I grew up eating pesto. On pasta, on toast, on eggs, this delicious sauce can be used in so many ways. It’s an incredibly versatile food.

Not only is this pistachio pesto recipe tasty, but it’s also good for you. That’s right! This pesto is a raw food that includes just six nutrient-dense ingredients: raw grass-fed cheese, raw garlic, organic basil, organic olive oil, sea salt, and nuts.

Through the years, my mom and I tweaked and tampered with this pistachio pesto recipe trying to perfect the flavor combinations.

True pesto aficionados may wonder why we played with perfection in the first place. I’ll tell you: It was mainly due to the pine nuts normally called for in the original recipe. I find that pine nuts are too oily and don’t provide enough flavor, depth, or crunch. Plus, pine nuts are super expensive. Why splurge on a nut that I’m really not all that crazy about??

So, in our search, we tried nearly every nut and seed, and several cheeses… until we found just the right combination!

Here is our final pesto recipe!

Pistachio Pesto Recipe Ingredients

  • 5 cups organic basil
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/3 cup of organic olive oil (a good brand here)
  • 1/3 cup of pistachios
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (use three if you like a bite)
  • Sea salt to taste (a good brand here)

Pistachio Pesto Recipe Directions

Wash the basil leaves and let them dry well. You can use a salad spinner, which dries the basil leaves instantly (see more here.) You can also pat dry with a clean dish cloth or paper towels.

Grate your cheese. Peel your garlic cloves. Measure out your olive oil. Place all of the ingredients, except oil and salt, into a food processor.

Blend and slowly add the olive oil. Puree until all ingredients are well blended and in the consistency that you like.

Serve with hot pasta, spaghetti squash, toast, zucchini “noodles,” and anything else that sounds good. Pesto is great cold or hot. You can store leftover pesto in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. You can also store in ice cube trays and freeze. (This is a great way to portion out any leftovers, so you don’t have to defrost a giant batch.)


Why Use Pistachios?

The pistachio adds a nice crunch and less oil to the recipe, since it’s one of the lower fat nuts. Additionally, the green nut perks up the pesto color into a vibrant spring green. It’s tasty and beautiful enough for a dinner party.

What About the Cheese?

Parmigiano Reggiano is a classic raw cheese from Italy that tastes divine in pesto. That said, this cheese is pricey. So if money is an issue, try regular parmesan or a parmesan/asiago blend for something a little more affordable that still has that little zip to give the pesto the flavor boost you’re looking for.

When it comes down to it, the most important thing about the cheese is to pick an aged, dry cheese. If you do that, you can’t really go wrong when it comes to this recipe.

How about you? What’s your favorite pesto recipe?

Share with us in the comments below!