Basil Pesto with Almonds and Pecans

Homemade pesto is the perfect way to use up the last of that summer garden basil. This Basil Pesto with Almonds and Pecans freezes well to offer you summer flavor year round.

Basil Pesto with Almonds and Pecans Recipe + Tips to Freeze Pesto and Ways to Use Pesto

Summer is winding down and I kind of can’t believe we are already halfway through September. It has been really hot here in Colorado, like we were finally having July kind of hot weather, but now it seems to be tapering off. The nights and getting dark sooner (I really don’t like that!), the mornings and evenings are pretty cool.

I love summer meals and summer produce so I find myself always wanting to hang on a bit longer to this time of year. As glad as I am that the kids are back in school and sports for some structure, and that my days are a bit quieter so I can get more of the things I need to do done, I’m never really ready to be hurdling towards winter.

Fall I totally love. I love the crisp mornings and the sunny warm afternoons. I enjoy the blending of the best of both – days warm enough that it feels like summer but plenty of days for jeans and boots wearing and soup eating for dinner.

But winter is what comes next and those days are hard for me. I miss all of the fresh summer produce and the meals that come with it. I spending my free time outside without having to be bundled up. I miss the sun coming up early. I miss the yard blooming and alive. I miss being able to walk out to the backyard and have an abundance of fresh herbs to cook with.

I love to grow fresh basil in my backyard every summer and often use it in all kinds of recipes, especially pesto. I really love pesto, but I have to be careful when purchasing pre-made pestos or ordering it in restaurants. Traditionally, pesto contains pine nuts and I happen to be allergic to them.

I’ve solved that dilemma by making my own Basil Pesto with Almonds and Pecans at home using a blend of Fisher Nuts Almonds and Walnuts in place of the pine nuts. The flavor is great, and it makes for a much more enjoyable eating experience for me since my face isn’t breaking out in hives.

I love Fisher Nuts because their nuts are preservative-free, non-GMO Project Verified, and they come in a handy resealable bag helps keep the nuts fresh for longer. I think they’re perfect to keep on hand for adding to all sorts of recipes – desserts, salads, appetizers, snacks, or any other recipe you want some extra crunch or flavor, and they make a pretty garnish, too.

Pesto is such a summer flavor, but it is super easy to make large batches of it to freeze for use later. Pesto can add a lot of flavor to winter meals, like soups and stews, or roasted meats and so it shouldn’t be reserved for summer use only.

Basil Pesto with Almonds and Pecans Recipe + Tips to Freeze Pesto and Ways to Use Pesto

How to Freeze Pesto

Here are a few easy ways to make a big batch of Basil Pesto with Almonds and Pecans and freeze it to have on hand later.

Ice Cube Trays

Ice cube trays are perfect for when you want small portions as they contain just a couple of tablespoons. Fill the trays, just like you would with water, with your prepared pesto and freeze until solid.

Tip: Pop the frozen pesto cubes out once frozen solid and store them in a resealable freezer bag. You can use just 1 or a few whenever you need them. This way they don’t get freezer burned.

Freezer Bags

Depending on how much you might want to use at a time, you might use quart-sized or sandwich-sized freezer bags. put your desired amount of pesto in the bag, zip the bag taking care to remove as much excess air as possible, and freeze flat. This takes up minimal space and multiple bags stack really easily in your freezer.

Tip: The bags of frozen pesto will thaw really quickly in a bowl of warm water.

Stackable Freezer-Safe Plastic or Glass Containers with Lids

This is great for pre-measured portions. If you know you like to use 1/2 cup portions, for example, fill up 1/2 cup sized containers (make sure they’re freezer safe), seal, and freeze.

Tip: Use containers that are the same size and shape so they stack and store easily.

Basil Pesto with Almonds and Pecans Recipe + Tips to Freeze Pesto and Ways to Use Pesto

Ways to Use Pesto

There are so many different ways to use Basil Pesto with Almonds and Pecans! Here are a few of my favorites:

Toss it with pasta for a quick and simple side dish. Bonus: add your favorite vegetables and/or meat to make a quick meal. Try my Easy 3-2-1 Pasta, one of my waaaay back in the day recipe posts, or add some pesto to your favorite Alfredo Sauce for a creamy pesto pasta meal.

Add a dollop of pesto to a bowl of soup. Need some recipe ideas? Check out my Soup and Stew archive.

Foil packet meals, like these Pesto Pork Chop and Summer Vegetable Foil Dinners are a great use for pesto. Fill a foil packet with your favorite meat and veggies, then add pesto, and cook.

Meat Marinades get a boost of flavor when you add a bit of pesto to them. Or try serving your favorite roasted fall or winter meats (like whole roasted chickens, for example) with a bit of pesto when serving.

Spread pesto on toasted baguette for a tasty appetizer. Optional: add extra toppings like cheese or vegetables. Check out this Grilled Summer Squash Crostini with Goat Cheese and Pesto.

Roasted veggies taste great  when they’re mixed with pesto before roasting.

Take your basic vinaigrette to the next level by adding pesto to it. A simple balsamic vinaigrette or oil and vinegar dressing tastes great with pesto added and will definitely give your salad a ton of flavor.

Make a tasty and healthy dip. Mix pesto with Greek yogurt for a delicious Greek Yogurt Pesto Dip.

Try my 5 Simple Ways to Dress Up A Sandwich. Substitute pesto for mayo or mustard. YUM.

How do you like to preserve and use pesto all year long?

Basil Pesto with Almonds and Pecans

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Homemade pesto is the perfect way to use up the last of that summer garden basil. This Basil Pesto with Almonds and Pecans freezes well to offer you summer flavor year round.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Fisher Nuts Almonds
  • 1/4 cup Fisher Nuts Walnuts
  • 6 Whole Garlic Cloves
  • 3/4 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 1/4 cups Fresh Basil
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon Salt, or to taste

Directions:

Place a large frying pan on the stove top over medium heat. After the pan has preheated, add the nuts and whole garlic cloves in a single layer (working in batches if necessary) without any cooking oil or spray.

Stir the nuts frequently with a spatula, cooking until the nuts have turned golden brown and smell fragrant, about 3 - 5 minutes. Remove the nuts from the heat and transfer them to the bowl of a food processor.

Add the remaining ingredients (olive oil, fresh basil, fresh grated parmesan, and salt) to the bowl of the food processor.

Notes:

How to Freeze Pesto:

Ice cube trays are perfect for when you want small portions as they contain just a couple of tablespoons. Fill the trays, just like you would with water, with your prepared pesto and freeze until solid.

Depending on how much you might want to use at a time, you might use quart-sized or sandwich-sized freezer bags. put your desired amount of pesto in the bag, zip the bag taking care to remove as much excess air as possible, and freeze flat. This takes up minimal space and multiple bags stack really easily in your freezer.

Stackable Freezer-Safe Plastic or Glass Containers with Lids are great for pre-measured portions. If you know you like to use 1/2 cup portions, for example, fill up 1/2 cup sized containers (make sure they're freezer safe), seal, and freeze.

I choose to work with Fisher Nuts because it is one of the only brands of recipe nuts entirely without preservatives. I have been compensated for my time creating this recipe for Basil Pesto with Almonds and Pecans, but all opinions are my own.