Basil Walnut Pesto Sauce

Pesto is an Italian sauce traditionally made with pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, salt and fresh basil using a mortar and pestle.

All kinds of variations have sprung from this recipe including ones with different nuts and in place of the basil ingredients like arugula, artichokes, red peppers or spinach. The possibilities are endless.

This version uses meaty, toasted walnuts along with the more traditional ingredients. I like my pesto thinner than most, if you like a thick paste than cut down on the oil.

To keep your pesto sauce a vibrant green briefly blanch the basil leaves in boiling water then plunge into ice water. This step adds only a few extra minutes to the overall prep time but will prevent your sauce from turning color. If you don’t mind the murky color change then skip this step, it makes no difference in the overall flavor.

Pesto sauce is good on so many thing aside from pasta! Use it in place of butter, mayonnaise or mustard to rev up your sandwiches (I love it on grilled cheese), burgers, bruschetta and quesadillas.

Drizzle it in soups, over cooked chicken, shrimp, fish, meat and vegetables. Use it as a sauce for pizza, on eggs, as a dressing for pasta salad, mix it into your mashed potatoes, or make a vinaigrette for green salads.

Or just eat it with a spoon! It’s that  good.

Basil Walnut Pesto Sauce

Basil Walnut Pesto Sauce

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 1 + 1/2 cups

Basil Walnut Pesto Sauce

A fresh, raw sauce made with basil, walnuts, garlic, parmesan cheese and olive oil.


4 packed cups fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh parmesan, grated
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Sea or Kosher salt


  1. Blanch basil leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds, remove and immediately plunge into a large bowl of ice water. Drain and dry well on paper towels.
  2. Toast walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often about 5 minutes.
  3. Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Store tightly covered in glass jar in refrigerator up to 1 week.

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  1. The Baking Gypsy says

    Mmmmm, I LOVE pesto! Looks so perfect and smooth, Reeni.  You’re right- it goes with just about any dish!  I love it especially with pasta and breadcrumbs! :)) Although, I could probably eat it all up just the way it is with a few crackers.

  2. says

    I love trying different kinds of pestos. This one does look gorgeous, thanks for tip on that! I have made pesto with pumpkin seeds, arugula, mint, almonds, etc…

    I like it in wraps or on pizza. Good idea for grilled cheese I’ll have to try that!

  3. Kitchenflavours says

    This is great! My basil leaves really need to be harvested. Will be trying this one out.  Thanks!

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