A Squared: Sage & Walnut Pesto

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sage & Walnut Pesto

Looking for a fresh and flavorful alternative to traditional basil pesto? This sage and walnut variety is the perfect alternative!

I love pesto. That intense flavor of herbs and garlic, the slight nuttiness from Parmesan and pine nuts, and that velvety consistency: So good! We don't eat it around my house all that often though as my poor husband is very allergic to pine nuts... which we found out after a few too many unfortunate (but delicious) pesto pasta dinners. So, it's not something that I often think of eating or making since I'm pretty much the only one that can enjoy it.

My green thumb has been in full effect this year though and I had a serious crop of sage leaves that I just wasn't sure what to do with... I love the flavor of sage, but I prefer it paired with fall dishes like roasted chicken or squash. Seeing as you only have so much time before those leaves shrivel up, I decided to go ahead and harvest the sage and put it to use in something that I can enjoy well into the fall. And this gorgeous pesto is full of flavor and it's freezer friendly. This fall appropriate recipe is filled with the earthy fragrant flavor of sage and walnuts, another perfect ingredient to pair with sage. The fresh sage and toasted nuts are blended with a bit of garlic, Parmesan for saltiness and texture, and lemon zest which adds nice brightness.

After making this pesto, I divide it up and freeze it in smaller portions until ready to use. It can last for several weeks this way. If not freezing, use it up within a day or two (or it starts to turn brown). This pesto is delicious on chicken and pork, as a spread for sandwiches, toasted with pasta and roasted vegetables, or whisked into vinegar to become the base of a salad dressing.


  • 2 cups tightly packed sage leaves
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2/3 extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Combine sage, walnuts, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a food processor and pulse until smooth and combined.  Stream in olive oil and pulse until pesto reaches desired consistency.  Stir in the Parmesan.

Use within 24 hours or freeze until ready to serve.


  1. yum! i love pesto but i've never thought to add sage to it. xo jillian - cornflake dreams

    1. Sage makes the pesto seem fall appropriate. I think this would be awesome with sweet potatoes or butternut squash!

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