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Homemade Basil and Walnut Pesto

This herbaceous homemade basil and walnut pesto is perfect for pizzas, pastas, breads, and more.


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated romano or parmesan-reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped, See notes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, more to taste

materials needed

  • Food processor or high-power blender


  • Put the basil leaves and walnuts into your food processor or blender and pulse it several times to grind the ingredients. Add cheese and garlic, and pulse a few more times. With a silicone or rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the container.
  • Run the food processor on a low setting and, while running, slowly add the olive oil in a light stream. This will to emulsify the mixture and keep the olive oil from separating. If needed, you can stop halfway to scrape down the sides of the food processor.
  • Add the salt and cracked black pepper, give it another quick spin in the processor or blender, and taste. Adjust salt and pepper to your preference.
  • Slather it over pizza, serve it with bread, toss it into pasta, or eat with crackers! 


To toast walnuts, heat a dry pan over medium-low heat. Add the walnuts and heat until golden brown, stirring/tossing occasionally. This should take approx. 5 minutes in total. Keep a close eye on them as once they start to toast, they toast very quickly and can burn.