Pasta With Pistachio Pesto

This article has links to products that we may make commission from.
  • 1
     votes
  • 0 Comments
  • Jump to Recipe

This Pasta With Pistachio Pesto uses a deliciously unique pistachio basil pesto as a sauce for any pasta you love, like spaghetti or pappardelle.

» You might also like Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo and Easy & Elegant Lobster Ravioli Sauce.

Pasta with pistachio pesto on a plate

Pistachio Basil Pesto is a delicious and versatile sauce that can be used in a variety of dishes. This recipe is easy to make and requires only a few simple ingredients. The pistachios adds a unique, nutty flavor to the sauce, while the fresh basil and garlic create the beloved fragrant and aromatic taste.

Pistachio Pesto can be used in all the same ways you would a basil pesto. In this recipe, we’ve used it as a sauce for pasta. It’s as easy as tossing the pasta with the pesto and putting it on the plate. Simple and easy, but incredibly delicious.

The sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge making it a convenient option for busy weeknight dinners. You can even freeze it in ice cube trays if you make a lot and use it for months!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ingredients for pistachio basil pesto
  • Pasta – In this recipe, we’ve used spaghetti, but you can use any pasta you like, such as paccheri, pappardelli, or tagliatelle.
  • Shelled Pistachios – It’s easiest to buy already shelled nuts, but you can also just shell them yourself. I buy lightly salted nuts from Trader Joes.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Fresh is best for this recipe. It can be finely grated or in small chunks.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – You need a high quality, nice tasting olive oil. The better the ingredients you use, the better the pesto will taste.
  • Basil Leaves – Use around 25 leaves of sweet basil.
  • Lemon Juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice only!
  • Garlic – Adding fresh garlic really boosts the flavor profile and adds a slight bite to the sauce. I always remove the inner stem of the clove before adding it to remove bitterness.
  • Salt & Ground Black Pepper – Add to taste.

How to Make Pistachio Pesto Pasta

In a medium pot, boil the pasta according to the package instructions. When al dente, reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.

Chop the pistachios and Parmesan cheese together in a food processor or food chopper until finely chopped. 

pistachios in the food processor.

Add the olive oil, basil leaves, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper, and blend until well combined.

pesto in the food processor

Pour the pistachio pesto into the pot with the pasta. Stir to coat the pasta. Add a little bit of the starchy pasta water and stir until the pasta is a bit creamy.

Serve with chopped pistachios and additional shredded Parmesan as garnish, if desired.

Pasta with pistachio pesto on a plate

Additional Helpful Tips

  • Use fresh and high-quality ingredients for the best flavor.
  • You need to use a food processor for the best results, as it will create a smooth and consistent texture. I use this Ninja Food Chopper and it’s the perfect size.
  • If the pesto is too thick, add a little bit of water or more oil to thin it out.
  • Freeze any leftover pesto in ice cube trays for easy portioning. Once it’s frozen, you can remove it from the trays and keep it in an air tight bag or container.
  • Use good quality Parmesan cheese for optimal flavor.

How Else to Use Pistachio Pesto

pasta with pistachio basil pesto

We use this pistachio pesto in many ways. It’s very versatile and can be used on so many things. Here are a few ideas to try:

  • Use it as a sauce for pasta
  • A dip for vegetables or bread
  • A spread for sandwiches
  • A topping for grilled meats or seafood
  • Serve on top of burrata with chopped tomatoes
A bowl of pistachio basil pesto

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I store the pesto?

Store the pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.  For longer storage, freeze in ice cube trays and use a freezer bag for up to 2 months.

Can I use a blender instead of a food processor?

A blender can be used to make this pesto, along with a food chopper or stick blender attachment. If using a blender, you may need to stop and scrape down the sides several times.

Can I add other ingredients to the pesto?

Yes, you can add other ingredients, such as sun-dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers, for a different flavor profile. If you want to spice it up, you can add red pepper flakes or a jalapeno.

How much pesto does this recipe make?

This recipe yields about 3/4 cup of pesto, but you can easily double or triple the recipe to make more if needed. This amount goes a long way, as you don’t need a lot of pesto to give a ton of flavor to your dish.

Can I use a different type of oil instead of olive oil?

Yes, you can use a different type of oil, such as avocado oil or grapeseed oil, but olive oil provides the best flavor for this recipe so I recommend sticking with olive oil.

Can I make the pesto ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the pesto ahead of time and store it in the fridge until ready to use. The pesto will keep for at least a week or two in the refrigerator. If you freeze it, it’s easy to reheat it or bring it back up to temperature just by setting it out for about 30 minutes.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

4.7 from 10 votes
Easy Cilantro Lime Rice
5 from 4 votes
Instant Pot Peach Iced Tea
4.8 from 10 votes
The Best Honey Mustard Dressing Recipe
4.9 from 11 votes
Delicious Pesto Tagliatelle Pasta Recipe

Like it, Love it, Want Some More of It? Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. We really love it when you save our recipes to Pinterest 😊

Pasta with pistachio pesto on a plate

Pasta With Pistachio Pesto

This Pasta With Pistachio Pesto uses a deliciously unique pistachio basil pesto as a sauce for any pasta you love, like spaghetti or pappardelle.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 Servings
Calories: 467kcal
Author: Laura Lynch

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces dried spaghetti
  • 1/2 ounce shelled pistachios about 25 nuts
  • 1/2 ounce parmesan cheese grated
  • 3 tablespoons high quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 15 basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  • In a medium pot, boil the pasta according to the package instructions. When al dente, reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  • Chop the pistachios and Parmesan cheese together in a food processor or blender cup until finely chopped.
  • Add the olive oil, basil leaves, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper, and blend until well combined.
  • Pour the pistachio pesto into the pot with the pasta. Stir to coat. Add a little bit of pasta water and stir until the pasta is a bit creamy.
  • Serve with chopped pistachios and additional shredded Parmesan as garnish, if desired.

Equipment Needed

Notes

  • Use fresh and high-quality ingredients for the best flavor.
  • You need to use a food processor for the best results, as it will create a smooth and consistent texture. I use this Ninja Food Chopper and it’s the perfect size.
  • If the pesto is too thick, add a little bit of water or more oil to thin it out.
  • Freeze any leftover pesto in ice cube trays for easy portioning. Once it’s frozen, you can remove it from the trays and keep it in an air tight bag or container.
  • Use good quality Parmesan cheese for optimal flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 467kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 409mg | Potassium: 225mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 244IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 1mg

Pin this recipe for later

Pasta with pistachio pesto on a plate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating