Pistachio Pesto Recipe

5 of 3 votes
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Jump to Recipe
Pistachio and basil pesto

This 5-minute pistachio pesto recipe is a great way to elevate your summer dishes. You only need a handful of ingredients, one single equipment and tastes much better than any store-bought pesto!

It’s similar to a classic basil pesto, except I’ve used pistachios instead of traditional pine nuts.

The pistachio nuts give the pesto a unique flavor and a super vibrant green color that makes a pasta dish pop!

More delicious recipes to try!

Try this pasta with tarragon pesto for another bright and delicious pesto recipe. This broccoli, lemon, and feta pasta is another summery dish I think you’ll love.

List of Ingredients

Ingredients for pistachio pesto recipe
  • Green pistachios: I use green raw pistachios, unsalted, without their shell. Look for bright green, fresh, and vibrant pistachios for the best flavor and color.
  • Basil:The key ingredient of any homemade pesto. Choose fresh basil leaves. 
  • Parmesan cheese: This cheese adds a rich and salty element that enhances the overall flavor. Pecorino Romano cheese is a great alternative. 
  • Garlic: Use fresh garlic for a milder taste. Adjust the amount of garlic based on your personal preference and the intensity of flavor you desire.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: Helps bind all the ingredients together and adds a fruity undertone to the sauce. I recommend using high-quality olive oil. 
  • Lemon juice: Use fresh lemon juice rather than bottled. You can also use fresh lime juice as an alternative.

You will find the exact quantities in the recipe card.

Pistachio and basil pesto in a ramekin

How to make a pistachio pesto?

  1. Prepare the ingredients. Remove the basil leaves from the stems. Optional: Dry toast the green pistachios in a pan to enhance their flavor.
  2. Blend the ingredients. Combine the fresh basil, Parmesan, pistachios, garlic cloves, lemon juice, and a pinch of sea salt in a food processor or large cup. Using the food processor or an immersion blender, pulse a few times until the ingredients are chopped.
  3. Finish off the pesto. With the food processor or immersion blender running, add enough olive oil in a steady stream until you have a smooth paste. If necessary, adjust the seasoning.
  4. Store. This homemade pesto can be kept for three days. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
Ingredients in a jug for pistachio pesto
Blended pistachio pesto

How to serve pistachio pesto?

I like to serve this basil pistachio pesto over fresh pasta (penne or linguine, cooked al dente) as an easy pasta sauce, add it to a salad dressing, or as a spread on a sandwich (see my Burrata sandwich with pesto).

Geraldine’s tips

1. Use high-quality ingredients: You want the best quality basil and bright green pistachios for this recipe. The quality of the olive oil will also contribute greatly to the result.

2.Taste and balance: Ensure you taste the pesto before transferring it from the blender jug. You might need more salt, garlic, or lemon juice to balance the flavor. 

4. Freeze for later: When I prepare an homemade pesto, I always prepare large batches and freeze in individual portion in ice cube trays for later. 

FAQ: Pistachio pesto

Can I substitute basil with a different herb?

Although basil is delicious, you can experiment with other herbs like cilantro, parsley, and arugula to make this pesto.

How can I turn this into a vegan pistachio recipe?

Leave out the Parmesan cheese and add a little nutritional yeast as a vegan alternative.

Can I freeze pistachio pesto?

Yes, pesto freezes very well. Pour it into ice cube trays to make individual portions that can be easily thawed. Then put the frozen pesto cubes in a freezer bag. It will keep in the freezer for up to a year.

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Recipe card

Print Recipe

Pistachio Pesto Recipe

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5 of 3 votes
The pistachio nuts give the pistachio pesto a unique flavor and a super vibrant green color that makes a pasta dish pop!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Side dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 256 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup green pistachios 75 g
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese 45 g
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 125 ml
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt

Instructions
 

  • Remove the basil leaves from the stems.
  • Optional: Toast the green pistachios in a pan without fat to enhance their flavour.
  • In a food processor or large cup, combine the fresh basil, Parmesan, pistachios, garlic cloves, lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt. Using the food processor or an immersion blender, pulse a few times until the ingredients are chopped.
  • With the food processor or immersion blender running, add the olive oil in a steady stream until you have a smooth paste. If necessary, adjust the seasoning.
  • This homemade pesto will keep for 3 days. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • For a quicker version, add all the ingredients at once and blend.

Nutrition

Calories: 256kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 6gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 135mgPotassium: 159mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 725IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 133mgIron: 1mg
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9 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Geraldine, 😊
    I tried your recipe today, and I want to thank you for sharing it with us. It is incredible. I just added a little bit of pepper – one of the best Pesto I have ever tried. 👏