Minimalist Vegan Walnut Pesto With Parsley And Dill

vegan walnut pesto display

Pestos are a thing of the Mediterranean, and this vegan walnut pesto with greens does not make any exception. Do you remember pesto Genovese?

Yes, that means you can go ahead and explore with every green and nut you have in your pantry.

mediterranean pesto

But you should get yourself this fantastic and easiest walnut pesto recipe too, and have a happy winter with green summerish spots in almost everything you will eat: pizza, pasta, rice, salad dressings, toasts, chicken, fish, meat.

pesto toast

Here are some reasons why I love this vegan walnut pesto:

  • You get the best use of seasonal ingredients.
  • It is very quick to prepare. You only need a food processor.
  • No cooking needed.
  • Made with only a few ingredients. In this case, 5 ingredients.
  • Very easy to store in the fridge or even freeze it.

Vegan Walnut Pesto With Greens Ingredients

parsley walnut pesto ingredients
  1. Of course, walnuts. They are in season now, so let’s make the most out of it because they are the best for our brain and heart.
  2. Parsley. Its versatile taste goes all around your dishes, from salads to soups, stews, and pesto too!
  3. Dill. I like that green grassy color it has, and I find it brings a pinch of freshness to this pesto.
  4. Garlic. I don’t like garlicly flavors pestos, so here I only used one clove just to add some sharpness.
  5. Lemon and Olive Oil. We want a dash of acid in this consistency, because lemon and olive oil make a good combo when it comes to preparing a pesto we are going to preserve as well.
  6. Vegan Parmisan. The non-vegan is also delicious!

FAQ About Walnut Pesto

vegan walnut pesto consistency

Does This Walnut Pesto Have Basil?

No! This easy walnut pesto is without basil. Here are the reasons:

Mediterranean basil is very aromatic and intense. It revives the flavors of every ingredient on a plate. In a classic vegan pesto, basil goes best with pine nuts.

Basil and walnut are not the best combinations because walnut is mild and bitter, and basil in the pesto would fade walnut flavor away. But we want the opposite.

We want a walnut-dominant vegan pesto, and we want it to be green too.

parsley walnut pesto

So, we chose those herbs that taste a little peppery, clean, with a touch of earthiness that makes it all around the kitchen. We chose parsley and dill.

These herbs that you sometimes describe as “tasteless”😅 will help enhance that mild, bitterly earthy taste walnuts have.

greens pesto

Also, basil leaves get dark very soon. If you want every herb to preserve that beautiful, lively green color, first put them in boiling water for 5 seconds and then transfer them into the ice water bath.

However, this is not the procedure I chose to follow because walnuts contribute in a dark color anyway.

How To Reduce The Bitterness Of Walnuts?

unshelled walnuts

The easiest and most efficient way for reducing the bitterness is by toasting walnuts in the oven for 10 minutes at 350F. After that, rub them gently with a towel until you remove their skin.

Another option is boiling them. This second process takes longer, and it is not the best thing to do if you intend to make a pesto.

parsley walnut pesto

Pestos come in small quantities, and end very soon, so don’t take the hard way.

Is It Possible To Make An Oil-Free Pesto?

how to make pesto with herbs and nuts

It is an option (I do not suggest).

Pesto consists of a particular combination of nuts and greens, which come together with some good olive oil. I am not saying an oil-free pesto is impossible.

It, of course, is, but you are going to have to choose some other ingredients to play the oil’s role. I can mention nutritional yeast or agar-agar powder.

pesto consistency

Olive oil is the natural thickener of pestos and is such a good infuser for all the tastes developing in a jar.

herbs pesto with nuts

Oil-free pestos will not have the same longevity as pestos with olive oil. They do not last as long in the fridge or freezer as regular pestos with oils. You need to consume them faster and always give them another mix before eating.

This walnut pesto with olive oil can last up to 3 weeks in the fridge and six months in the freezer. In contrast, you can keep oil-free pestos for up to 3 days in the refrigerator and up to three months in the freezer.

How To Use Walnut Pesto?

In endless ways! First, toast! When I say toast, I mean a toasted sandwich too. Spread a nice thick layer and then add the other ingredients.

vegan parsley walnut pesto toast

You can add half a tablespoon on a pizza toast veggie or even in other savory breakfast toasts. They go perfect with pickles too!

Next, use it as an extra (secret) ingredient to a salad dressing, as it adds beautiful green color to the sauce, very similar to the green of avocado. You only need to add half a tablespoon.

I’m showing you a picture of a dressing I used for another boiled carrots salad so that you see how much pesto you need to add to a dressing recipe.

salad dressing with pesto

Vegan walnut pesto would also go great with this summer green salad or even another mixed green salad I made earlier.

Then, on top of pizzas, right before serving. Or use parsley walnut pesto for the base, and then experiment with other ingredients.

At least, they would go great with chickens, fish, or meat. Adding pesto in kinds of pasta or risottos would make a quick and lick-the-fingers dinner as well.

How To Store Pestos?

walnut pesto in a jar

The most traditional way to store pestos is to fill a clean glass jar to almost the very top, cover with olive oil, and put it in the fridge.

The layer of olive oil prevents the pesto from getting any mold and keeps the pesto green.

If you want to freeze it, put pesto into the ice trays with a tablespoon. Another option is plastic freezer bags. It is safe to use even after 6-9 months.

pesto in ice trays

Dairy-Free Vegan Pesto?

It is possible to make a vegan-friendly pesto and not add any cheese. Instead of cheese, use bread crumbs for crunchiness.

how to freeze pesto

Many kinds of cheese come in a vegan option, but if you still do not feel like going for it, use bread crumbs, and do not forget to check for salt.

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vegan walnut pesto

Minimalist Vegan Walnut Pesto With Parsley And Dill

  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 people 1x


Units Scale
  • 3 cups walnuts (unshelled)
  • 1 1/2 cups parsley
  • 1/2 cups dill
  • 1/3 cups parmigiano cheese (vegan or non-vegan)
  • 1 cup olive oil (about 230 – 250 ml)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Add all ingredients in a food processor and mix until you have a thick paste.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer, Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: green pesto, parsley walnut pesto, pesto, vegan pesto, walnut pesto


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