Walnut pesto is a fresh, tasty spin on a traditional pesto made with pine nuts. It’s textural, vibrant, and quick and easy to throw together.

This walnut pesto recipe is an incredible appetizer, but it also makes a great topping for so many dishes. Think fish, pasta, chicken and steak! It’s excellent as an addition to salads and sandwiches, too.

You can use it as a dip or spread to make an appetizer, as well! No matter how you use it, you’ll be amazed at the zest it adds to everything it touches.

Walnut pesto in a white bowl on a marble countertop.
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Our love for fresh pesto is endless, and this is another version you can’t skip. If you’re a pesto aficionado, I know you’re going to love this recipe.

Pesto is an incredible way to top your favorite proteins, as well as an excellent appetizer or spread. It’s low carb, low fat, and a clean, vibrant way to enjoy a blast of fresh flavor from herbs and spices.

Try my classic basil pesto and then compare it to this one – see which one you like more! Or, this parsley pesto is a vibrant addition to our pesto line-up too.

If you love pesto – or even if you’re new to this delectable dish, keep reading! We’re going to show you how to make it, where to use it, and all the best tips and tricks for perfect pesto, every time!

Walnut pesto in a white bowl on a marble countertop.

Walnut Pesto

Walnut pesto is fresh, vibrant and delicious just about anywhere you can dream up.

Why You’ll Love It

  • Just Five Ingredients – Plus salt and pepper.
  • So Quick – You’ll add the simple ingredients to a blender or food processor and pulse until it’s the consistency you’re after.
  • Good For You – Walnut parsley is wholesome and full of healthy fats. It’s low carb, too.

Walnut pesto is unique because pine nuts are technically a seed, though they are classified by the FDA as a tree nut. While pine nuts have a little more nutritional value, walnuts are a more interesting flavor and texture in pesto.

We love them both, and now you get to decide for yourself!

Walnut pesto in a white bowl on a marble countertop.

Ingredients and Substitutions

See printable recipe card for complete ingredients and instructions.

  • Basil – Choose a fresh bundle, packed tightly for measuring.
  • Walnuts – Generally found in the baking aisle of your local grocery.
  • Minced garlic – Learn more about how to mince garlic here.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Fresh grated cheese is always best. Learn how to grate cheese here.
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Ingredients for a walnut pesto recipe on a white countertop.

Variations

  • Parsley – Sub the basil in this recipe with parsley for a parsley pesto.
  • Red Pepper Flakes – Add a little heat.
  • Pesto Rosso – Add sun dried tomatoes.
  • Replace the Cheese – To keep it vegan you can substitute parmesan with nutritional yeast.
  • Lemon – A squeeze of lemon juice adds a little zest.

How to Make

  1. Add all ingredients (except olive oil) to a blender or food processor. Ingredients for walnut pesto in a clear food processor base.
  2. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil as you blend the other ingredients.
  3. Store in a container with an airtight lid, or follow the tips below to freeze your pesto. Walnut pesto in a white bowl on a marble countertop.
Walnut pesto in a white bowl on a marble countertop.

Tips

  • This recipe makes approximately 3/4 cup of pesto.
  • To keep your basil fresh, trim the stems and place in a jar or vase filled with water (much like you would for fresh flowers).
  • Cover fresh basil loosely with a plastic grocery bag and store in the refrigerator to preserve freshness.
  • Scaling up, down or substituting? You’ll love this printable Measurement Conversion Chart!
Walnut pesto in a white bowl on a marble countertop.

Serving Suggestions

Walnut pesto in a white bowl on a marble countertop.

How to Store

  • Room Temperature – This pesto can sit out at room temperature for up to two hours while serving. After that, it should be refrigerated to preserve freshness.
  • Refrigerate – Transfer to an airtight container. Adding a layer of olive oil will prevent the basil from oxidizing. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • Freeze – Pesto freezes well. Freeze pesto in an ice cube tray (or sheet pan) and then transfer to a freezer bag.

Frozen pesto keeps well for up to six months. Defrost the cubes in your fridge overnight, or stir the cubes directly into hot pasta for the easiest sauce.

Walnut pesto in a white bowl on a marble countertop.

Dietary Considerations

  • Gluten Free
  • Vegetarian
Walnut pesto in a white bowl on a marble countertop.

More Pesto

Walnut pesto in a white bowl on a marble countertop.
5 from 2 votes

Walnut Pesto Recipe

Walnut pesto is a fresh, tasty spin on a traditional pesto made with pine nuts. It’s textural, vibrant, and quick and easy to throw together.
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 2 minutes
Servings: 4
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Ingredients  

  • 2 cups basil fresh, loosely packed
  • 3 tablespoons walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic or 2-3 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese fresh grated
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions 

  • Add basil, walnuts, garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper to a blender or food processor.
  • Slowly drizzle in the olive oil as you blend the other ingredients.
  • Store in a container with an airtight lid, or follow the tips below to freeze your pesto.

Julie’s Tips

  • Add a few mint sprigs or a squeeze of lemon juice for an extra layer of bright flavor.
  • To keep your basil fresh, trim the stems and place in a jar or vase filled with water (much like you would for fresh flowers).
  • Cover the container loosely with a plastic grocery bag and store in the refrigerator to preserve freshness.
  • Frozen pesto keeps well for up to six months. Defrost the cubes in your fridge overnight, or stir the cubes directly into hot pasta for the easiest sauce.
Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 635IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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