Walnut Parsley Pesto


I usually think of pesto as a summer food, given the way the basil takes over in the garden. Pesto making is just something you do with all that bounty.

But you can easily make fresh pesto in the fall or winter using parsley and walnuts instead of basil or pine nuts. It’s just as green, garlicky, cheesy, and nutty. And great on pasta, with beef, or as a sandwich spread.

I’ll even put it in cheese tacos. Or just keep dipping my fingers in until it’s all gone. Oops!

Walnut Parsley Pesto

Walnut Parsley Pesto Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 1 1/4 cups


  • 1 cup shelled walnuts, about 3 1/2 ounces
  • 2 cups chopped parsley, about 1 bunch
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


1 Put the walnuts, parsley, cheese, garlic, and salt in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then pulse again.

2 Drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is running just long enough to incorporate the oil, about 20-30 seconds.

Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to store. Will last several days chilled.

Use with pasta or as a spread on bread or toast.

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Sage Walnut Pesto, from Not Without Salt

Kale Walnut Pesto Pasta, from Shutterbean

Gnocchi with Arugula Walnut Pesto, from Eat Live Run

Wild Black Walnut Parsley Pesto, from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

Walnut Parsley Pesto

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Showing 4 of 25 Comments

  • Heather

    This was so easy and the parsley was not overwhelming. I actually found that half the oil worked great since the walnuts are quite oily too. Thank you for a great recipe. We had a great crop of italian parsley this year and now I have a great way to use it!

  • Rain

    Lovely. Thank you. Best parsley pesto recipe out their, in my humble opinion!

  • Susan Russell

    I use ice cube trays to freeze pesto– whatever kind– then put the cubes into a zip bag and store in the freezer. Easy to grab however many are needed without defrosting a large amount. We sometime just spread 1/2″ thick parchment on a cookie sheet, freeze,then cut into 2″ squares. Same ease of use.

    Love the recipe– so versatile. Lokking at my herb garden and plotting other flavor pestos…

  • Catherine

    Just made this tonight for a dinner party and it is fantastic. I quadrupled the recipe and used a mix of 3 parts walnuts and 1 part blanched almond flour. We will be eating this regularly all winter.

  • blondie

    hi first time i made this pesto recipe and it was the best ever! brought it out on my birthday nite everyone put it on everything from romain lettuce, celery, crackers ,chicken, pasta, quinoa, and their own fingers! very awesome! thankyou!

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