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Easy Basil Pesto With Walnuts

Use this easy basil pesto with walnuts in appetizers, toppings and many of our recipes incorporating pesto. Ready in 5 minutes. Makes 1/2 cup/120 grams.

A perfect way to use up your summer garden basil.

pesto in food processor bowl

Check out a few of our recipes below that use pesto. One of our most popular recipes is Pesto and Vegetable Orzo.

Ingredient Notes – Tailor To Your Taste

fresh basil leaves, block of Parmesan, walnuts, olive oil, garlic, salt , pepper

This basil pesto recipe includes garlic, basil, oil, walnuts and Parmesan cheese.

Pestos are all pretty similar. There are three variations you can use here:

  1. Substitute the walnuts with pine nuts (for a classic version)
  2. Omit the parmesan cheese.
  3. Add some heat with red pepper flakes.

Make basil walnut pesto

ground walnuts in food processor bowl
Process nuts and garlic.
pesto in food processor bowl
Add and process basil leaves and cheese. Then slowly add olive oil until smooth-ish.

Shortcuts

  • Use minced or crushed garlic in a jar or tube
  • Buy shredded or ground fresh Parmesan cheese

Make Ahead

  • Pesto lasts 5-7 days in the fridge.
  • I freeze it in ziploc bags in 1/4 cup portions to use whenever I need pesto. Lasts 3-4 months in the freezer.
pesto in clear acrylic bowl

How to use pesto

Basil pesto is a classic but there are many other kinds. Check out these 14 types of pesto. If you’re a pesto lover like Jenna, you’ll find lots of ways to use it. Here are a few.

  • on scrambled eggs
  • in pasta or rice
  • on pizza
  • as a condiment for grilled cheese, burgers, wraps, sandwiches
  • on crostini appetizers
  • as a dip
  • as a topping for salmon or shrimp

Recipe ideas for fresh basil

If you like this recipe, please leave a 5 star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟in the recipe card below. And if you REALLY like it, consider a review in the comments. Thanks!

pesto in food processor bowl
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5 from 6 votes

Easy Basil Pesto

Use this easy basil pesto with walnuts in appetizers, toppings and many of our recipes incorporating pesto. A perfect way to use up your summer garden basil in 5 minutes. (makes 1/2 cup)
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: sauces and spreads
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8 tablespoons
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or pinenuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, Note 1
  • 2 small cloves (or teaspoons) garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Instructions

  • MAKE THE PESTO: Grind walnuts and garlic in a food processor for 30-60 seconds. Add basil leaves and process for another minute. Slowly add in oil from the feeder tube until combined. Add Parmesan cheese and process a few more seconds. Freezes well.

Notes

  1. Parmesan – leave this out if you like. 
  2. Make ahead:
    • Pesto lasts 5-7 days in the fridge.
    • I freeze it in ziploc bags in 1/4 cup portions to use whenever I need pesto.
    • Lasts 3-4 months in the freezer.
 
Nutrition values are estimates using walnuts. 

Nutrition

Calories: 172kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 110mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 371IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 1mg
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