Basil Walnut Pesto

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I know you all have basil growing out of control in your backyard gardens like I do so let’s make an easy Basil Walnut Pesto. There are few things that taste as fresh and ☀️ summery as a homemade pesto. It is so bright and sings with simplicity and sophistication. Its vibrant 🌿 green color beautifully elevates a pasta dish, bruschetta, homemade pizza and even grilled beef or chicken. A simple pesto embodies the best of Italian cooking: simple, high-quality ingredients that use the best of the season.

Why You’ll Love Basil Walnut Pesto

This simple Basil Walnut Pesto is summer in a jar. You will love how easy it is to throw together, and how many dishes you can add this to. The ingredients may be simple, but using high-quality 🫒 olive oil and parmesan will really make this shine even brighter. The freshness of the basil and richness of the parm is just a match made in heaven. The walnuts give the pesto a bit of bite and a delicious nuttiness. Keep a 🫙 jar in the fridge (or freeze in cubes) and use this pesto in pasta, in a warp, on a pizza, or over grilled steak chimichurri-style. You cannot go wrong!

How to Prepare Basil Walnut Pesto

🌿 Add the basil, garlic, and walnuts to a food processor and then blitz until crumbly.

🧂 Add the grated parmesan, a pinch of salt, and then blitz again.

🫒 Now, slowly drizzle in the olive oil through the spout until you have your desired consistency.

Nonna’s Tip 🫙

Use this pesto within 7 days covered in the fridge. You can also freeze in a jar/container for 3 to 4 months. I also like to freeze the pesto in an ice cube tray and once it’s frozen, transfer those pesto cubes into a Ziploc bag for ready-to-go individual portions.

Basil Walnut Pesto

Variations and Substitutions for Basil Walnut Pesto

  1. If you are nut-free, you can use hemp hearts or seeds instead of walnuts.
  2. Walnuts are definitely the more economical choice in this Basil Walnut Pesto, but you could use pine nuts instead if you want to keep to the most authentic version. You can also lightly ♨️ toast the nuts as well if you prefer.
  3. You can certainly use Pecorino Romano cheese instead of parmesan.
  4. If you want a milder basil flavor, feel free to use 🥬 1/2 baby spinach and 1/2 basil leaves or add some parsley to the mix.

Similar Recipes

Best Served With

  • Enjoy this Basil Walnut Pesto for breakfast with my popular 🥚 pesto eggs.
  • This pesto is a dream for lunch options. Use it in 🌯 wraps or in sandwiches, or as a dressing in a pasta salad. You can also use it as marinade on chicken or shrimp or anything else you love.
  • Bring this Basil Walnut Pesto to the dinner table and use it as a marinade on chicken or shrimp, use it chimichurri-style over grilled 🥩 steak, on top of a 🍕 pizza, tossed with hot pasta or as a spread on pizza or bruschetta.

Common Questions

What can I use in this pesto if I am nut-free?

If you cannot have nuts, I suggest making this pesto using hemp hearts or seeds instead.

what other nuts can I use in this Basil Walnut Pesto?

Pine nuts are the most traditional choice in a pesto, but they can be pricey! You could also try this with almonds or pecans instead.

how can I reduce the strong flavor of the basil in this pesto?

This pesto recipe really highlights basil! But if you want to cut it a bit, I suggest adding in some baby spinach or even parsley to the food processor as well.

which food processor do you use?

I have this food processsor and love it! It’s nice and large, washes well and is great quality.

what can I use instead of a food processor?

If you don’t have a food processor you can do this in a blender but you will have to keep opening the blender to add a little bit of oil at a time and blending and scraping it down to help it along. If you are old school you can also use a mortar and pestle which is the traditional way, but will definitely take more time.

how can I freeze this basil walnut pesto?

You can freeze in a mason jar/container for 3 to 4 months. I also like to freeze the pesto in an ice cube tray and once it’s frozen transfer those pesto cubes into a Ziploc bag for ready-to-go individual portions.

Basil Walnut Pesto

Basil Walnut Pesto

This simple Basil Walnut Pesto is summer in a jar. You will love how easy it is to throw together, and how many dishes you can add this to. The ingredients may be simple, but using high-quality olive oil and parmesan will really make this shine even brighter.
No ratings yet
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, I like more but it’s up to you
  • cup walnuts, or pine nuts
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup parmigiano, to taste
  • ½ cup olive oil , until desired consistency

Instructions 

  • Add the basil, garlic, and nuts of choice to a food processor. Blitz until crumbly.
  • Add the grated parmesan, pinch of salt and blitz again.
  • Slowly start to add in the olive oil through the spout and a little bit at a time until you have your desired consistency.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 355kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 37g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Monounsaturated Fat: 22g, Cholesterol: 9mg, Sodium: 202mg, Potassium: 93mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0.4g, Vitamin A: 733IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 180mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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