How To Make Basil And Pecan Pesto And 8 Ways To eat It!

I Love Pecans! I will go out on a limb and say they are probably my favourite nut! So instead of using the traditional pine nut in my pesto, I gave it a try with Pecans instead! It turned out great! It gives my homemade Pesto a buttery rich, oaky flavour…if your a fan of Pecans you’ll love this recipe!

Basil and pecan pesto recipe

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A Little Pesto History

Pesto goes way back! Were talking ancient Rome! Back then, they served a paste like food called moretum, which was a combination of crushed garlic, salt, cheese, herbs and olive oil…on occasion they would add nuts too. This was the first early version of what we now call Pesto!

In the middle ages the people of Genoa, a city in Italy enjoyed a sauce called agliata which consisted of mashed Garlic and walnuts. It was a pungent, savory garlic sauce, mostly used to flavour grilled or boiled meats, fish and vegetables.

The introduction of Basil as the the main ingredient of modern pesto, did not occur until much later in the mid-19th century when gastronomist Giovanni Battista Ratto published the recipe for ‘pesto alla genovese’ in his book La Cuciniera Genovese in 1863….

Original Pesto Genovese Recipe by Giovanni Battista Ratto

“Take a clove of garlic, basil or, when that is lacking, marjoram and parsley, grated Dutch and Parmigiano cheese and mix them with pine nuts and crush it all together in a mortar with a little butter until reduced to a paste. Then dissolve it with good and abundant oil. Lasagne and Trofie are dressed with this mash, made more liquid by adding a little hot water without salt.”

Pesto was widely enjoyed in Italy, but did not really gain momentum beyond Italy until the late 1920’s when Pesto recipes began circulating in American newspapers….Us Brits were a little slow to the table! Can you believe that it took until 1991, for us to realise the delights of Pesto! That year, sacla launched the first mass produced Pesto into british supermarkets and from then… we were hooked!

Basil and Pecan Pesto Recipe

8 Ways To Eat Pesto

I feel we don’t make the most of this delicious concoction! Most people will assume it’s main purpose is as a pasta accompaniment..simply stir into your spaghetti or fusilli and your off! And of course your right! It is wonderful with Pasta! But did you know there are 7 other ways to use it?…

  1. Stir Into Soup- To add a burst of nutty, herby flavour!
  2. Spread on to fresh Bread Or Toast- I particular like it smeared on cream cheese! Add a couple of slices of tomatoes too!
  3. Use as a Dip- Dip in Celery or Carrot sticks, breadsticks or even doritos!
  4. Add to Veggies- Coat Roasted vegetables in Pesto…delicious!
  5. Stuff Chicken Breast with pesto and Bake!
  6. Serve with Eggs
  7. Stir Into Mashed Potatoes
  8. Stir into cooked pasta

What You’ll need to make this recipe

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How To Make Basil and Pecan Pesto

(**As always the full detailed recipe can be found at the end of the post on the recipe card)


  • Fresh Basil
  • Pecans
  • Cloves of garlic
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper

Basil Pesto Recipe


1. Weigh out all your ingredients

2. Place all the ingredients in the food processor and whizz! Pulse a few times until a grainy texture forms

Basil pecan pesto recipe

3. If there are remnants stuck on the side of the bowl, scrape them down with a rubber spatula and pulse again

4. Spoon the pesto into clean, sterile jars and store in the fridge

3 Ways To Sterilise Jars And Bottles

Boil– Fill a pan with cold water until the jars are covered. Bring to the boil, then continue to boil for 10 minutes, turn the heat off, then cover the pan to keep the jars warm until you are ready to fill them.

Dishwasher-Remove any rubber seals and lids, place on the dishwasher rack and run a hot wash. Do not put any cleaning solutions in your dishwasher. Time your dishwasher to finish when you’re ready to fill the jars.

Oven-Heat oven to 140C. Wash the jars in hot, soapy water, rinse well. Place the jars on a baking tray and put them in the oven to dry completely. If using Kilner type jars, boil the rubber seals, do not put them in the oven, the dry heat will damage them.

Basil and Pecan Pesto

How Long Will Homemade Basil and Pecan Pesto Keep?

Store in the fridge and use within 1 week

Can You Roast The Pecans first?

Absolutely! If you would prefer Roasted Pecans in your Pesto, simply- Preheat the oven to 180 c. Spread the pecans on a lined baking sheet and bake until fragrant, around 7 minutes. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool a little before adding to the food processor

Not a fan of Pecans ?

You can Substitute with Pine nuts, Walnuts, Almonds, Pistachios or even sunflower seeds!

Looking For Other Simple Savoury Recipes? Try These…

Want to Grow Your Own Herbs ?

Grow Your Own Food!

Looking For more ‘Homely’ Inspo ?

Have a Nosey Around the Blog! See what i’ve been BakingGrowing and Brewing! 

Did you make this recipe?

If so, please leave a rating and comment below, I would love to know how you got on. Did you take a picture? Great! Tag me on Instagram, I love to share your creations on my stories.

Basil and Pecan Pesto

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time1 minute
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 24


  • 60 g Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 130 g Pecans
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 45 g Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 170 ml Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Pinch Black Pepper


  • Weigh out all your ingredients
  • Place all the ingredients in the food processor and whizz! Pulse a few times until a grainy texture forms
  • If there are remnants stuck on the side of the bowl, scrape them down with a rubber spatula and pulse again
  • Spoon the pesto into clean, sterile jars and store in the fridge for up to 1 week

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