Pecan and Basil Pesto

Heidi Hoerman


Pesto is very easy to make if you have blender or a food processor. Classic pesto is basil, garlic, parmesan, pine nuts and olive oil but you can make a pesto of any similar mix of ingredients.

This pesto uses pecans and leaves out the cheese, giving the option of using it as a cooking sauce and adding the cheese separately to the resulting dish.

The addition of lemon juice adds brightness but only a very mild lemon flavor remains when the pesto is cooked.

This pesto is best when allowed to cook for a minute or two in the dish being served.


★★★★★ 3 votes

Makes about 2 cups
20 Min


Add to Grocery List

  • 2 c
    fresh basil leaves, removed from the stems and washed
  • 6 clove
    garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 to 3/4 c
    olive oil, extra virgin
  • ·
    juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp
    coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp
    freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 c
    pecan halves or pieces

How to Make Pecan and Basil Pesto


  1. Place basil, garlic, 1/2 cup oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and blend until somewhat smooth. Force down the leaves and add more olive oil as needed to enable creation of a sauce about the consistency of a good, thick ketchup.
  2. Add the pecans and blend briefly, leaving small bits of pecans visible.
  3. Refrigerate or freeze. In its raw state, the pesto is quite harsh tasting. Add it to a dish a few minutes before you are done cooking.
  4. SERVING SUGGESTION: Boil pasta in salted water until al dente. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet and saute sliced summer squash or zucchini until turning translucent but still firm. Add the pesto and pasta to the squash and saute about 2 minutes until the pesto is cooked a bit. Serve with freshly grated hard cheese (parmesan, romano, etc.) on top.

Printable Recipe Card

About Pecan and Basil Pesto

Course/Dish: Spreads
Dietary Needs: Vegetarian
Other Tags: Quick & Easy, Healthy

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