There are so many ways to use this vibrant green Walnut Pesto.
It's one of my favorite basic Italian sauces for pasta, pizza, and vegetables. It's super tasty as a condiment for sandwiches and wraps, too.
The bright green hue of this Walnut Pesto comes from a blend of fresh basil, spinach, and parsley. So this recipe is perfect for those times when you have lots of herbs and greens to use up before they go bad!
The best thing about this pesto is that you can prep a batch in just 5 minutes. So quick and easy.
Here's how to do it.
These are the ingredients you'll need to make 5-Minute Walnut Pesto at home.
- Basil (fresh)
- Spinach (fresh)
- Parsley (fresh)
- Chopped walnuts
- Parmesan cheese (block)
- Extra virgin olive oil
As far as equipment, you'll just need a blender or food processor for this recipe.
First, add all of the ingredients (basil, spinach, parsley, walnuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon peel, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil) to your blender or food processor container.
Then just cover and pulse the mixture until it reaches the consistency you like.
You might need to pause to scrape down the sides of the container with a spatula, especially if you're using a large capacity blender. But other than that, you just pulse a few times and you're done!
You can adjust the amount of time you blend the pesto to get the texture you like. Blend it less to get a thick and chunky pesto. Pulse more times for a smooth and creamy pesto sauce. Both ways are delicious!
The one issue that might come up when you're making your own pesto is that the greens might get stuck on the sides of the blender. If this happens, pause to scrape down the edges with a spatula. You can also try adding more olive oil to get the mixture moving.
Ways to Use Walnut Pesto
There are so many ways to use this 5-Minute Walnut Pesto Sauce. Here are a few of my favorites.
- Pasta sauce (try my Veggie Pasta Pesto recipe)
- To flavor vegetables (such as smashed potatoes) and protein (such as tofu, chickpeas, eggs, fish, chicken)
- Sandwich or wrap condiment
- Salad dressing
- Pizza sauce
Making Ahead and Storage Information
Walnut Pesto works great for meal prep.
Store prepared pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze in a freezer-safe bag for up to 6 months.
- Instead of walnuts, use pine nuts, pecans, or sunflower seeds.
- If you want to make vegan pesto, use nutritional yeast in place of the parmesan cheese.
- If you don't have parsley or spinach, you can add extra basil instead. Swap in baby arugula for pesto with peppery flavor!
Recipes to Serve with Walnut Pesto
- Vegan Blackberry Pesto Pizza
- Crispy Tofu Nuggets
- Smashed Potatoes
- Vegan Rice Bowls
- Honey Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
Frequently Asked Questions About Walnut Pesto
As long as you use a parmesan cheese made with non-animal rennet (such as Belgioioso brand), this Walnut Pesto recipe qualifies as lacto-ovo vegetarian.
To make this recipe 100% vegan and dairy-free, substitute nutritional yeast for the parmesan cheese.
Use sunflower seeds instead of walnuts to make this recipe nut-free.
Store prepared pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
5-Minute Walnut Pesto
- blender or food processor
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup baby spinach
- ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (see note)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (optional)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper or to taste
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil or as needed to thin out the sauce
- Add basil, spinach, parsley, walnuts, parmesan, garlic, lemon peel, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil to a blender or food processor.
- Blend or process until desired consistency is reached, pausing to scrape down the sides as needed. Blend less for a thick and chunky pesto and more for a smooth and creamy pesto. If the pesto is too thick or isn't mixing together well, add more olive oil and blend again.