Kick up your classic basil pesto recipe by swapping out pine nuts for pistachios and adding in freshly roasted garlic for an extra layer of flavor!
I L O V E pesto sauce so much. It’s amazing to toss into pasta or zoods, pizza, or pork chops; or chicken…or anything! But I’m beginning my next Whole 30 on Sunday, and I needed a dairy-free pesto to put on all the meals, and this Pistachio Pesto fits the bill. Plus, I added in roasted garlic (gimme), and lots of fresh lemon, and I don’t even miss the cheese that you’ll normally taste in most pesto recipes. P.S. get a free eBook now with fifteen Whole 30 recipes to make at home (these recipes are also paleo and low-carb friendly!)
Over the summer, I can generally coax Jason into grilling our protein for the week on Sunday, and this Pistachio Pesto tastes good tossed over grilled veggies and pretty much any meat. So while he’s outside sweating to death, I can whip up this pesto sauce in my food processor with the A/C running. I win.
I swapped out pine nuts for pistachios mainly because pistachios were less expensive than pine nuts. Plus, I don’t know why I feel this way, but pistachios feel more like summer to me. Can a nut feel like a season to you? Or am I just insane? Whatever.
Then! There’s this roasted garlic; let’s discuss. So okay, I started roasting garlic years ago in the toaster oven when I’d make homemade ranch dressing. From there it went into other creamy dressings like Caesar, and I never looked back. Since I’m omitting parmesan cheese in this pesto recipe, I thought tossing in roasted garlic bulbs sounded like a realllly good idea. It did not disappoint! Truthfully, you don’t have to roast your garlic for this Pistachio Pesto, but if you think you’d like it….DO IT. I promise you’ll thank me later.
If you’re following a Whole 30 when you make this Roasted Garlic Pistachio Pesto: make sure the pistachios are compliant. I snagged a giant bag from Costco where the only ingredients were roasted pistachios and sea salt. Pistachios are an occasional fat that is allowed, and since we’re not eating these by the handful, they’re good in my book.
If you’re going the low-carb approach, these pistachios are still a great option, and again cheaper than pine nuts #win. Enjoy!
Items used to make this recipe:
roasted garlic pistachio pesto
- 1 head of garlic
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 5 cloves roasted garlic
- ¼ cup pistachios*
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Kosher salt and pepper - to taste
- Preheat your toaster oven to 400°F (can also use actual oven)
- Peel and discard the papery outer layers of the whole garlic bulb, leaving intact the skins of the individual cloves of garlic. Using a sharp knife, cut a ½ inch from the top, exposing the individual cloves.
- Place the garlic heads in a baking pan, cut side up. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover the bulb with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Allow garlic to cool before use.
- Place basil, garlic, and pistachios into a food processor. Pulse until mixture is smooth. Once smooth, with the processor still running, slowly pour in the olive oil and lemon juice, Process until the mixture is smooth, you may need to scrape down the sides of the food processor. season with salt and pepper, to taste.
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