Basil Pistachio Pesto

A delicious twist on the Italian classic, your family will love this Lemony  Basil Pistachio Pesto. Serve on pasta, drizzle over meat or use as a salad dressing!

Basil Pistachio Pesto

Summer food is so easy, so flavorful and so healthy! I love everything about it. Every week when I visit my local farmers market I come home with new energy, excitement and inspiration for cooking seasonally.

Cherries and Blueberries - The Lemon Bowl

Of course, you probably already gathered that based on the endless Instagram and SnapChat photos I post whenever I visit the Fulton Street Farmers Market. What can I say? I’m a sucker for Michigan produce!

Pesto in the Processor - The Lemon Bowl

In addition to all of the fresh fruits and vegetables overflowing each stall at the market, I am also inundated with fresh herbs. Who can resist a gorgeous bunch of fragrant basil? I certainly can’t. As soon as I got home I couldn’t wait to whip up a batch of pesto to stock my freezer.

Lemony Pistachio Basil Pesto - The Lemon Bowl

Traditionally I use pine nuts but this time I decided to give it a fun spin by using pistachios. The sweet and flavorful nuts provide an incredibly rounded flavor that balances perfectly with the sharp cheese, spicy garlic and bright lemon juice.

Corn on the Cob with Lemon Basil Pesto - The Lemon Bowl

Spread on corn on the cob, toss into warm pasta or drizzle over grilled meats and fish. Summer is here my friends! Soak it up.

Your fork is waiting.

Lemony Pistachio Pesto - The Lemon Bowl

Basil Pistachio Pesto

4.57 stars average
A delicious twist on the Italian classic, your family will love this Lemony Pistachio Basil Pesto. Serve on pasta, drizzle over meat or use as a salad dressing!
PREP: 10 minutes
TOTAL: 10 minutes
Servings: 16


  • 3 ounces fresh basil (about 2 cups)
  • 2 ounces Diamond of California Shelled Pistachios
  • 1 ounce grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 juice and zest of lemon
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil


  • Place the first seven ingredients in a high speed food processor and pulse a couple times to start breaking down the pesto.
  • With the processor on high speed, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Puree until smooth and creamy.
  • Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.


Follow this easy guide to learn how to freeze pesto.


Calories: 144kcalCarbohydrates: 1.4gProtein: 1.8gFat: 15.2gSaturated Fat: 2.5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12.7gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 133mgFiber: 0.6gSugar: 0.2g

SHOW AND TELL ON INSTAGRAM!Show me your creation and rate it below! Mention @thelemonbowl or tag #thelemonbowl! I would LOVE to see!

Out of ideas to use this pesto? Here’s a Satisfying Salads board for inspiration!

30 thoughts on “Basil Pistachio Pesto”

  1. Tamara Valdiserri

    Liz, this was amazing! My son can’t have pine nuts so I have always used sunflower seeds. This tasted so much better. My go to from now on especially when my garden is overflowing with basil. I add some to my cream sauce and it is delicious over pasta. It freezes well. Thank you for another fantastic recipe.

  2. I really envy you your farmers markets. You are right to be excited about your local produce. I wish we could have such a great market here in the desert.

  3. I feel the EXACT same way lately! So inspired by everything that is great about this season…especially pesto! Love this pistachio twist!

  4. I’ve been experimenting with different types of pesto recipes and I love the thought of pistachios! Looks so bright and flavorful! Can’t wait to try this one, and definitely stocking the freezer with it, too!

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