Parsley makes delicious pesto, and this vegan parsley walnut pesto comes together in minutes with only six ingredients! Perfect for pasta, sandwiches, grilled protein and veggies. Time to celebrate the fresh herbs of spring and summer!
Okay, basil. We totally adore you, but sometimes you get all the attention... so we kinda wanted to give humble parsley a chance to shine in this simple, vegan parsley walnut pesto. Don't get me wrong, I love parmesan. BUT, making a completely plant-based pesto is just as delicious, simplifies the ingredients list, and opens your door to making many a vegan-friendly recipe doused in pesto (pasta, grilled or roasted veg, pizza etc.).
Whether you're just looking for an all-around delicious pesto sauce, or if you're actively trying to incorporate my plant-based recipes into your menu... smothering your ingredients in this parsley walnut pesto will not disappoint!
Only six ingredients required for this simple parsley walnut pesto. Fresh pestos are wonderful to make because they are flexible -- you can swap out the nuts and herbs for different flavors, or to accommodate what you have in your pantry. Pesto is also an excellent way to use up your herbs if you have a garden or CSA.
- Fresh parsley
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Raw walnuts
- Fresh garlic
Now for the pesto magic. In just a whir of your food processor, you will have beautiful, fresh parsley pesto!
To start, make sure your parsley is washed and any stems are removed. I like to save the stems in my fridge to add to homemade veggie stock, otherwise you can discard them.
Add the parsley to your food processor along with the walnuts, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.
Blend until all the ingredients are well-combined and form a uniform consistency. It won't be perfectly smooth, but the parsley and walnut bits should be chopped up very evenly and finely, and the pesto should be thick, yet pourable.
And that's it! Pesto is that easy. Now, you've got parsley walnut pesto, ready to top anything from sandwiches to pasta, grilled meat or fish, roasted veggies... the options are endless.
Hint: To double down on flavor, toast the walnuts in a dry skillet until fragrant. Allow them to cool for a few minutes before blending them up with the other pesto ingredients.
Substitutions & Variations
As I mentioned, this pesto recipe is a beautiful ratio of ingredients that can accommodate other herbs and nuts.
- Nuts - Try using brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, or pistachios instead of walnuts. You can also try pumpkin seeds for a nut-free version.
- Herbs - Cilantro, basil, or lemon basil are all lovely in this pesto.
- Garlic - You can mellow out the garlic by slicing it and allowing it to sit in the lemon juice for a bit first. Or, you can roast it or sauté to both soften the sharpness of raw garlic, as well as add flavor to your pesto.
Food processors or high-speed blenders are necessary for pesto because they really break down the herbs and nuts to get that evenly chopped, thick, yet pourable consistency. If you don't have one yet, I highly recommend investing in this useful kitchen tool! It's one of my small kitchen essentials due it's versatility.
Store leftover fresh parsley pesto in a jar or airtight container in your fridge for up to a week. If you don't use it all up, not to worry, because pesto is super easy to freeze!
You can freeze your pesto for up to three months in small mason jars, or even in ice cube trays. After the pesto is completely frozen into cubes, simply transfer them to an airtight reusable zip-top bag or storage container. Whenever you need pesto, simply thaw just the amount you need!
Parsley Pesto Serving Ideas
Pesto has endless uses -- typically we have no trouble using it up at our house! Here are some ideas:
- Simple pesto pasta salad with chicken (packed with salty olives and sun-dried tomatoes)
- Pesto roasted potatoes (a simple but flavorful side dish)
- With hard-boiled eggs on toast (simple, but truly addicting)
- Drizzled over grilled or roasted veggies
- Slathered onto sandwiches
- With grilled meats or fish
- On pizza as the main sauce
Instead of discarding your parsley stems and garlic skins, save them with other veggie scraps to make homemade veggie stock for soups!
Yes! The two ways I recommend freezing pesto are in small glass jars that seal tightly (leave a little room in the top), or in an ice cube tray so you can get just the amount you need, when you need it! Detailed instructions above 🙂
You sure can. I prefer a food processor, but a good quality, high-speed blender will also work. You may need to occasionally stop the blending process to push ingredients down the sides or use a tamper to keep the ingredients close to the blade.
Vegan Parsley Walnut Pesto
This vegan parsley walnut pesto is SO simple and perfect for spring! Parsley is brightly flavored herb and delicious alternative to basil in pesto. Use on pasta, grilled fish or meat, or dip roasted veggies!
- Prep Time: 2 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: ~1 ¼ cups
- Category: Sauces
- Method: Food processor
- Cuisine: Italian
- 2 cups packed fresh parsley leaves
- ½ cup raw walnuts
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove fresh garlic
- juice from 1 lemon
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- Combine. Combine all of the ingredients in the base of your food processor.
- Process. Food process the ingredients on high speed until you achieve a smooth yet liquid consistency, with all of the ingredients evenly chopped.
- Storage & Freezing Instructions: Store parsley pesto in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. To freeze, place pesto in small glass jars with airtight lids, or another airtight container. Alternatively, freeze pesto in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, transfer pesto ice cubes to a freezer friendly zip-top bag (reusable preferred) or container.
Keywords: vegan parsley walnut pesto, parsley walnut pesto