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Basil Walnut Pesto

This light and fresh pesto makes an ideal topping for roasted or grilled vegetables, meat or fish or just a simple side dish when tossed with a bowl of zucchini “noodles” or spaghetti squash.

  • Author: The Real Food Dietitians
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Yield: 1/2 cup 1x
  • Category: Sauces & Condiments


  • 4 ounces fresh basil (about 2 cups packed leaves)
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided (may sub avocado oil)
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. To the bowl of a food processor, basil walnuts, ¼ cup olive oil, garlic and lemon juice.
  2. Blend until smooth, adding the final 2 Tbsp. olive oil through the chute in the lid while the motor is running.
  3. Taste, then add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. To keep pesto from browning, pour enough olive oil into the jar to completely cover the surface of the pesto.
  5. For longer storage, freeze pesto in ice cube trays then transfer frozen cubes to a zip-top bag. Thaw and use as a sauce or add frozen to soups or stews.


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  • Serving Size: 2 Tbsp.
  • Calories: 93
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Sodium: 30mg
  • Fat: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 0g