Garden Fresh Basil Walnut Pesto

2 Cups
20 min

Pesto is one of the easiest and tastiest condiments that you can make this summer, especially if you planted basil in your home garden or container garden. You can even make it if you don't have a garden, simply buy basil from the grocery store for $3.99 or a big batch at Costco, add nuts, cheese and olive oil and and voila fresh sauce for vegetables, pasta and pizza.

You can skip the cheese and make a vegan recipe or you can change the nuts to suit your taste. Traditional pesto uses pine nuts but I prefer walnuts, they are less expensive and easier to find.

This pesto can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for at least a week, as long as you make sure to keep the top covered in oil. Another option is to freeze the pesto in ice cube trays or tupperware to have all winter long.

I made a few batches of the pesto to give for gifts this Christmas in a basket with dried pasta, a bottle of wine and some crusty bread.

I have lots of tasty recipes on my blog come over and check them out at

Basil walnut pesto with garden fresh herbs.

Garden Fresh Basil Walnut Pesto
Recipe details
  • 2  Cups
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 5 Minutes Total time: 20 min
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  • 6 cloves of peeled garlic
  • 1/2 cup of toasted walnuts
  • 4 cups of packed, fresh, washed and dried basil leaves
  • 2 cups of fresh packed, washed parsley
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • In a small skillet over medium heat, heat the garlic in the SKINS about 5 minutes, make sure to shake the pan often. You will see brown spots appear on the skins. Remove from heat and let cool a bit then remove the skins.
  • In the same skillet toast the nuts until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Make sure to shake the pan and to watch the nuts so that they do not burn.
  • To make the pesto, place the garlic, walnuts, lemon juice, cheese, basil, parsley and the 3/4 cup of the oil into the food processor or blender, blend until smooth, add the last 1/4 cup oil thru the chute at the end.
  • Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
  • If you want to make this vegan, omit the cheese.
  • Pesto is best fresh, but it will store in the refrigerator for a week and the freezer for a month. Make sure to top off the container with some olive oil, it will help keep its green color.
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