Pistachio Lemon Pesto
This Pistachio Lemon Pesto is vibrant, delicious, and dairy free. Add it to steak, chicken, fish, pasta, or roasted veggies for a spectacular dish!
A few weeks ago I shared a recipe for Pistachio Herb Crusted Salmon and it left me inspired to use those flavors for a pesto. OH MY. I am so happy I did. This Pistachio Lemon Pesto belongs on all the things.
Basil. Pistachios. Lemon. Garlic. Salt. Olive oil. You’re going to love it.
Even without the parmesan and pine nuts you find in classic pesto, this Pistachio Lemon Pesto tastes very much like a pesto. It’s just amped up a notch and it has so much vibrant lemon.
Why pistachios? Pine nuts have a much milder flavor. These pistachios stand out and add more depth to create a rich sauce.
Lemon. I adore lemon. (Not as much as my daughter who insists on licking a wedge whenever one is delivered with our water in a restaurant. She always regrets it but conveniently forgets that and insists on trying again each visit.) There’s enough lemon in this pesto so you can taste it and appreciate that yummy tartness.
Do you typically buy your pesto pre-made? Trust me, once you do it yourself you won’t go back. It’s so simple to toss everything in the blender. You’ll feel like a kitchen pro when you serve this up.
You won’t believe this Pistachio Lemon Pesto is Whole30 compliant, dairy free, gluten free, and vegan. Everyone can enjoy it without compromising their healthy lifestyle. Add to chicken, steak, fish, potatoes, roasted veggies, or pasta and you’ll have some very happy diners.
For this recipe you’ll need (full list of ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below):
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
Can you add parmesan cheese?
Absolutely. Traditional pesto includes parmesan and I’ve omitted in this recipe to keep things dairy free. You can add a tablespoon of grated parmesan if you like.
How to store pesto
Store any extra pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
To freeze pesto for future recipes, pour into an ice cube tray. Freeze for at least 30 minutes. Pop out the pesto cubes and store in a freezer Ziploc bag or airtight container in freezer.
How to serve this pesto
Pesto and pasta are obviously a perfect pairing but I also love this pesto on grilled chicken, fish, and steak. It’s also incredible over roasted vegetables or slathered on a sandwich.
Pistachio Lemon Pesto
- 3 cups packed fresh basil
- 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, or 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil, extra virgin
- Add basil, pistachios, lemon juice, garlic, and salt to a food processor or high powered blender.
- Turn on the blender and slowly pour in your olive oil. Blend until pistachios are no longer chunky and sauce is smooth. For a thick pesto 1/3 cup of olive oil is perfect. You can use up to 1/2 cup if you prefer a thinner consistency.
20 Comments on “Pistachio Lemon Pesto”
Pistachio lemon pesto sounds like everyone’s new favorite thing! I really love this because I love all things pistachio AND lemons. Pinning and sharing this beauty!
Thank you so much, Traci! I really appreciate you sharing! <3
I love this idea! I adore pistachios and always have a bag of them in my kitchen, so I can make this today, can’t wait!
We always have a giant bag too!
I love pistachios and are great on pesto and also hummus. Lovely idea and the added lemon really makes it crisp. Yummy!
Ooo I bet pistachios are great with hummus! Thanks, Adriana!
I love unconventional pestos! I’ve tried a lot of different nuts, but never pistachios! Look at that gorgeous color!
Thanks so much, Pam! <3
I LOVE pistachios. What a great way to use them. This pesto would be delicious on pasta, in salads….for brunch and dinner recipes. So many ways to use this wonderful creation.
I think so! Thanks so much, Gloria!
Such a perfect pesto for Spring. I’ll have to try it!
This looks amazing! All my favorite flavors. I use pine nuts and/or walnuts in my pesto. I will definitely be trying it this way. Thanks for the great recipe.
Talk about yum! I use pesto all of the time but never have I thought of adding a bit of citrus to it! I bet it tastes AMAZING!!!! Definitely trying ASAP!
Love the idea of using pistachios instead of the typical pine nuts! Delish!
What a wonderful flavor combination. My husband would love this, so I have to try your recipe!
I can’t express to you just how much I love this pesto. I mean, I love all pesto and don’t you ever, ever forget it but this one in particular is tha bidness. Pesto is one of those foods that is highly underrated in terms of nutrition.
Well you just made my morning. Thanks so much! So happy you enjoyed it! <3
Super easy, flavorful and delicious – this was a hit. I am not typically a huge fan of pesto but this combo changed my mind. Love all your recipes – thanks for helping us get creative!
This is hands down the best “condiment” for pretty much anything. I make a big batch to keep in the refrigerator and then search for things I can put it on because it is so delicious!