Make pistachio pesto for a simple and delicious twist on the Italian classic! The addition of pistachios brings the pesto a unique nutty flavor that perfectly complements the fresh basil and salty cheese. Whether tossed with al dente pasta or simply spread on crusty bread, this easy pistachio pesto will surely become a 15-minute favorite.
- Pistachios: Skip the pricey pine nuts and grab some shelled, unsalted pistachios. To bring out their flavor to the fullest, toast in a medium-heat skillet or in a 350° oven for 5-7 minutes.
- Basil: Pick the leaves off of fresh basil and discard the stems. You’ll need about 4 cups of basil leaves total.
- Garlic: Start with 2 cloves of fresh garlic. You can always add more or less according to your taste preferences.
- Extra Virgin olive oil: Olive oil is a key ingredient in any pesto recipe so be sure to go for extra virgin for the best flavor.
- Pecorino Romano: Pecorino Romano is a sheep’s milk cheese that is a little brighter and sharper in flavor as compared to nutty Parmigiano Reggiano. If you don’t have Pecorino Romano, you can sub Romano cheese which is similar in flavor but made in the US with cow’s milk instead of sheep’s milk. To sub with Parmigiano Reggiano, keep in mind you might have to add a bit of additional coarse kosher salt to the pesto.
- Lemon: Lemon is not traditional to standard pesto recipes, but the brightness compliments the earthy flavor of the pistachios.
How to Store Pistachio Pesto
Pesto is the perfect sauce to whip up in big batches because it stores wonderfully in the fridge or freezer. To store any pesto in the fridge for up to a week, spoon into an airtight jar or container and top with a thin layer of olive oil. The extra layer of olive oil is essential to keep the pesto from browning. To freeze, use this same technique– add to a container and top with olive oil before freezing for up to a year! Now you can enjoy vibrant and summery pistachio pesto all year long.
More 15-Minute Recipes
- Italian Sub Sandwich
- Mexican Avocado Toast With Poached Egg
- Tortellini Alla Panna
- Turkey Avocado Sandwich
- Peach Burrata Salad
- 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled, unsalted
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese*, grated
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt, to taste, optional
- Preheat your oven to 350° and toast the shelled, unsalted pistachios for about 5-7 minutes until they are fragrant and lightly browned.**
- Once toasted, remove from the oven and allow them to cool slightly before adding them to a food processor with 2 cloves of garlic. Pulse the pistachios and garlic until the pieces look like coarse sand.
- Grate 3 ounces of Pecorino Romano cheese* and add to the food processor. Pulse until the cheese is well combined with the pistachios and garlic.
- Add 4 cups of fresh basil leaves into the food processor and pulse with the pistachios, garlic and cheese. Depending on the capacity of your food processor, you might want to add the basil in 2 batches. Pulse until everything is minced and well combined.
- With the food processor on low, stream in 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice and 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Taste the pistachio pesto and add coarse kosher salt to taste if needed.
- To store, spoon the pistachio pesto into an airtight jar or container and top with a thin layer of olive oil. Keep in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to a year. Or enjoy immediately with crusty bread or tossed with al dente pasta!
- food processor
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