My Walnut Cilantro Pesto is a flavorful and nutritious recipe and a wonderful addition to your meal prep routine. Using simple, yet healthy ingredients like walnuts, fresh cilantro, garlic and extra virgin olive oil, this pesto adds a nutrient boost to your favorite dish.
This recipe has a nice twist to traditional pesto of basil and pine nuts, using walnuts and cilantro (coriander) in their place. Walnuts are a fantastic source of omega 3 fatty acids and what could be a more delicious way of eating them in pesto! I love using pesto tossed through pasta, mixed into a salad dressing or used as a dip for veggie sticks and crackers. For more pesto inspired recipes you might like to try my Sweet Potato Lentil Salad with Pesto Salad Dressing or my Dairy Free Pesto Recipe.
What's to Love About This Recipe
- versatile - this cilantro walnut pesto is versatile and can be used in a range of different ways. Serve over roasted vegetables, use as a salad dressing, toss through your favorite pastas and smother chicken in it and bake it.
- nutritious - with healthy fats from both the extra-virgin olive oil and the walnuts and a range of nutrients in cilantro like vitamin A, C and K, this classic Italian sauce is highly nutritious.
- flavorsome - this smooth sauce has a ton of flavor with the cilantro giving it a delicious twist.
Ingredients Notes & Substitutions
This cilantro pesto recipe uses just a handful of easy to find ingredients, just like classic pesto. Read on to see what ingredients you will need as well as any notes and possible substitutions. The ingredient quantities can be found at the bottom of this post in the recipe card.
- fresh cilantro - if you're not a fan of cilantro you can also use different herbs. Try fresh basil, fresh Italian parsley or even kale. Pesto is very versatile in this way!
- walnuts - you can use either raw or toasted walnuts in this recipe, depending on your personal preference. I used raw as I was planning on using this pesto to toss through vegetables to roast.
- parmesan cheese - if you're wanting to avoid dairy then see my dairy free pesto recipe, where I've used nutritional yeast instead of parmesan.
- fresh garlic clove - I've used one garlic clove but if you like things super garlicky then you can always add another one.
- extra virgin olive oil - pesto isn't really pesto without olive oil right? You could also try making this recipe with macadamia oil or avocado oil though.
- sea salt flakes & cracked black pepper - season with salt and pepper to taste.
How to Make Cilantro Walnut Pesto
One of the things that I find so appealing about pesto is, not only the delicious taste, but how little effort it takes to make. Here's how it's done.
First, add the peeled garlic clove, fresh cilantro including the stems but not the roots), walnuts, olive oil, salt, pepper and parmesan (cubed) to a high speed blender or to the bowl of a food processor.
Place the lid onto the food processor and blend on a high speed. Once you have a course texture, remove the lid and scrape down the sides.
Pop the lid back on and blend until you have a smooth, thick sauce. Or until you've reached your desired consistency.
There's a few different ways of storing this walnut cilantro pesto. You can place it into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Or you can spoon it into ice cube trays and freeze. Once the cubes are frozen, pop each cube out into a freezer bag and store in the freezer. Freeze for up to one year.
- High speed food processor
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Sharp knife
- Airtight container
- 100 grams cilantro roots removed
- 1 clove garlic peeled
- ⅓ cup olive oil extra virgin
- 50 grams parmesan cheese cubed
- 1 cup walnuts
- sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste
- Add the cilantro leaves, walnuts, cubed parmesan, olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper to a food processor.
- Place the lid onto the food processor and blend on high. Take the lid off and use a spatula to scrape down the sides.
- Place the lid back onto the food processor and blend on high to reach your desired consistency.
- Transfer the pesto to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.