JMac's Pesto Recipe

I'm not normally a pesto fan; I think in most recipes the basil taste is overpowering for the dish as a whole, distracting from the other ingredients. Additionally, it's kind of expensive to make, due to the fresh basil and pine nuts. Especially the pine nuts. However, it's about as low in carbs as a pasta sauce can be (though somewhat high calorie, due to the olive oil base)—the nuts are the only ingredient with a significant number.

So in an attempt to make the sauce palatable to myself, I added a little onion, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper; and used both dried and fresh basil. Additionally, I used far more affordable walnuts instead of pine nuts. It turned out really well, I think. I've used it on zucchini noodles and a cauliflower-crust pizza so far, both of which were tasty.

Special Equipment
Food processor


  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp dried basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shelled walnuts
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder


  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients
  2. Pulse until smooth
  3. Serve immediately

Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Can store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months



Serving size: 2 tbsp
Calories: 167
Fat: 17g
Cholesterol: 6mg
Sodium: 143mg
Potassium: 37mg
Carbohydrates: 2g
Protein: 4g
Vitamin A: 6%
Vitamin C: 1%
Calcium: 12%
Iron: 4%