Skip the store-brand pesto and make your own with just a few simple ingredients that only take minutes to whip up. Almond Pesto is the perfect condiment to add fresh flavor to just about anything!
I was gifted a beautiful bundle of fresh green and purple basil from my friends garden. I had never seen purple basil before! It’s slightly sweeter than the green variety but still every bit as worthy for a fresh pesto. It was such a treat to have, I had to make a fresh batch of pesto.
Pesto is a wonderful sauce to have on hand to enhance the flavor of pasta, chicken, wraps, sandwiches, salads, and more. My daughter loves to use pesto on her avocado toast for breakfast, and spreading on her turkey and cheese wraps for lunch. When I discovered how easy it was to make at home, we almost always have a jar ready in the fridge.
Traditional pesto is made with pine nuts, but nowadays just about any nut will work. Because pine nuts are expensive and I rarely have them on hand, I like using roasted almonds. It’s my favorite pine nut replacement for pesto. It’s nutty and slightly sweet. Plus, we always have a bag of almonds lying around.
Ingredients For Almond Pesto:
- Fresh basil– I used green and purple basil for this recipe.
- Garlic– Depending on how garlicy you like your pesto, use between 1-3 cloves.
- Roasted unsalted almonds– I use the unsalted almonds so I can control the amount of salt in the pesto.
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese– Using freshly grated is always better when making fresh pesto because it lends the best flavor. In a pinch, a quality store-brand pre-grated cheese will work just fine.
- Extra virgin olive oil– Since pesto is a raw sauce, make sure the olive oil is good quality.
- Salt, pepper, & red pepper flakes– Season to taste with salt and pepper. We like to add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a touch of heat.
What nuts and seeds can be used in pesto?
Any of these nuts and seeds will work for fresh pesto. If you have time to toast them, even better! This adds great flavor.
- Pine nuts
- Macadamia nuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
Can I use other cheese instead of Parmesan?
While most basil pesto recipes are made with Parmesan Reggiano, you can add-in or replace some of the Parm with Asiago, Pecorino Romano, Manchego, and Grana Padano.
Can Almond Pesto Be Dairy Free?
Yes! There are a couple options for dairy free.
- Leave out the cheese and add in a few extra nuts or seeds.
- Use 2 tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast in place of the cheese. If you’ve never had nutritional yeast it has a nice salty parmesan flavor and it’s dairy free! And if the name “nutritional yeast” turns up your nose, let me assure you, it’s a delicious, healthy alternative to cheese. Read more about it here.
How To Make Almond Pesto:
Step 1. In a food processor add basil, garlic, almonds, cheese, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Blend for 10-15 seconds until ingredients are combined. It does not need to be smooth.
Step 2. Scrape down the sides of the processor with a spatula.
Step 3. While food processor is on, drizzle in olive oil until ingredients are combined, about 10 seconds.
How long does homemade pesto last?
Homemade pesto will last 1 week in the refrigerator in a sealed glass jar. Pesto can be frozen up to 6 months. Place in freezer safe glass jars with fitted lids, or freeze in ice cube trays, then place in a freezer safe bag.
- Keep pesto from drying out– Drizzle olive oil over the top of the pesto before storing in the fridge. When ready to use, stir and enjoy.
- Don’t over blend pesto- Be careful not to over mix the pesto in the food processor. Pesto should have some texture and not be entirely smooth. Excessive processing can also make the pesto bitter in taste.
- Preserve the green color– Make sure to seal up any unused pesto shortly after you make it. This will retain that gorgeous green color.
Ideas For Using Almond Pesto:
- Spread on sandwiches and wraps for a flavorful condiment.
- Add to cooked hot pasta for an easy side dish.
- Enhance the flavor of pasta sauce by adding in some pesto.
- Spread on toasted French bread or a baguette.
- Use as a condiment for chicken and fish.
⭐Make Sure To Rate The Recipe When You Make It!⭐
- Food processor or blender
- 3 cups lightly packed fresh basil
- 1-3 garlic cloves I use 1 large for this recipe
- 1/4 cup roasted unsalted almonds
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese see notes for other cheese options
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- pinch red pepper flakes optional
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Add first 7 ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend for 10-15 seconds to break up ingredients. The mixture won't be smooth.
- Scrape down the sides of the processor with a spatula.
- With the food processor on, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Blend for no more than 10-15 seconds once you start to add the olive oil.
- Taste for seasonings and enjoy!
- Substitute parmesan cheese for – Asiago, Pecorino Romano, Manchego, and Grana Padano.
- Dairy free options- Leave out the cheese and add in a few more nuts or seeds. Nutritional Yeast is a great replacement for cheese. Add in 2 tablespoons in place of the parmesan cheese.
- How long does pesto last- Fresh pesto will last 1 week in a sealed container in the fridge. Up to 6 months in the freezer.
- Keep pesto from drying out- Drizzle olive oil over the top of the pesto before storing in the fridge. When ready to use, stir and enjoy.
- Don’t over blend pesto- Be careful not to over mix the pesto in the food processor. This can cause a bitter taste. Pesto should have some texture and not be entirely smooth.
- How to keep pesto color bright green- Make sure to seal up any unused pesto shortly after you make it. This will retain that gorgeous green color. The more times pesto is exposed to oxygen, the easier it is to loose its color.
|Serving size: 1/4 cup per serving|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 39.8g||51%|
|Saturated Fat 8.4g||42%|
|Total Carbohydrate 4.2g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 1.8g||6%|
|Total Sugars 0.6g|
|Vitamin D 0mcg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
|Recipe analyzed by|
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