If you love pesto, you’re going to love parsley pesto. Parsley pesto is a spin on traditional pesto and similar to my kale pesto recipe.
Best, you’ll just need 5 ingredients: parsley, walnuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, and olive oil. And you’ll be amazed at how yummy it tastes.
While store-bought pesto (which are mostly basil pestos) can be nice, I’ve often found that making pesto at home is one of those things I just love to do myself.
There are so many uses for pesto. Serving it as the side with roasted salmon is just one idea. Another classic use is pasta and pesto.
- Parsley. I used flat-leaf parsley, but you can also use curly leaf parsley.
- Walnuts. These are pre-chopped and don’t contain any added salt.
- Parmesan Cheese
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
How to Make Pesto Parsley
- Chop one cup of walnuts.
- Peel one clove of garlic.
- Use a cheese grater to shred 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
- Place the parsley leaves, garlic, grated Parmesan, and chopped walnuts into your food processor.
- Pulse several times until the mixture has combined well. Add the extra virgin olive oil and run the processor on high until the ingredients turn into a smooth pesto.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
Tips and Tricks
If you are new to the world of making homemade pesto, you’ll want to know how long does homemade pesto last?
The answer is about 4 to 5 days. If you’ve made a big batch, you can also freeze which extends the shelf life to several months.
One neat way of freezing pesto is by filling the pesto into an ice cube tray. Pop the ice cube tray into the fridge and once the parsley pesto is frozen solid, pop the pesto cubes into a freezer bag. This works great if you are planning to use the pesto as a pasta sauce later. It’s a great method to keep portion control in check.
If you don’t like walnuts, you can substitute pine nuts. But I mostly use walnuts for all of my pesto, because the chances that I’ll have a bag of walnuts in our fridge are higher than a bag of pine nuts.
The fridge you wonder? Yes, a few years ago I began to store all of my nuts in the fridge. The reason is that nuts have a high percentage of oil and can become rancid more quickly, especially during warm summer months.
Another alternative for walnuts is to use almonds or cashews.
Make it Nut-free
If you are trying to avoid nuts, you can use pepitas or sunflower seeds instead of walnuts.
Make it vegan
Yes!!! You can easily make a vegan pesto. I recommend using cashew nuts (they become very creamy) and nutritional yeast (instead of parmesan cheese). This recipe is good if you are looking to make a traditional vegan pesto.
Parsley is high in antioxidants, can improve heart health, and even has cancer-fighting properties.
Walnuts are also rich in antioxidants and a good source for plant-based Omega-3s. Among the many health benefits, walnuts may help to have a healthy gut, lower blood pressure, and may also reduce inflammation.
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CHEESE GRATER – You can always opt to buy shredded parmesan, but just keep in mind that it’s more expensive and the quality isn’t as good as when you buy a block of parmesan cheese. Why? Because pre-shredded Parmesan tends to also include extra fillers to maintain freshness.
Ideas to Use Parsley Pesto
- CRACKERS – Serve your parsley pesto as a dip with crackers.
- BAKED POTATOES – You can add a tablespoon of fresh pesto to your baked potatoes (I even like to top a dollop of pesto on a hard-boiled egg).
- PASTA – Simply mix it into fresh pasta (we love it with fresh linguine)
- PIZZA SAUCE – are you tired of traditional red pizza sauce, replace it with some fresh parsley pesto.
- DEVILED EGGS – Yes, deviled eggs! Perfect as a Halloween a or St. Patrick’s Day snack!
- SANDWICHES – Works great as a spread for tons of sandwiches.
- STEAK – serve your favorite steak with a small side of pesto … and a baked potato -> delish!
You can also add pesto to a creamy white pasta sauce like our Alfredo sauce.
- Combine fresh parsley, walnuts, garlic, and parmesan, and extra virgin olive oil in your favorite food processor.
- Process all ingredients on high until they have combined.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.