Pistachio Basil Pesto Sauce

Updated 10.11.21.

This is the second time I’ve made this sauce – unfortunately the first time I made it last weekend when we were at the coast I forgot my camera and, thus, was not able to blog this recipe.

I love this as an alternative to traditional pesto (made with pine nuts) because pistachios don’t change the flavor of the sauce – not that noticeably. Not to me anyway. Bonus: pistachios seem to be considerably cheaper than pine nuts.

You may need to experiment with the level of olive oil, depending on how you like the consistency of your pesto sauce. I’m pretty sure I used between three-fourths and one cup of olive oil. The original recipe calls for one teaspoon of lemon — I didn’t add this either time but only because the first time I tried this recipe I forgot; the second time, I didn’t have a lemon. Additionally I added a wee bit more salt than what’s called for.

Bon appetit!



  • 3 oz fresh basil leaves (no stems), washed and patted dry
  • ½ to ¾ c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ c. pistachios, removed from their shell
  • ½. c. grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 to 4 cloves of garlic
  • ½ tsp. salt


  1. In a food processor chop garlic, then nuts. Add basil leaves and salt. Chop.
  2. While the processor is running slowly drizzle olive oil in (if you have a processor that allows you to add liquids through the top). Add cheese and process.

Recipe rating: 

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