This basil almond pesto recipe is a MUST try for pesto lovers. With a few fresh ingredients and 5 minutes of your time, you can enjoy this bright green and flavorful pesto with almonds.
🌟 Why this recipe works
This homemade basil almond pesto is a fragrant and delicious sauce with bright green color perfect for meats, fish, pasta, or salads and made with olive oil, fresh basil leaves, almonds, garlic, and parmesan cheese.
It can be prepared days in advance and lasts for up to a week refrigerated, making almond pesto sauce great for using in several recipes without it going off - and it takes 5 minutes to make using a food processor.
Unlike traditional pesto made with pine nuts that are nuttier and have a coarse texture, this almond basil pesto has a smoother consistency with a subtle saltiness and a squeeze of lime juice to cut through the bitterness of the olive oil.
Almond pesto is packed with healthy ingredients rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that contribute to a healthy heart and a great sauce to incorporate into any diet.
You only need a handful of pantry ingredients and a food processor to make this delicious almond pesto, and it's such a versatile condiment to use as a sandwich spread, a pizza sauce, or mixed into pasta recipes.
🍽 Key Ingredients
Making your own basil almond pesto is a balancing act of combining 7 ingredients so that you can taste each element without it being overpowering.
Basil - Look for fresh basil leaves with bright green color and smell fresh.
Almonds - You can use blanched almonds or raw for this recipe.
Garlic - Garlic is a key ingredient for most pesto recipes. You only need a small amount for a subtle taste.
Cheese - Buy freshly grated parmesan cheese to give the pesto sauce its authentic salty flavor.
Oil - A good standard or extra virgin olive oil that isn't too bitter on taste.
Acidity - To cut through the bitterness of the basil leaves and olive oil, we need a splash of lime. Lime is slightly sweeter than lemon juice and works well with almonds.
You can substitute lime juice for lemon juice.
🔪 How to make
Learn how to make this delicious basil almond pesto. This recipe is so rich and full of flavor, you'll absolutely love it. Making pesto is as easy as blending the 7 ingredients in a food blender until paste forms.
- Peel and chop the garlic cloves.
Combine the fresh basil leaves and parmesan cheese in the food processor for around 20 seconds until finely ground.
Add the almonds, garlic, lime juice and salt.
Turn on the food processor and gradually pour in the olive oil.
Once the ingredients are well combined and look like a thick paste, turn the machine off.
If desired, blend in a bit more olive oil with a spatula to achieve a looser texture.
💭 Cooking tips
Pour the olive oil slowly.
For the best consistency, it is necessary to slowly drizzle the olive oil into the processor to thicken gradually. Pouring it in one go will turn into a wet sloppy mixture rather than a nice, thick basil pesto sauce.
Chop the ingredients
Depending on the speed of your blender and how the blade is positioned, it may be wise to chop the ingredients first before adding them to your food processor to achieve a smooth consistency.
📖 Pesto Recipe Variations
Three delicious variations of basil almond pesto using the same preparation method.
If you substitute the almonds for cashews, your pesto will have a creamier texture with a slight sweetness. Cashew pesto tastes great, smothered and baked with salmon.
Traditional pesto with pine nuts
The original pesto called pesto alla Genovese uses pine nuts which gives the pesto a saltiness and a coarser texture. Check out my fresh basil pesto recipe with pine nuts that you can use for your easy sheet pan shrimp or caprese chicken pesto.
Pesto with toasted almonds
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and toast your almonds for 10 minutes until fragrant. Add the toasted almonds with the other ingredients to the processor and mix in a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil at the end for a smokey toasted basil pesto recipe.
🥗 What to serve with
This basil almond pesto recipe is a great sauce that has a variety of uses, from mixing in pasta dishes or salads, spreading on sandwiches, baking in the oven with chicken or salmon, and much more. Here are some of my personal favorites to serve with this delicious almond pesto.
You can enhance any pasta dish with a few spoons of green pesto to give it some color and add a few color veggies like cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, or zucchini for a fuller pasta meal. Or try this tasty parmesan pasta recipe to toss with the pesto for an irresistible lunch or dinner.
Tasty recipes don't get much better than this chicken caprese with basil pesto. It's part of my healthy recipes that is full of bright colors and big on flavor, perfect for the summer.
If you love shrimp and healthy veggies, you will devour this super flavorful sheet-pan shrimp recipe that takes 30 minutes to prepare and will feed a family of 4.
This almond pesto recipe is great for using throughout the week and even longer frozen.
Fridge - Store the almond pesto in an airtight container with a light layer of olive oil covering the top of the pesto, and place the container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Freezer - The best way to freeze pesto is to pour the pesto into ice cube trays. The frozen pesto will last for 5 months, and it will be easier to thaw individual portions.
🍳 Try more Sauce Recipes
👪 Serving Size
This basil almond pesto recipe will give you enough servings for several recipes, depending on how much you use. as a rule of thumb, 1 tablespoon s enough for 1 serving, or you can quickly scale the recipe to use for weeks, as it's great for storing.
Pesto is such a vibrant, colorful sauce that makes any recipe taste better. Try spreading it on salmon and chicken for a super-light low-carb dinner.
Basil Almond Pesto
- ½ cup raw almonds
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice - fresh
- ¼ teaspoon himalayan salt
- ½ cup olive oil
- In a food processor, combine the basil leaves, almond nuts, parmesan cheese, and garlic. Process until finely ground, around 20 seconds.
- Add a squeeze of lime juice and salt to taste.
- Turn on the food processor and gradually add olive oil until thoroughly incorporated.
- Once combined, turn off the food processor.Mix in a bit more olive oil to achieve a looser texture, if required using a spatula.
- Serve fresh and enjoy!