RecipePecan Pesto

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
  • Calories: 140
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Total Fat: 14 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 12 g
    • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 5 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 2 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1 g
  • Total Sugar: 0 g
    • Natural Sugar: 0 g
    • Added Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 180 mg

Pesto gets a nutty makeover! While the traditional recipe calls for pine nuts, I’m shaking things up by incorporating antioxidant-filled pecans into this versatile rendition. Between the fresh basil, Parmesan, garlic, lemon, EVOO, and buttery pecans, the flavor is compellingly rich and the texture is thick and creamy. While I love pesto tossed with pasta (who doesn’t?!), I’m also known for pairing it with scrambled eggs, mixing it into chicken salad, drizzling some over roasted sweet potatoes, spreading it on sammies, and creating fancy crostini…. pesto perfection! Is your mouth watering yet?

  • Prep time
  • Total Time
This recipe makes 1 ½ cups
  • 3 cups basil leaves (stems removed)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese
  • 1 cup pecans (lightly toasted or raw)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (or ¼ teaspoon powder)
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • ¼ cup water
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons EVOO (depending on preferred consistency)

Combine the basil, Parmesan, pecans, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender and pulse until finely chopped. Add ¼ cup water and scrape down the sides as needed to ensure everything is well combined. Then drizzle in the oil while you continue to pulse until everything is evenly blended (start with 6 tbsp and check consistency. Add an additional 1 tablespoon at a time until it’s the texture you prefer). Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve on crostini, roasted sweet potatoes or toss with your favorite pasta.

Pro tip: I recommend making the pesto right before serving so it maintains its green color (it develops a browner appearance when it sits; but don’t be thrown by the change in color as its still just as delicious). To slow browning in the fridge, place leftover pesto in an airtight container, pour a thin layer of olive oil on top, and cover with a lid

Nutrition provided for 2 tablespoons pesto.

Try this Kale Pasta Pesto!