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Pistachio Pesto

This recipe replaces the traditional pine nuts in pesto with a unique flavor… pistachios! Make this recipe for a nuttier, slightly sweeter pesto recipe that pairs well with pasta, pizza, proteins, and more.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: pasta, sauce
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes


  • Blender/Food Processor
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons


  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup pistachios, with no shells, unroasted, unsalted


  • Add all ingredients (including pistachios) into a blender and blend. Add more olive oil incrementally if the pesto needs to be thinner.


Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only. 
  • Basil: Use fresh basil leaves for this recipe
  • Parmesan Cheese: I use high quality, freshly grated parmesan cheese. It should be grated finely so that it looks like snow. This is worth splurging on for a great recipe. 
  • Lemon Juice: I use a freshly squeezed lemon, but you can also use prepackaged juice if preferred
  • Pistachios: Choose unroasted, unsalted pistachios without shells. If you are having a difficult time finding these, you can use roasted pistachios. The key here is no additional salt. 
  • If you want some extra lemon flavor, you can zest the lemon peel into the pesto as well 
  • If you don’t like pistachios, you can use walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, or anything else that sounds delicious 
  • You can make the pesto with a mortar and pesto for a more traditional texture, but if you want a thinner texture, a blender is a great way to prepare it. 
  • You can preserve pesto by freezing it. If you want to freeze individual portions (to add to a serving of pasta, etc) you can freeze the pesto in an ice cube tray. After frozen, pop the pesto cubes out and store them in a plastic bag. 
  • If your pesto tastes too olive-oily, allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving. When olive oil warms up, its taste gets a lot stronger. A room temperature pesto on warm pasta will be a great combo if you don’t like a strong olive oil taste.  
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