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Basic Basil Pesto

Basic Basil Pesto
This Recipe Is:

WebMD Recipe from

Simplicity reigns in this traditional sauce—just basil, garlic, cheese and olive oil. Our one modification? We like omega-3-laden walnuts in the mix for their crunch and delicate flavor, but pine nuts, almonds, pecans or even pistachios may be substituted for the walnuts.

Prep: 20 minutes | Total Time: 20 minutes
  • 2 cups
    packed fresh basil leaves, (2-3 bunches)
  • 1/4 cup
    walnut pieces, toasted (see Tip)
  • 1/4 cup
    grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3 tablespoons
    extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons
  • 1 large clove
    garlic, quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1/2 teaspoon
    freshly ground pepper
  1. Place basil, walnuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano, oil, water, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse a few times, then process until fairly smooth, or to the desired consistency, scraping down the sides occasionally.



Tip: To toast walnuts: Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned, 7 to 9 minutes.

Nutritional Information

Makes: about 1 cup
  • Calories82
  • Fat8 g
    • Saturated fat1 g
  • Cholesterol2 mg
  • Carbohydrates1 g
    • Dietary fiber1 g
  • Protein2 g
  • Sodium176 mg
* Nutritional Guidelines based on the USDA's MyPlate Standards.
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