Easy almond pesto recipe
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- Dish type
- Side dish
This is the easiest pesto recipe, using almonds instead of pine nuts. It is also dairy free, and therefore vegan!
369 people made this
- 25g (1 oz) almonds
- 3 cloves garlic
- 50g (2 oz) fresh basil leaves
- 100ml (4 fl oz) olive oil
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
MethodPrep:2min ›Cook:10min ›Ready in:12min
- In a dry frying pan over medium heat, lightly toast the almonds, stirring frequently. Watch carefully so they do not burn.
- In a food processor, combine toasted almonds, garlic, basil, olive oil, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Process until a coarse purée is formed.
If you prefer, you can toast the almonds in the oven on low heat.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(373)
Reviews in English (288)
Took shortcuts.I simply toasted almonds on a hot, dry frying pan until lightly toasted and fragrant. Forget the oven!-07 Aug 2008
This was so easy to put together. It was great. Thanks for a great recipe! Oh, I also added a little parmesean cheese 'cause I like it!-07 Aug 2008
Altered ingredient amounts.I would add more garlic and less oil next time.-07 Aug 2008
Spinach Almond Pesto
Spinach almond pesto, a milder alternative to the classic basil pine nut pesto, is a cinch to make. Toss spinach, roasted almonds, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor and buzz until smooth. Ten minutes and you’re done.
Adapted from Joy Wilson | Over Easy | Clarkson Potter, 2017
This pesto made, surprisingly, from spinach and almond pesto is every iota as versatile as traditional basil and pine nut pesto. Dollop the less overtly herbaceous pesto atop scrambled eggs, sandwiches, grilled meats, soups, and, natch, pasta. And we’re willing to bet you already have all the ingredients on hand. Rest assured, the amounts in the recipe below are approximates. A little more or less of anything—or everything—won’t make a difference.–Angie Zoobkoff
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This pesto gives a nice little unexpected punch to pizzas, pastas, and steamed vegetables. Spoon it on baked tofu or fish tacos, or fold it into scrambled eggs—it even elevates a plain old salami and cheddar sandwich.
- 1 Combine everything in the bowl of a food processor and process for 30 seconds on high.
- 2 Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, then process for 30 seconds more. Transfer to a serving bowl, or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
- 1 (16 ounce) package linguine pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups Original Unsweetened Almond Breeze Almondmilk
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (Optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Chopped fresh basil, for serving
- 1 small bunch kale, stems removed, roughly chopped
- ½ cup fresh basil
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup roasted salted almonds
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
In a Dutch oven or large pasta pot, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta water, rinse and return to pot. Set aside.
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, saute shallots and garlic in olive oil until softened and fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with a hefty pinch of salt and pepper. Add flour, coating shallot and garlic to start a roux. Slowly pour in Almond Breeze, whisking constantly until smooth, and bring mixture to a simmer. Let cook for an additional 5 to 8 minutes, or until thickened. Add lemon juice and nutritional yeast, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Blending will help the sauce thicken.
While sauce is cooking, pulse pesto ingredients in a blender or food processor, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula, until mixture is smooth. Season to taste, and set aside.
To finish, combine sauce, 1/2 cup of the kale almond pesto and pasta, and stir until well mixed. Serve on plates or in deep bowls, and garnish with extra Parmesan cheese and basil.
The Almond Pesto:
This recipe calls for a homemade pesto that uses almonds instead of pine nuts. Almonds are less expensive and easier to find so it’s a win/win! These zoodles have an excellent fat to protein ratio for a low carb/keto lifestyle and makes this meal filling enough to be a complete vegetarian meal!
This Cilantro Pesto Is the Perfect Sandwich Secret Weapon
If you’re a fan of the namesake herb, this easy cilantro pesto recipe with almonds may just be your new favorite condiment.
Cilantro has its haters, sure, but even if you adore it, it can be hard to use up a whole bunch before it starts to go slimy and brown. Making pesto, chimichurri, or another green sauce is a great way to use up fresh herbs in general, and cilantro is no exception to the rule. Former Chowhound photographer Chris Rochelle whipped up this recipe back in 2014, but it still tastes as fresh as ever.
Cuisinart 3-Cup Mini Prep Plus Food Processor, $39.95 from Sur La Table
You'll need a food processor, but a small size is fine.
Related Reading on CNET: The Best Food Processor for 2020
How to Use Cilantro Pesto
From Chris: “Tired of mustard and mayo on a sandwich? This pesto gives a really nice punch to a salami and cheddar. I’ve also tried it on pizza, pastas, and steamed vegetables, tossed it with baked tofu, and spooned it in tacos. I even put it on scrambled eggs. As a secret flavor weapon, it’s on point.”
You could also twirl it with cold noodles and slivered, crisp veggies add it to burritos smear it on grilled corn or use it as a condiment on steak, chicken, or fish. Or mix some into mayo for a dipping sauce, or to stir into shrimp or chicken salad.
How to Make Cilantro-Almond Pesto
- 1 bunch (about 3 1/2 ounces) cilantro, including stems
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup toasted unsalted almonds
- 4 medium garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
1. Combine everything in the bowl of a food processor and process for 30 seconds on high.
2. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, then process for 30 more seconds. Done.
Stored in an airtight container, this will last for a week in the fridge.
For a couple other herb sauce ideas, check out:
And for more ways to use cilantro (including the stems that so often go to waste), try this Thai grilled chicken recipe, or this three-ingredient seasoning paste.
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 pound penne, (or other short tubular pasta)
- 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen peas, thawed
- 1/2 cup blanched almonds
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions, adding 1 package of peas during last minute of cooking time. Reserve 1 cup pasta water drain pasta and peas, and return to pot.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, finely grind almonds. Add lemon zest and juice, remaining package of peas, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt process until well combined. With motor running, gradually add oil process until smooth.
Add almond-pea pesto to pasta toss to coat, adding reserved pasta water (as needed) to adjust consistency of sauce. Season with salt and pepper serve.
Why is My Pesto Turning Brown?
While homemade pesto is super easy to make it will oxidize when exposed to air or heated up.
If you want your pesto to remain bright green, fill a large bowl with cold water and several ice cubes and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and basil leaves and blanch for 15 seconds. Immediately remove the basil from the boiling water and place in the ice water bath.
Once cooled, drain. Squeeze the leaves to remove all excess water and lay them on a paper towel. I personally don't care if the almond pesto remains bright green so I skip this step, but if it is important to you, then go for it.
Orecchiette Pasta with Almond Pesto
Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis
This pasta dish is almost no-cook. Really, the only cooking required is the boiling of the pasta. Once that’s done, simply whip up a quick almond pesto and toss it with sweet cherry tomatoes and mozzarella cheese – mix in the orecchiette pasta, and dinner is ready! It’s just as delicious warm as it is as cold.
This is a super easy weeknight pasta that can easily work for anything from family dinner, to a picnic or even a dinner party. Pair it with Giada’s simple candied lemon and arugula salad, and voila!
Tips for Customizing this Versatile Vegan Pesto Recipe
The recipe below is a wonderful, basic dairy-free pesto that you can customize to fit your mood and meal. Here are some variation ideas for this simple recipe:
- Different nuts offer different flavor profiles walnuts are particularly nice in vegan pesto, but you can use any nut you like in place of the pine nuts to shake things up a little.
- For nut-free, I adore sunflower seeds in vegan pesto. Simply replace the pine nuts with an equivalent amount of sunflower seeds.
- Add some chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the mix, either before blending or stirred in after for a chunky-style sauce.
- If you desire a bit of that Parmesan tang, add a twist of lemon to taste. You can also increase the salt for more intensity if desired.
- For a deeper cheesy vibe, add some nutritional yeast before blending. Start with a small amount (nutritional yeast can easily overpower), like 1 teaspoon, and add more to taste for a more pungent flavor.
- Swap half of the basil for another herb mint leaves are actually an amazing flavor pairing with basil.