Walnut Parsley Pesto

A traditional winter pesto made from parsley and walnuts instead of basil and pine nuts.

Walnut Parsley Pesto
Elise Bauer

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
Elise Bauer

Walnut Parsley Pesto

Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 5 servings
Yield 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 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Special Equipment

  • Food processor


  1. Pulse ingredients in food processor:

    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, drizzle in the olive oil 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.

Walnut Parsley Pesto
Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
209 Calories
22g Fat
2g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5
Amount per serving
Calories 209
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 29%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 244mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 32mg 162%
Calcium 46mg 4%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 144mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.