Parsley Walnut Pesto is quick and easy to make! This simple recipe has great flavor and works with pasta, pizza, salads and sandwiches!
My How to Make Pesto Guide covers everything you need to know about using fresh herbs (or bell peppers) to make this super versatile sauce.
Can I use Parsley instead of Basil in Pesto?
You can substitute parsley for basil when making pesto.
Basil is a little bit sweeter a herb than parsley so add more garlic than when making basil pesto to balance out any bitterness.
The rest of the recipe remains the same with the usual ingredients of parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic and lemon. (Salt and pepper is optional)
Use this recipe to make a quick dinner like my Parsley Pesto Pasta.
Is pesto better with pine nuts or walnuts?
Traditionally pesto is made with pine nuts.
They can be toasted or raw.
As like any recipe, modern twists can bring delight through changes in texture and taste.
Pine nuts will result in a smoother less textured pesto than walnuts, however that is also dependent on the time that the nuts are processed ie the technique used to make the pesto.
Nuts can be very expensive, so a cost effective choice when making pesto is to use nuts which you already have on hand.
You can think broadly about this too, for example pine nuts, walnuts hazelnuts, pecans, brazil nuts and cashews are all excellent choices for pesto.
How to make Parsley Walnut Pesto?
Making Parsley Walnut Pesto is a great way to use up lots of parsley.
If you grow this herb, you know that it grows and grows and grows!
Grab your herb scissors, give it a rinse and we are all set to make a robust and delicious pesto with it.
To make this pesto recipe, I use a food processor. It is quick, easy and there is no manual labour!
The ingredients for this recipe are shown in the photo below. I often use home grown parsley or a bunch from the fruit shop.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Parmesan Cheese
- Olive Oil
- Lemon (fresh is best in pesto!)
- Walnuts (raw, or toast if you prefer)
- Garlic (I recommend 5 cloves, but start with 2 if your not a garlic lover)
- Salt and pepper
We start the recipe by adding the ingredients (minus the oil and lemon) to the food processor.
- Blitz the ingredients for 5-10 seconds (Photo 1)
- Slowly add the olive oil (Photo 2)
- Taste the pesto (Photo 3)
- Squeeze in the lemon juice, discard any pips (Photo 4)
The flavor of the pesto develops over time, so if you leave it in the fridge for a couple of days (sealed jar), the flavour will still pop with the ingredients doing their thing!
What to use pesto for?
Pesto is a very versatile ingredient and it lends itself to being served in a variety of ways.
- use as a pizza sauce
- stir through pasta
- on a Grazing Platter
- as a spread on Grilled Cheese
- as a salad dressing
- spread on flatbreads before grilling
One of the tastiest (and easiest) combinations is pesto and pasta, you can see this pairing in the Parsley Pesto Pasta recipe below:
The above plate of yum is a perfect weeknight dinner, talk about fuss free deliciousness!
Parsley Walnut Pesto quick info:
About the recipe:
- The recipe makes 1 cup of pesto
- We use 2 cups of parsley
- This is a vegetarian recipe
- Use a fresh lemon for this one!
- The recipe uses walnuts, but for a budget friendly alternative, use nuts that you already have in the pantry!
FAQs about the recipe
- This recipe is made in the food processor
- We use peeled garlic cloves, with the end cut off
- The olive oil is drizzled into the pesto (processor on)
- It takes about 5 mins to make
If you are new to pesto my How to Make Pesto guide covers all the basics, with plenty of tips and tricks!
Your quick questions answered:
- This is a quick, easy to bring together recipe!
- This recipe uses only 7 ingredients
- If you are not a garlic fan, use 1-2 cloves
- The pesto will stay fresh in the fridge for 1 week
- You can freeze the pesto for 1-2 months
This is what I have learnt that will help you master the recipe from the 1st time and every following time:
- Rinse the herbs, then measure 2 cups
- The 1st blitz to combine is 3-4 seconds
- Drizzling the oil in gives consistency to the pesto
- Taste, add lemon juice, taste again and add more till it ticks your boxes
You can also enjoy all Pesto recipes I have on the blog. Should we have a pesto party, a pizza party or a parsley pesto pasta party? Let's combine all 3 and pesto on down.....!
Parsley Walnut Pesto
- Food processor
- 2 cups parsley loosely packed, Note 1
- ½ cup walnuts measured before being chopped
- ½ cup olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic
- ½ lemon
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cracked pepper
- Add parsley, walnuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to the bowl of a food processor
- Blitz to combine for 5-10 seconds
- Slowly pour olive oil into the pesto and blitz for a further 5-10 seconds
- Taste the pesto, if it is bitter, add a squeeze from the lemon half, pulse for 1-2 seconds and taste again. Add more lemon juice as desired.
- Note 1 I like to use curly parsley for this recipe. You can however, substitute the equivalent of flat leaf parsley if you wish.