Fresh basil is like nothing else in this world! And if you are lucky enough to still have some in your garden, you’re going to want to make this Basil Pesto with Almonds.
Quick and simple to make, Basil Pesto (without pine nuts) is healthy, delicious and makes a great sauce for pastas and pizza, a spread for bagels and sandwiches, as well as a great mix-in for dips, salad dressing and meatballs. It's 4 WW points on the blue plan, per serving.
I had a lot of basil this summer and it was heavenly! Surprisingly it did well this year, considering it got beaten up by hail a few times, in addition to my neglect. Plants usually come back to my place to die so I’m even more grateful when they thrive in spite of me!
Thankfully I picked most of it before an early frost finished off the rest of it.
Pesto Recipe without pine nuts
A friend gave me this basil pesto recipe almost 20 years ago. However, the original recipe contained pine nuts and I made a few other changes to it as well. And although I love pine nuts, they are expensive. Plus, once I buy them I end up having them forever (or until I make pesto again) and they usually end up going stale. Making a pesto recipe without pine nuts was the perfect solution!
And since I always have almonds on hand, replacing the pine nuts with almonds seemed like a great plan. I was surprised at how Almond Pesto doesn't really taste that much different than pine nut pesto. In fact, I actually like it better. It's also so much more convenient and economical. If I have a lot of almonds, I'll keep them in the freezer - they last longer and stay fresher!
Homemade pesto sauce
Homemade pesto sauce is really easy to make. You simply throw everything in the food processor and blend until smooth! It's also so much tastier than buying it.
What to do with pesto
My favorite thing to do with pesto is to eat it with pasta! You can eat it on any type of pasta, but I prefer to use spaghetti noodles.
Here are some other ways to use pesto:
- eat it on eggs
- eat it on chicken breasts
- put it in meat balls (beef, chicken or turkey) Try my Healthy Turkey Pesto Meatballs with Creamy Lime Ginger Sauce
- mix it into dip
- mix it into salad dressing
- spread it on a sandwich or bagels
- put it on pizza (replace your sauce)
- bake it into bread
Honestly, this went sooo fast in our house that I didn't even get to eat it beyond the pasta and sandwich spread. And I had big plans for it. Well, there's always next year....
Fresh Basil Recipes
So, if you have fresh basil on hand, then I highly recommend you make this Pesto Basil with Almonds. And even if you didn't grow any basil, it's definitely worth the trip to the grocery to get some!
Need a new Food Processor? My Amazon Recommendations (affiliate links). I have a Cuisinart and love it.
Basil Pesto with Almonds
- food processor
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup whole raw almonds
- ⅔ cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 whole lemon, juiced (use all the juice from the entire lemon)
- ¼ cup water
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
- Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Add to pasta, sandwiches, dips etc... Keep refrigerated.