Fresh Herb and Walnut Pesto

Fresh Herb and Walnut Pesto

Pesto is a bright green sauce that is Italian in origin, specifically from Genoa. Traditionally, this sauce consists of fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, and a hard cheese such as parmesan or pecorino. I grew up eating this green sauce, as my mom made it all the time. It’s such a simple recipe, but bursts with flavor and can be used for many applications.

Crostini Platter

My mom makes almost everything from scratch, including bread and pasta. She made this sourdough baguette with her own starter, which made perfect crostini for the pesto. I also love to mix this pesto in with her homemade pasta, or any pasta for that matter. It can go perfectly on a panini, too.


Check out these different ways to use pesto sauce:

  • Combine with meatballs
  • Mix with mayo for a sandwich spread
  • Spread onto pizza crust for a fresh sauce
  • Stir into pasta sauce for extra flavor
  • On crostini with toppings
  • Baked pesto chicken breast
  • Make into a vinaigrette for a salad dressing
  • Mediterranean Potato Salad
  • Add to alfredo sauce for a creamy pesto pasta sauce
  • Chicken salad with pesto, mayo, sundried tomatoes, and kalamata olives for a Mediterranean chicken salad
Fresh Pesto Crostini

When making pesto I prefer to use a food processor. You can also use a blender, but I will make any excuse to use my food processor. This is only a two-step recipe. Step 1: pulse all ingredients, besides olive oil, in food processor. Step 2: Slowly drizzle in olive oil while food processor is on low speed. No cooking, hardly any prep, and a few simple and fresh ingredients. Easy and delicious!

Homemade Pesto

Another great part about this recipe is that you can freeze your leftovers. I put any leftover pesto in an ice cube tray and bag the frozen cubes. This way you can drop a cube into pasta sauce or let them thaw and mix them into your favorite dishes.

Freeze pesto in an ice cube tray

Looking for more sauces to enjoy? Check out these recipes:

Lemon Tzatziki

Green Chimichurri Sauce

Sweet & Smoky BBQ Sauce

From Scratch Tomato Sauce

Homemade Basil Pesto

Fresh Herb and Walnut Pesto

This bright and flavorful pesto has fresh basil and parsley, and crunchy walnuts for a perfect pesto combination. Yields: 1 ½ cups
Prep Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer, Condiment, Entree, Sauce, Snack
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 1 cups


  • Food processor or blender


  • 2 ½ cups fresh basil or a 4oz container, stems removed
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • ¾ cups grated or shredded parmesan
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 lemon juiced, or 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper


  • Add all ingredients besides olive oil in a food processor or blender
  • Blend on low until all ingredients are combined and chopped to your desired consistency, I prefer chunks that you can. still see rather than completely pureed.
  • Put food processor or blender on low, and slow drizzle in olive oil until combined.
  • Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
  • Freeze any leftover pesto in ice cube trays and place into a freezer-safe bag for future use.
Keyword Basil Pesto, Pesto, Pesto Sauce

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