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Walnut pesto recipe in a bowl with fresh basil leaves.
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5 from 3 votes

Walnut Pesto Recipe

I make a lot of pesto, but my husband says this walnut pesto is the best he's ever had. It's got the classic basil flavor, but with toasted walnuts and an abundance of grated Parmesan cheese. Make-ahead and freezer-friendly, and can be used in everything from pasta and sandwiches to eggs and pizza! GF
Prep10 mins
Cook0 mins
Total10 mins
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: basil pesto, pesto recipe, pesto sauce, toasted walnuts
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 182kcal
Author: Ari Laing


Food processor fitted with blade attachment


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves packed
  • ¼ cup walnuts toasted
  • 1 large garlic clove thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp lemon zest plus 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½-¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano grated


  • Finely pulse ingredients. Place the basil, toasted walnuts, sliced garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a food processor fitted with blade attachment. Secure the lid, the pulse until very finely chopped.
  • Drizzle in EVOO. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil, beginning with ½ cup, and increasing to ¾ cup, as needed. You want the sauce to be liquidy, with excess olive oil, as the cheese will help to thicken the sauce.
  • Stir in the Parmesan. Transfer the sauce to a bowl, then stir in ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed.


Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 151mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 391IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 1mg
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