This keto pesto with walnuts is made from fresh ingredients in only 5 minutes. It's so flavorful and quick to make that it will become your favorite pesto sauce recipe of all time!
Ingredients you will need
Fresh basil leaves - we're going to use a bunch of fresh and fragrant basil leaves for our gluten-free basil pesto with walnuts recipe.
Olive oil – I can’t imagine an Italian recipe without olive oil. However, there are so many types and each will give your pesto sauce a different character. I use mild olive in this recipe because that’s what I prefer, but if you want to give your pesto a spicy/bitter kick, go ahead and use extra virgin olive oil.
Walnuts – There are several reasons I chose walnuts over traditional pine nuts for my pesto recipe with basil. First, pine nuts are pricey! I love my keto pesto and I eat it a lot, but I definitely don't want to spend a fortune on it. Second, walnuts are more keto-oriented than pine nuts; they have more fats and less net carbs.
Parmesan cheese - No cheating! Use a real shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Garlic - We're going to use two freshly peeled and pressed cloves of garlic.
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper - Don't be shy and season your keto pesto well.
Lemon juice - To use or not to use? It's totally optional, my friends. You can take a more traditional approach when it comes to this walnut pesto recipe, or you can be a little bit innovative and add 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice to break those bold flavors with a pinch of acidity. Also, if you're planning to freeze the sauce, it's a good idea to add lemon juice or vinegar to prevent the growth of botulism.
Step by step instructions
This delicious and easy basil walnut pesto recipe is pretty straightforward to make. We'll need one piece of equipment - a food processor (another way is to use a mortar, but we’ll take convenience over authenticity this time).
First, let's place our basil leaves, walnuts, pressed garlic, and seasoning into the food processor and pulse it until it’s fully combined and resembles a grainy paste texture. Then, add the cheese and pulse several times until fully incorporated.
Now we only have one ingredient left - olive oil. Add it to the mixture and pulse until combined. Add some extra olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, if the sauce is too thick for your taste. Last but not least, you should try your basil pesto sauce and adjust the seasoning if desired. Don't forget to add two teaspoons of lemon juice and pulse a couple more times if you're planning to freeze the mixture.
You can serve the sauce right away and, if there're leftovers left (which I doubt), store them in a sterile airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Is pesto keto
One hundred times yes! This pesto walnut recipe uses only keto-friendly ingredients that are full of healthy fats and proteins. It's also very low in carbs; only 1g net carb per serving. You can definitely enjoy this pesto with walnuts while following a keto diet.
Can you freeze pesto
Yes, you can! If you have leftovers or you're planning to make our walnut pesto ahead and use it later, place the pesto sauce into a Ziplock bag, remove as much air as possible, and freeze it for up to 3 months. Before using our low-carb pesto, remove from the freezer and thaw overnight in the fridge before serving the next day.
More keto recipes
Keto pesto with walnuts
- Food processor or a stand blender
- 2 cup (30g) fresh basil
- ½ cup (60g) walnuts
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- ½ cup (60g) Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
- ½ cup (100g) mild olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Grounded black pepper
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice, optional
- Place the basil leaves, walnuts, pressed garlic, and seasoning in a food processor and pulse until fully combined and resembling a grainy paste texture.
- Then, add the cheese and pulse several times until fully incorporated.
- Add the olive oil to the mixture and pulse until well combined. Add some extra olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, if the sauce is too thick for your taste. Adjust seasoning if needed.
- Serve right away!
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