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, pesto with almonds is healthy, and delicious and makes a great sauce for pasta and pizza, a spread for bagels and sandwiches, as well as a great mix-in for dips, salad dressing, and meatballs. This recipe is especially popular in summer, but perfect any time of year.
I had so much 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.
A friend gave me this basil pesto recipe almost 20 years ago. However, the original recipe contained pine nuts, as do most traditional pesto recipes, 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 this Almond Basil Pesto recipe 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.
For this pesto without pine nuts recipe, you'll also need a handful of ingredients:
- olive oil *extra virgin olive oil is best
- raw almonds
- fresh basil
- fresh lemon juice
- garlic cloves
- black pepper
- parmesan cheese
*see recipe card for quantities
If I have a lot of almonds, I'll keep them in the freezer - they last longer and stay fresher!
Homemade basil pesto sauce is really easy to make. You simply throw everything in the food processor and blend until smooth! It really is that easy! And it's so much tastier than buying it.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. These ingredients do not stand up to freezing.
👪 Serving Size
This basil pesto without pine nuts recipe makes 12 servings. However, you can half, double or triple the recipe by clicking on the blue serving number and selecting the number of servings you'd like. The ingredient quantities will automatically adjust.
This recipe is 4 WW points on my plan. You can bring down the points by using fat-free parmesan cheese. Although this is not a low-point food, it's worth it and you can take comfort in the fact that you are getting healthy fats.
💭What to do with pesto
One of my favorite things to do with pesto is to eat it with warm pasta! You can eat it on any type of pasta, but I prefer to use spaghetti noodles. Homemade pesto sauce and pasta make a great quick meal!
This almond basil pesto recipe is such a versatile sauce! Here are some other ways to use basil pesto:
- eat it on eggs
- put it on top of pizzas
- eat it on chicken breasts
- put it in meatballs (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 and are looking for easy recipes, 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 store to get some!
📋 Basil Pesto with almonds recipe
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup raw whole almonds
- ⅔ cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 whole lemon, juiced (use all the juice from the entire lemon)
- ¼ cup water
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoon parmesan cheese
- Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Add to pasta, sandwiches, dips etc... Keep refrigerated.