make pasta, pizza, chicken, fish, or veggies.
About This Recipe
Basil Walnut Pesto is a variation of the classic Italian pesto sauce. It comes together in under 10 minutes using a few simple ingredients like fresh basil leaves, parmesan cheese, walnut, and extra virgin olive oil.
Basil and walnut pesto is very fragrant and has a nutty and slightly sweet taste.
The main difference between basil and walnut pesto and classic pesto is the type of nuts used. Traditional pesto uses pine nuts, while basil and walnut pesto use walnuts. Basil walnut pesto is also generally lighter in color than classic pesto.
This versatile sauce can be used in a multitude of ways. So waste no time and make yourself a batch.
Basil Leaves – Basil leaves make the base of this sauce. Use fresh leaves that are free of cuts and bruises.
Walnuts – Make sure the walnuts are not bitter before using them in the recipe. Walnuts are prone to turning bitter if stored for a long time.
Others – You will also need garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and extra virgin olive oil.
How To Make Basil Walnut Pesto
Add 2 cups of fresh basil leaves (packed), ¼ cup walnuts, 2 garlic cloves (peeled), ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to the jar of a food processor.
Blend until a finely chopped mixture forms.
While the food processor is running, begin drizzling the remaining olive oil until a slightly coarse sauce is formed. Add additional olive oil if needed for desired consistency.
Scrape the sides of the jar a few times while blending.
Taste test for salt and add more if required.
Pesto is ready to use immediately, otherwise, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. You may want to cover with a thin layer of olive oil or plastic wrap to prevent oxidation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use other types of nuts in pesto. Some other common options include almonds, cashews, hazel nuts, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, and pistachios.
Seeds like flax seeds, sunflower seeds, melon seeds, hemp seeds, etc.
Greens like baby spinach, arugula, carrot greens, and kale.
Red pepper flakes.
Yes, you can use other herbs in pesto. Some other common options include cilantro, Italian parsley, and mint.
Skip adding parmesan cheese or replace it with vegan cheese or nutritional yeast.
Pro Tips By Neha
Use the best quality ingredients to make this green sauce.
Never make basil pesto sauce in a blender or a mixie. It will become paste-like. The correct texture of the pesto is slightly coarse. You can use your food processor to make it.
In the olden days, people used to make it in a mortar and pestle or they chopped the ingredients finely using a sharp knife.
Add it to pasta dishes
Use it as a dipping sauce
Spread it on sandwiches or wraps
Mix it into salads
Add it to soup or chili
Use it as a pizza topping
Make pesto chicken or fish
Drizzle over roasted vegetables.
Basil walnut pesto can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. Cover the surface of the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil to keep its bright green color intact.
You can also freeze the homemade pesto sauce for longer storage. When freezing, place the leftover pesto in an ice cube tray or freezer-safe container. When frozen, you can transfer the pesto cubes to ziplock bags or a freezer bag.
To use, thaw the pesto in the fridge and then add it to your dish.
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Best Homemade Basil Walnut Pesto Recipe
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves (packed)
- ¼ cup walnuts
- 2 garlic cloves (peeled)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (divided, plus more if needed)
- Add basil leaves, walnuts, garlic, salt, black pepper, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoon olive oil to the jar of a food processor.
- Blend until a finely chopped mixture forms.
- While the food processor is running, begin drizzling the remaining olive oil until a slightly coarse sauce is formed. Add additional olive oil if needed for desired consistency.
- Scrape the sides of the jar a few times while blending.
- Taste test for salt and add more if required.
- Pesto is ready to use immediately, otherwise, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. You may want to cover with a thin layer of olive oil or plastic wrap to prevent oxidation.