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A small bowl of bright green pistachio pesto, topped with a few chopped pistachios and a small basil leaf, with a teaspoon lifting our a small portion of pesto.

5 Minute Pistachio Pesto

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Nyssa Tanner
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings (2/3 cup) 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This 5-minute pistachio pesto is a fresh and herbaceous twist on a classic pesto recipe. Made in a food processor or blender with fresh basil, sweet pistachios, zippy garlic, and olive oil. It’s the perfect versatile sauce to have on hand for a quick dinner, lunch, or appetizer! Gluten free, vegan, low carb, keto friendly, paleo, and Whole30 compatible.


  • 2 tightly packed cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste (if your pistachios are salted you may want to use less)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil


  1. Process the dry ingredients. Add all ingredients except olive oil to food processor or blender container and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped, stopping to scrape down the sides if needed. If using a blender, you may want to use the tamper to push ingredients into the blades to process.
  2. Add olive oil. With the blades running, add olive oil in a slow stream until pesto is well combined, relatively smooth, and creamy. Depending on how textured vs. creamy you like your pesto, you can process it for more or less time.
  3. Season and serve. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to one week with a little layer of olive oil on top of the pesto, or with a layer of plastic film over the top to keep out the air and prevent oxidation. Enjoy!


This recipe makes enough pesto for 10-12 ounces of dried pasta.

Many traditional basil pesto recipes call for parmesan cheese, but because the other ingredients in this recipe already provide such a lovely depth of flavor, I chose to leave it out. If you want to add some cheese, 1/4 cup of parmesan or pecorino would be delicious!

To keep your pesto from oxidizing and turning brown smooth out the top of the sauce and add a thin layer of olive oil to prevent contact with air. Simply stir the oil into the pesto before using.

Alternatively, you can press a small piece of plastic wrap into the top of the pesto for the same purpose.

If you want to store pesto for longer, it can be frozen for up to six months. 

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Food processor
  • Cuisine: Italian