This Walnut Pesto Recipe is an easy, delicious twist on the classic basil pesto. Combine fresh basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, olive oil and walnuts with a little salt and pepper for a delicious and simple pesto recipe. We made with our pesto with raw walnuts instead of pine nuts, and the result was fantastic. This walnut pesto recipe is the perfect addition to salads, proteins, snacks, and really anything you can think of.
This walnut pesto recipe is the ultimate easy to make sauce to flavor just about anything. Add it to your favorite proteins like chicken, fish, shrimp or some delicious top sirloin steak caprese skewers (recipe coming soon!) for an absolute burst of flavor. You can also add it to any salad, veggie snack, or even your eggs! It’s pretty much the simplest sauce (or is it a garnish..?) that you can make with just a few ingredients!
If you’re looking for more keto friendly or low carb sauces/spreads that are just fantastic, try out this avocado lime crema, this keto thousand island dressing or even this homemade spicy bourbon sugar free bbq sauce! We’ll share some other sauces or spreads you might be interested in later on in this post, and if there’s something on our website that you’d like to see, please let us know in the comments so we can get in the kitchen and create it!
Here’s What We Used For This Walnut Pesto Recipe:
- Fresh Basil
- Raw Walnuts
- Good Quality Olive Oil
- Good Quality Parmesan Cheese
- Fresh Garlic
- Pink Salt and Ground Pepper
What Is Walnut Pesto Used For?
Walnut pesto is ultimate sauce for so many things! Of course you can use it as a sauce for pasta, or zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash if you’re low carb like us! But you could use it as a side for nearly anything. Any protein, meat, fish, poultry, lamb, chicken, pork, you name it!
We would highly recommend pairing it with these Italian Sausage Stuffed Peppers, or this Sirloin Steak Salad Recipe with Fresh Mozzarella and Roasted Vegetables. We also have a Top Sirloin Steak Caprese Skewer recipe (coming soon!) that used this walnut pesto as the marinade and dipping sauce. To be honest, it would be great with this Summer Salad Recipe with Grilled Peaches, Mozzarella, Avocado and Strawberries as well.
This walnut pesto recipe is also delicious on some eggs in the morning, whether they’re fried, scrambled, or on an omelette. Slice up some veggies, like zucchini, cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes or really whatever you want, and you have yourself a perfect fat heavy snack that’s perfect for keto or low carb diets. These Roasted Green Beans with Garlic and Lemon would be a great side dish to eat with this pesto as well.
Sometimes we like to dip our Whisps Parmesan Cheese Crisps in it. (You can use our code ’20afullliving’ for 20% off on Amazon!) Seems like a perfect pairing since there’s plenty of parmesan cheese in this walnut pesto recipe, so it’s a great way to enjoy this sauce! Add this walnut pesto to mayonnaise or cream cheese for a wonderful flavor for your next sandwich, burger or bagel.
What is Basil Pesto Typically Made Of?
A traditional pesto alla genovese is made with fresh basil, grated parmesan, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, and pine nuts. You could certainly use pine nuts in this recipe to make it the traditional way, but to be honest, we didn’t have any! Walnuts are a great substitute. You could use a wide variety of nuts to substitute for pine nuts. Try almonds, macadamia nuts, or brazil nuts! Pecans might be really great too, but we haven’t tried that before. Let us know in the comments if you try other nuts and like them!
What Oil Do I Use?
For this recipe, and really any basil pesto recipe, you are going to want to use a high quality olive oil. Olive oil doesn’t need to be super expensive to be high quality though! We get all of the ingredients for this recipe including the olive oil at Costco, so we can get items for a great price. High quality olive oil is generally considered to be extra virgin olive oil, and it is not cut with any other oils like grapeseed or canola oil. Make sure to read the label to ensure that the olive oil isn’t mixed with anything else.
How Long Will This Walnut Pesto Recipe Last?
You should store this walnut pesto in an air tight container like a jar in the fridge. It will keep for 7-10 days, if it will last that long! You can drizzle more olive oil over the top after each use to help it from drying out. If you want to freeze your pesto, you can certainly do that, and it can probably last for up to six months.
To freeze your pesto, put it in an eye cube tray, then transfer it to a plastic bag or freezer safe container once it’s hardened. To reheat, you can microwave it in 15 second increments or let it thaw in the fridge about 24 hours before you want to use it.
Do I Have To Use Basil for This Pesto?
Basil is definitely the traditional herb for pesto. However, you can use any leafy green if you don’t have enough basil for this recipe. Spinach, Swiss chard or even arugula would be tasty! Sometimes people even blend in other herbs like tarragon, parsley, cilantro, sage, or mint.
What If I Don’t Have a Food Processor?
A food processor is definitely the preferred method for this pesto recipe, but you could use a blender, or even a mortar and pestle instead. The mortar and pestle will be a much more labor intensive way to make this, but it will work!
Tools We Used For This Recipe:
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Food Processor
- Rubber Spatula
- Cheese Grater
- Sharp Chef’s Knife & Chopping Block
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More Recipes To Try:
- Top Sirloin Steak Caprese Skewers with Walnut Pesto
- Easy Keto Greek Style Ground Lamb Salad
- Sirloin Steak Salad with Fresh Mozzarella and Roasted Vegetables
How to Make This Walnut Pesto Recipe:
There’s really not too much to this recipe at all. First, we like to grate the parmesan cheese, cut the garlic cloves into a few small pieces, and pull the leaves off of the basil. Then, we add walnuts and basil to the food processor, and pulse a few times until combined.
Next, add in your parmesan cheese and garlic. Food process for about 30 seconds while adding the olive oil slowly, until well combined. At this point, scrape the sides of your food processor with your rubber spatula, and food process again for another few seconds.
Give it a taste, then add in your salt and pepper. We like to wait on adding the salt and pepper, because the parmesan cheese itself has quite a lot of salt and we don’t want to over salt the pesto! After adding your salt and pepper, process for another 15-20 seconds. Continue to taste and adjust seasonings until it tastes just right.
That’s it! Just serve and enjoy!
If you get a chance to try this recipe, let us know what you think, would ya?! Leave us a comment, or catch up with us on Facebook or Instagram, or pin to your favorite Pinterest board for later. We love sharing your versions of our creations over on Instagram @afullliving!
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Until Next Time,
Briana & Chamere
Walnut Pesto Recipe
- 3 oz fresh basil
- 2/3 cup raw walnuts
- 1 cup olive oil (choose something high quality)
- 4 oz parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 5 cloves fresh garlic, rough chopped
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- Add walnuts and basil leaves to the food processor, and pulse a few times until combined.
- Next, add in your parmesan cheese and garlic. Food process for about 30 seconds while adding the olive oil slowly, until well combined. Scrape the sides of your food processor with your rubber spatula, and food process again for another few seconds.
- Give it a taste, then add in your salt and pepper and process for another 15-20 seconds. Continue to taste and adjust seasonings until it tastes just right. Serve and enjoy!
These nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy and are only estimates. We cannot guarantee the accuracy.