Basil Walnut Pesto


Basil pesto in a jar with Parmesan cheese


Not your typical pesto. Have you ever tried walnuts in your pesto? This gives traditional pesto a flare for the unusual. Walnuts are a great source of vitamin E and the plant form of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linoleic acid. Walnuts provide a depth of flavour that you’re sure to enjoy.


Make some soon!

Basil Walnut Pesto

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 6


  • 2 cups 500 ml packed basil leaves (about 2 oz)
  • 1/3 cup 80 ml olive oil
  • 1/2 cup 125 ml chopped walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1/2 cup 125 ml grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp 30 ml softened butter (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp 2.5 ml salt


  1. Place basil, olive oil, walnuts, garlic and salt in a food processor
  2. Blend until thoroughly combined
  3. Add Parmesan and butter and blend 5 to 10 seconds more
  4. Just before serving, add 2 Tbsp (30 ml) of hot pasta water from cooked pasta
  5. Add to cooked pasta and toss

Doug Cook RDN is a Toronto based integrative and functional nutritionist and dietitian with a focus on digestive, gut, and mental health.  Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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