Basil Walnut Pesto —

Basil + Walnut Pesto

  • Author: Maggie
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes



  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 3 cups basil leaves, tightly packed
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon (1 tsp of zest; 1 tbsp juice)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 


  1. Optional: Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat or in a 350° oven until slightly browned and fragrant. This only takes a few minutes and really enhances the nutty flavor. Cool slightly.
  2. To the bowl of a food processor (or blender), add the walnuts, basil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. Reserve a small handful of basil and walnuts to incorporate after adding the olive oil (optional). Pulse until coarsely ground, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
  3. With the food processor running, gradually add in the olive oil until fully incorporated, again scraping down the sides as needed. Add the reserved walnuts and basil and pulse a few times until well combined but still retaining a bit of the texture.
  4. Use immediately or transfer to a jar to store in the fridge, pouring a thin layer of olive oil on top to prevent pesto from oxidizing (turning brown). Pesto also freezes really well.