Basil-Walnut Pesto

"This is my favorite pesto recipe; rich but healthy due to "good" fats from olive oil and walnuts. It comes from "The Omega Diet." I usually freeze half the recipe for future use."
photo by The 500 Chef photo by The 500 Chef
photo by The 500 Chef
photo by kjanston photo by kjanston
photo by Palo6965 photo by Palo6965
photo by gailanng photo by gailanng
photo by danlynclark photo by danlynclark
Ready In:




  • Place basil, olive oil, walnuts, garlic and salt (if using) in food processor.
  • Blend until thoroughly combined.
  • Add Parmesan and butter (if using) and blend 5-10 seconds more.
  • Just before serving, add 2 Tbsp of hot pasta water from cooked pasta.
  • Serve over pasta with bread and salad.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Stretch751
    I never use butter in my pesto...I had an Italian friend tell me that a handful of parsley will keep the pesto green (basil browns when the leaves are bruised). if you freeze, she told me, top of the container with olive oil to seal it and keep it fresh.
  2. embuggy
    4.5 stars! This is my first time making pesto. It was rather a success too! I added more garlic, about 4 cloves. I also added the juice of 1 lime to it. I would have added lemon but lime is what was in the fridge. The citrus juice def. kicked this up a whole notch. I suggest you toast your walnuts too. I'm going to probably try other pesto recipes but I would use this recipe again.
  3. kjanston
    This recipie was great! Easy and Delish. I had to add a little water to blend.
    • Review photo by kjanston
  4. cookin mimi
    OOOOHHH!! OOOOHH!! OOOOHHH! This pesto is GOOD! and Easy! My Granddaughter gave me some fresh basil that she grew, so I looked for an easy recipe with ingredients that I had in my panrty....this one was the bomb!! Even though I did not have fresh parmesan and had to use that Kraft stuff, it still was great! I toasted the walnuts as suggested by several reviewers. Tomorrow my Granddaughter is coming over and bringing more basil, so I will teach her to make pesto using this recipe! Thanks for a keeper, Dahlia, I will make this again! Forgot to add that I did not use the butter, the pesto was great without it!
  5. Heather V.
    I soaked my nuts in salt water for 24 hours before I made this. It turned out AWESOME. Served it over whole wheat penne with peas.


  1. Chef Farmer
    Really great recipe!!!! Basic and simple and produces a superior product, especially if you use quality ingredients, no skimping and no KRAFT Parmesan in a can. I was out of walnuts and planned to make this tonight. I had forgotten to stop by the nut man at the Farmer's Market this morning when I picked up the basil and garlic and so instead of running to the store I subbed unsalted sunflower seeds which I toasted lightly on the stove top before adding to the basil leaves and garlic and it was great!!!! I also recommend crushing the garlic into the oil and adding the salt to the oil at least an hour before preparing the other ingredients or even the day before (do not refrigerate, cover with saran and leave on counter top. Again thanks for posting a simple, easy to follow classic recipe from which one can use their imagination to create something unique. It's also just great as a bread spread and with some provolone and salami or just cheese on it's own makes a wonderful sandwich.
  2. kjanston
    Added water
  3. kmthornton
    AWESOME! this is so yummy! using walnuts instead of pine nuts made this recipe so much more affordable! i toasted the walnuts ahead of time, but otherwise stuck with the recipe and loved it! . thank you!!!
  4. queen-o-my-kitchen
    This was a great recipe - pine nuts are so expensive so it was great to have the recipe using walnuts instead. I think I will leave out the butter next time - not sure it added anything - but other than that, it was so delicious!! I served it tossed with whole wheat linguine. Yummy...
  5. Whatscooking
    What can I say....YUM YUM YUM!!! Subbed some spinach leaves for half of the basil (overabundant garden last summer) and was very impressed. Walnuts in the pesto is genius!



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