Tasty and filled with healthy fats, this homemade basil almond pesto recipe is made with almonds instead of the usual pine nuts to provide a lighter more neutral flavor. The easy pesto is the perfect addition to pasta dishes, sandwiches, wraps, salads, dips, dressings, and more.
Every year I plant a garden and every year I get halfway through the summer and decide I don’t have enough basil. This year I decided to remedy that and planted FOUR huge pots of basil. Well, I might have overcompensated because now I’m overgrown. The plants are going crazy and are so pretty and fragrant. But let’s just say I have enough basil for a lifetime.
So, of course, that means it’s time to get creative in the kitchen! First up is homemade PESTO. But not just any pesto… a more economical one. I love pine nuts but those things are pricey! I have a huge stash of almonds in my kitchen for snacks, so I decided to see how the pesto tasted with almonds.
My question was is a basil pesto made with almonds good? The little experiment was a WINNER and this lovely Basil Almond Pesto recipe was born.
Why you’ll love my Basil Almond Pesto recipe…
This Basil Almond Pesto recipe is fabulous not just because almonds cost less, but they are also a nutritional powerhouse and superfood! They are full of protein, healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants, magnesium, vitamin E, and can even help lower cholesterol levels. They are just about a perfect food.
Benefits of Almonds?
Here are some other benefits of almonds!
- Lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Help digestion
- Reduce cravings
- Help with heart disease
Putting them in your pesto means your dinner just got that much healthier… YOU’RE WELCOME. 🙂
What’s pesto made of?
Traditional pesto is made with basil, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, and olive oil. In this recipe, we’re sticking with tradition except for one simple change! Almonds instead of pine nuts. Although, if you’re a pesto purist, you can certainly use pine nuts if you prefer, I think you’ll love this change!
Basil Almond Pesto Ingredients
To make this basil almond pesto recipe you will need:
- Fresh Basil: Pesto is the perfect way to use up all of that extra basil you have growing in your garden. This is one recipe where dried herbs don’t work.
- Almonds: Almonds are much more inexpensive than pine nuts, and they have a nice neutral flavor, which makes them the perfect option for pesto.
- Parmesan Cheese: Use freshly grated parmesan to add more flavor.
- Fresh Garlic: Garlic helps to liven up pesto. This is one ingredient you won’t want to skip.
- Olive Oil: High-quality olive oil, like extra-virgin, provides the best flavor.
- Salt & Pepper: As simple as it is, salt and pepper are a must as they help to increase flavor and reduce the bitterness of the basil.
How to Make the Pesto Sauce with Almonds?
- Take your fresh basil, almonds, olive oil, parmesan cheese, and garlic and blend until it’s as smooth as you’d like.
- Scoop it out and use it in your favorite recipe.
The pesto freezes well and would be so lovely to have in the winter. You can freeze it in ice cube trays, pop out the cubes and then store it in plastic freezer bags.
What kind of nuts can you use for pesto?
If you are curious… “Can I use almonds in pesto?!” YES you can!!
You can also use other nuts like cashews, Brazil nuts and walnuts! All of them give a slightly different flavor to the healthy pesto but all are still delicious.
The flavor is very similar to traditional pesto with plenty of nutty, basil-y, garlic-y goodness.
What is this Almond Pesto recipe used for?
You can serve this almond pesto recipe on:
- Pesto Quinoa with Shrimp
- Creamy Pesto Pasta
- Pistachio Pesto Zoodles
- Easy Lemon Pesto Salmon <—this EASY lemon pesto salmon is one you HAVE to try!
- Asparagus & Tomato Pesto Tortellini Salad
I hope you enjoy this Basil Almond Pesto recipe as much as I did! My only problem is I still am running wild with basil… but I guess there are a lot worse problems to have. 🙂
Homemade Basil Almond Pesto Recipe
- 3 cups packed basil
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and combine until smooth.
- Serve with your favorite pesto dishes.