Fresh Basil Walnut Pesto can be made in 10 minutes with just 5 ingredients – Fresh basil leaves, walnuts, garlic, romano (or parmesan), and olive oil.  

Basil Walnut Pesto
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Along with the awesome warm weather come fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs. Whenever I visit Trader Joe’s, there are so many basil plants for sale before even entering the store. I cannot stop myself and buy them on each visit. Not a problem, as we also love pesto!

If I had to choose one sauce that I could have for eternity on pasta, it would definitely be pesto. What I love is that you can create so many variations. Don’t have pine nuts for the classic pesto or they are too expensive, use walnuts or almonds.

Traditionally, parmesan cheese is used in pesto. However, we love to use romano in place of parmesan in many recipes. If you want to add some more greens, add parsley, cilantro, spinach, or even kale. You get the idea, adjust, and change the recipe to your taste. Or better yet, make a different flavor each time.

How to make Basil Walnut Pesto?

You can make pesto in a food processor or in a blender such as Vitamix.  This time, I made a small amount, so the mini food processor was perfect for it.

Basil Walnut Pesto Ingredients

Collect all the ingredients and just 5 more minutes to have pesto ready. You could be boiling your favorite pasta while making the pesto…just saying, less time to wait before you enjoy it 😉

Add basil and walnuts to a food process or another blender such as a Vitamix.

Basil Walnut Pesto - Basil & Walnuts in the food processor

Pulse several times to break them down.

Add the cheese, garlic, and pulse again.

Now while keeping the food processor running, pour olive oil slowly. Add in salt and pepper. Taste and adjust.

Basil Walnut Pesto - Ready

That is all! Basil Walnut Pesto is ready to be enjoyed.

You will notice that I keep my pesto a bit coarse. Totally your choice if you want to make it completely smooth.

Basil Walnut Pesto

How can I store Pesto?

Pesto is best used fresh or frozen (see next section). To store pesto in a refrigerator, keep it in an air tight container and add a thin layer of olive oil on top. This will prevent pesto from coming in touch with air, and it will not turn brown. It can stay good for up to a week.

Does pesto freeze well?

Yes! Just omit the cheese (which does not freeze well) and store it in ice cube trays so you can remove the amount needed at a time. When you are ready to use, you can defrost the pesto and stir in finely grated romano or parmesan cheese.

What are some ways to use Pesto?

  • The most obvious way is to top on pasta. As a variation, I like to add some heavy cream to the pesto to make a creamy pesto pasta.
  • Apply as a spread on a sandwich. Mix with mayonnaise to make a pesto mayo spread.
  • Spread it on toasted bread and make a pesto Caprese toast.
  • Mix in with cheese and sour cream to make a dip. Enjoy with crackers along with my Italian bruschetta dip.
  • Slather over chicken or salmon and bake them.
  • Make a pesto pizza (my absolute favorite)

Here is a drool-worthy picture of the Gnocchi I made with this Pesto. Also, check out my Spaghetti in Pesto sauce made in the Instant Pot.

Pesto Gnocchi

Here are other favorite dips and sauces you might enjoy – Creamy Avocado Cilantro SauceMint Cilantro Chutney, and Peanut Chutney.

4.80 from 10 votes

Basil Walnut Pesto

This easy Basil Walnut Pesto can be made in 10 minutes with just 5 ingredients – Fresh basil leaves, walnuts, garlic, romano (or parmesan) and olive oil. 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 (about 1 cup)


  • 2 cups Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1/4 cup Walnuts
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, or Romano
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt , adjust to taste
  • Pepper , freshly ground, adjust to taste


  • Place the basil leaves and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to break them down. 
  • Add garlic, cheese and pulse again until they are all mixed. Scrape the sides if needed. 
  • In a steady stream add olive oil and pulse until it is blended with the ingredients. 
  • Stir in salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped on pasta or as a spread on sandwiches. 
  • Use immediately or store in an air tight jar to retain freshness. If you plan to store for longer, add more olive oil on the top so the pesto is not exposed to any air. 


  • Walnuts can be replaced with pine nuts or almonds. 
  • For variation, you can add parsley or cilantro or spinach or kale to this recipe, along with basil. 
  • Another great addition to pesto is lime juice. So add a squeeze to your taste.
  • To store pesto in a refrigerator, keep in an air tight container and add a thin layer of olive oil on top.
  • To freeze, omit the cheese (which does not freeze well) and store in ice cube trays, so you can remove the amount needed at a time.


Calories: 245kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 5gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 135mgPotassium: 82mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 700IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 130mgIron: 1mg

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Gluten-free, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

You May Also Like

Get new recipes sent to your inbox!
Don't miss out! Subscribe and get all the new recipes first.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

1 Comment

  1. Delicious! And I screwed it up! After mincing the 1 cup of red onion, I proceeded to chop the remainder of the jar of sundried tomatoes. I fell short of my *assumed one cup* – which I later realized was supposed to be 2 ounces. OOPS! But it was still delicious. I will do it correctly next time. Thank you for this recipe, it’ll be a good dish to take to a potluck.