This walnut pesto recipe is truly a staple to always have on hand! Pesto is the perfect add on to almost any recipe for spring. Light and flavorful, it’s bursting with basil and cheesy goodness! I love the fact that it only takes a handful of ingredients to make and can stay in your fridge for up to a week or in your freezer for a few months. The secret to keeping your pesto fresh in your fridge is to cover the top surface with a tablespoon of olive oil. The olive oil will help prevent the pesto from turning brown.
Traditionally, pesto is made with pine nuts, but I have swapped pine nuts out for walnuts in this recipe. They have a similar flavor profile but for half the cost. Also, using a quality olive oil is a must for this recipe, you can really tell the difference!
Here are some of my favorite ways to use this pesto:
- Tossed with zucchini noodles and chicken for dinner
- On poached eggs with an English muffin for a savory breakfast
- Tossed with whole grain noodles and veggies for a fast lunch
- As a topping for grilled veggies or grilled steak/chicken
I hope you have fun making this kitchen staple!
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 cup walnut pieces
1 ½ cups fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Tiny pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Blend walnuts and garlic together in a food processor until coarse. Add in basil and lemon juice and pulse until the mixture becomes a paste and clings to the sides of the food processor. Slowly stream in olive oil while the mixer is running until the mixture is smooth. Add in cheese, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and pulse just until combined. Freeze immediately in an airtight container or cover in a tablespoon of olive oil in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.