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Pesto Recipe with Pistachio

Pesto Recipe – Our pesto recipe is a versatile sauce that elevates pasta, sandwiches, salads, pizza, and bread; it is tasty and easy to make. Just like our Middle Easter Skhug sauce, it’s ready in 15 minutes!

Pesto in a glass bowl with a spoon scooping into it.


  • Olive Oil: Use high-quality olive oil if possible.
  • Lemon: Lemon brightens the sauce.
  • Pistachios: Toast pistachios beforehand to pronounce their flavor.
  • Basil: Use four bundles of large leaf Italian basil.
  • Garlic: I suggest using four cloves, but don’t let my recipe tell you how much garlic to use- go for it.
  • Parmesan Cheese: For maximum flavor, use freshly shaven parmesan cheese or save yourself some time, and buy pre-grated cheese.
  • Spices: I season our pesto recipe with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.


  • Nuts: I use pistachios, but change it up and use pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans, or cashews.
  • Greens: In addition to basil, add other leafy greens like kale, arugula, spinach, or watercress.
  • Add Flavor: Take pesto up a notch by changing the flavor profile a bit; use roasted red peppers, jalapeños, or sun-dried tomato.
  • Go Nut-Free: Instead of using nuts, try adding pepitas, chia, or hemp seeds.
  • Make it Vegan: Use nutritional yeast in place of cheese.


Toast the pistachios in a skillet over low heat and add them to a food processor.

Pistachios toasting in a pan.

Add the remaining ingredients, apart from the olive oil, to the food processor and blend until smooth.

The ingredients for pesto in a food processor apart from the olive oil.

Add the olive oil and whisk to emulsify.

Olive oil stirred into the pesto recipe.

Store the leftover in an airtight container.

Pesto inside of an airtight container.


If you love this recipe, pair our pesto recipe with one of these tasty favorites!

Pesto stored in a mason jar with lemons cut beside it.


  • Pasta Sauce
  • Wrap or Sandwich Spread
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Vegetable, Poultry or Fish Topping
  • Salad Dressing
  • Dip for Bread and Vegetables


What is pesto made out of?

Tradition pesto includes basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, salt, and hard cheese; ours is a take on the original.

What does pesto taste like?

Pesto gets its bright green color and herby flavor from fresh basil. Garlic and cheese add salty richness to make a tasty sauce you’ll crave.

How should I store leftover pesto?

To maintain the bright green color, wrap the sauce tightly so that the plastic wrap touches the top of the pesto and is not exposed to the air.

Did you know you can also freeze pesto sauce? For easy use later on, spoon the pesto into an ice tray, crack them out, and add them to a reusable bag.


Pesto in a glass bowl.

Pesto Recipe with Pistachio

Tressa Jamil
Made with basil, pistachios, garlic, lemon, and olive oil, our pesto recipe is the perfect topping, dressing, or dip.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Dip, Dressing
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 cup
Calories 1404 kcal


  • ½ cup pistachios, toasted
  • 5 cups basil, loosely packed
  • ½ lemon, zest and juice
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup parmesan, shredded, optional


  • Toast the pistachios in a skillet over low heat and add them to a food processor.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, apart from the olive oil, to the food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Add the olive oil and whisk to emulsify.


Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.


Serving: 1 Cup | Calories: 1404kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 143g | Sodium: 1870mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 6g
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
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