Simplicity reigns in this traditional sauce--just basil, garlic, cheese and olive oil. Our one modification? We like omega-3-laden walnuts in the mix for their crunch and delicate flavor, but pine nuts, almonds, pecans or even pistachios may be substituted for the walnuts.

EatingWell Test Kitchen


Recipe Summary

20 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place basil, walnuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano, oil, water, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse a few times, then process until fairly smooth, or to the desired consistency, scraping down the sides occasionally.



Tip: To toast walnuts: Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned, 7 to 9 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

82 calories; protein 2g; carbohydrates 1.3g; dietary fiber 0.6g; sugars 0.1g; fat 8g; saturated fat 1.1g; cholesterol 1.5mg; vitamin a iu 954.1IU; vitamin c 3.4mg; folate 13.3mcg; calcium 50.1mg; iron 0.7mg; magnesium 19.4mg; potassium 77.4mg; sodium 180.4mg.

Reviews (11)

Read More Reviews
11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 8
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
I had an abundance of basil that I had grown and this was the perfect way to use it. This was easy flavorful and healthier than many recipes I had come across for pesto. I used half the salt per other suggestions but otherwise followed the recipe. I plan to toss it with whole wheat linguini and some diced tomatoes for lunch. I'll definitely make it again! Read More
Rating: 3 stars
Good but salty - will try again with pine nuts and less salt! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Perfect with Pine Nuts Awesome recipe. I used pine nuts instead because I am a fan of traditional pesto. Thanks so much for this recipe. I topped angel hair pasta and chicken with the pesto which was perfect. Dinner was yummy! Pros: Tasty Healthy Easy to make Cons: None Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Easy and delicious. Did not have fresh garlic so subsitiuted with garlic powder (1/4 teaspoon) and it was still great. Used it as spread on a roasted vegetable panini - yum. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I loved this. It's delicious and a reasonable amount of calories without less flavor. I'd half the salt and after you mix it see if you want more though just FYI (the cheese is salty.) Read More
Rating: 4 stars
you can eliminate the salt since cheese is being added. Cheese always adds salt to any recipe so salt should be reduced or eliminated. We eliminate it Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I cannot even TELL you how many times i have used this recipe. EATINGWELL.COM is go to site for healthier and better recipes! Love you guys thanks! paula burnette Read More
Rating: 5 stars
good but I'd say half the salt... Read More
Rating: 2 stars
THIS is a Traditional HIGH FAT PESTO! BEWARE THIS IS NOT LOWFAT AS EATING WELL LISTS! Very disappointed this is considered Eating Well and also labeled as LOWFAT!! OUTRAGEOUS! Per serving there are 83 calories and 72 calories of this is FAT! Which makes it 86% FAT! This was the second recipe listed when I searched lowfat Pesto and as you can see it is NOT LOWFAT. Otherwise the recipe is a traditional Pesto and I'm am sure very good. Cons: HIGH FAT- 86% FAT by calories 72 of the 83 calories are FAT Read More