Basil and Pistachio Pesto


Are you looking for a pesto recipe that will make your taste buds dance with joy? Well, look no further! This basil and pistachio pesto recipe is anything but traditional, and it’s my absolute favorite.

The secret to this pesto’s unique flavor is the addition of two key ingredients: pistachio nuts and Pecorino romano cheese. While you can use a variety of ingredients to make pesto, basil is a classic choice. But in this recipe, we’re taking it up a notch by adding pistachio nuts instead of pine nuts. Pistachios give the pesto a nutty, buttery flavor that really makes it stand out. And instead of the typical Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, we’re using Pecorino romano to give the sauce a salty, rich, savory taste.

This zesty, creamy, vibrant pesto can be used on anything from pasta to fresh bread and even lamb. Once you try this pesto, you might never go back to traditional pesto again.

Watch the Basil and Pistachio Pesto video recipe:


How to Make Next Level Basil Pesto with Secret Ingredient

 Basil and Pistachio Pesto 

Vincenzo’s Plate Tips.

Choose High-Quality Basil

Basil, an herb, is sweet, pungent, and slightly spicy. Where you get it from matters, so make sure to find a nice farmer’s market, get it from a trusted grocery store, or — the best option — grow it yourself. You’ll need more basil than you think, and you only want to use the basil leaves, so make sure to remove the stem and wash the leaves thoroughly. (The stems are bitter, and you don’t want bitter pesto.)

Do Not Overheat the Basil

When basil gets too hot, it gets killed, and the flavor is ruined. So when blending the basil, you can go up to 20 seconds. (And even that is cutting it close.) You don’t need a mortar and pestle; a blender will work just fine, so long as you slowly add the basil one handful at a time and don’t go beyond 15-20 seconds of chopping in the blender.

Add More EVOO If Pesto Is Dry

If you get to the end of the recipe and find full basil leaves stuck to the top of the blender, drizzle in more extra virgin olive oil. This will help blend the rest of the ingredients together. Do not be afraid of olive oil – The more EVOO, often the better.

How to Serve Basil Pesto

To serve this tasty basil pesto, simply remove the pesto sauce from the blender and into a bowl. You can then use a spoon to spread onto slices of bread, add to a pan and mix with your pasta or lather on top of freshly made lamb cutlets. This portion will last up to two weeks’ but of course it depends how you use it.

How to store the pesto

To store the pesto, pour it into an air-tight container and put it in the fridge. It will ideally last two weeks, but you will most likely love it too much and finish it well before that. If you want to use it after two weeks, you might find a dark layer on the top of the pesto; just remove that part and simply use what’s underneath that dark layer. You can also help to keep it fresh by drizzling some EVOO on top after each use.

How to make Basil and Pistachio Pesto

Basil and Pistachio Pesto

Basil and Pistachio Pesto Recipe

This basil and pistachio pesto with Pecorino romano cheese is creamy, zesty, and nutty, making it the perfect addition to any dish. Once you've savored this recipe, you might never go back to traditional pesto again. Lather it on top of your next bruschetta, smother gnocchi in it or baste it on top of a roasted chicken – no matter how you serve it, you will definitely devour it!
3.50 from 2 votes


  • Blender
  • Spatula
  • Kitchen paper
  • bowl
  • Method


  • Extra virgin olive oil EVOO. As much as required
  • 1 garlic clove peeled
  • 50 grams Pistachio nuts 1.7oz
  • Large bunch Fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp pecorino romano grated finely
  • Salt As much as required


  • Set up your blender and add a generous amount of EVOO to it.
  • Add a clove of garlic and blend together.
  • Add pistachios and blend thoroughly until you start to get a creamy consistency.
  • Wash the basil and pat it dry using kitchen paper or a tea towel. Add two handfuls of basil to the blender and chop it into the mix by using the pulse option (or turning it on and off in quick spurts.
  • Once the first round of basil is mostly mixed in, add 3 tablespoons of pecorino romano and a few pinches of salt, then the rest of the basil.
  • Continue to pulse until most of the basil is mixed. If any is left, add some more EVOO, push down the basil leaves using a spatula and blend again until it is thick and creamy.
  • Pour the pesto out of the blender into a bowl, and you have a beautiful bowl of green happiness.
  • Grab a fresh loaf of bread or a hot plate of pasta and go heavy on the pesto!


Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!

Basil and Pistachio Pesto Vincenzo's Plate

This is a obviously a non-authentic version of Pesto, because we all know that the traditional one is Basil Pesto. If you are curious to try it too, here is my recipe:

How to make Basil Pesto


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6 Responses to Basil and Pistachio Pesto

  1. Dave August 18, 2023 at 8:55 AM #

    Approximately, in grams, how much Basil are you using?

    • Vincenzo's Plate August 23, 2023 at 2:45 AM #

      no exact amount, you can add as much as you want. The sky is the limit for this recipe.

  2. Arenato November 30, 2023 at 7:09 AM #

    2 stars
    Pesto in a blender is a real sacrilège

    • Vincenzo's Plate December 1, 2023 at 4:17 PM #

      I say, as long as the flavors dance on your palate, let the pesto party begin, whether in a mortar or a blender!

  3. Bram April 1, 2024 at 9:13 PM #

    5 stars

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 2, 2024 at 10:05 AM #

      Ciao Bram! I’m so thrilled you found the recipe. I hope you’ll give this a try!

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