Easy Basil Walnut Pesto Recipe

Easy Basil Walnut Pesto Recipe

Basil Walnut Pesto was born out of necessity. I know what you are thinking. Necessity?! To further explain, I always "accidentally" grow too much basil during the summer. I say "accidentally" because I always plant five or six plants knowing full well I'll not be able to use my whole harvest. If you aren't sure how to grow basil, it's really easy and beautiful. The aroma is warm and happy, so I'm ok filling my garden with the plants. Every other day, I go out and snip the flower buds from the tops of the shrubs, which only forces the plants into sending out more shoots. The fragrant leaves go into pasta and onto homegrown tomatoes, but I still end up with a surplus.

This Basil & Walnut Pesto Recipe: A Means of Using Up Summer Shoots

Pesto and hummus are my favorite dips. I put them on everything really. I’ve made hummus before (and since I still have so much basil), I might make hummus with that too, but this is my first foray with making pesto. It’s really nothing difficult to make, you just need to make sure that you don’t over-process it and turn it into a slurry.

In my recipe research, I think I can easily say that I’ve seen 10,000 variants on pesto. Some have cheese, some don’t. There’s many with and without pine nuts. Garlic and extra virgin olive oil are standard ingredients, and citrus like lemon juice makes its way into many, so I’m keeping it. As for measuring ingredients. The measurements in the recipe below are just for a baseline. When I made this, I put in enough oil to bind the basil and garlic together, and enough grated parmesan to add the perfect amount of saltiness and body. The food processor will smooth this into the pesto or thicken it up if you made it too thin.

Transform this classic pesto recipe into a vegan pesto recipe!

If you're vegan and still want to enjoy this basil walnut pesto, don't fret! You can easily mold this recipe into a delectable basil walnut vegan pesto by substituting the parmesan cheese with vegan parmesan cheese or omitting it all together. Have fun and experiment with what other vegan-friendly ingredients you want to put into your dish to make it your own!

lemon pesto sauce on tagliatelle with basil leaves and a fork and spoon on a rustic wood table

If you aren't sure how to use this basil walnut pesto, marinate chicken breast or salmon or try it in a vegetable stir-fry.

We always encourage you to play with our recipes and make them your own. The beauty of simple recipes like this is that you can easily change it to suit your taste. Here are some great ideas from our kitchen:

  • When you make this pesto freeze it in an ice cube tray to create convenient pesto cubes; they will come in handy on cold winter nights!

  • Go to the frozen food aisle and look for pasta made with alternative flour, like almond flour or chickpea flour.

  • Visit the local market and ask for handmade fresh pasta, that is the best way to enjoy fresh pesto.

  • Treat yourself to a spiralizer and make your own pasta with fresh zucchini.

  • drizzle this pesto on fresh pea or carrot soup using it more as a garnish for a real pop of flavor in an otherwise bland soup.

  • Add a teaspoon or two on top of fresh steamed broccoli, asparagus or Brussels sprouts.

  • Swap out the walnuts for pine nuts for a traditional take on the sauce.

  • Use orange or lime juice for a light, summery twist.

  • Blend in other fresh herbs, like parsley or kale.

  • This pesto may add to this Asian Noodle Salad Recipe.

  • Try a different variety of basil, like Thai or globe basil.

How to Make Basil Walnut Pesto with Honey

This vegan walnut pesto recipe is so easy you’ll be asking yourself why you haven’t made this until now.

First: Gather the ingredients you will need to make this recipe

You’ll need fresh basil, garlic cloves, parmesan cheese, walnuts, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper and our honey

Second: Pay really close attention

Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend on high until fully combined. You'll love basil walnut pesto for its rich flavor and versatility. Done.


"Basil Walnut Homemade Pesto beeinspiredgoods.com" a bowl of green pesto with a leaf garnish and a plate of pasta with pesto and basil garnish

Kara holding a hive frame in doorway of cabin

About the Author

Kara waxes about the bees, creates and tests recipes with her friend Joyce, and does her best to share what she’s learning about the bees, honey, ingredients we use and more. Read more about Kara