Sauce

Basil Artichoke Pesto

This basil artichoke pesto gets a delicious spin on the classic with artichokes and pistachios. You’ll love this subtly sweeter and nuttier pesto, packed with Aromatic basil, salty parmesan cheese, and fresh lemon. It pairs perfectly with pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and more.

Presto! It’s pesto! You truly can have a different version of pesto in minutes. I have 3 basil plants in my garden that are growing gangbusters…just the way I plan it out every year. One would think I can grow basil all year round living in southern California, but not so much; it gets below freezing sometimes in the winter.

So, I go basil crazy in the summer and make up various pestos to have on hand throughout the year. Swapping and mixing different herbs and nuts is so much fun…and flavorful. Check out my limitless options below!

This basil artichoke pesto happens to be one of my favorites because It has a milder, bright, and nuttier taste. I love this on bruschetta and roasted tomatoes. Or another fave is adding a little mayo and a few more chopped artichokes. Heating it up and serving it as a dip. Delish!

Ingredient Notes, And Substitutions

Ingredients for basil artichoke pesto

Basil ~ you can use all basil, or do what I do for this recipe and add spinach if you’re short on basil.

Artichokes ~either jarred, canned, in oil, or water. Whatever you have on hand or prefer. I do not rinse them if they are stored in oil.

Olive oil ~ A good quality olive oil is a must! The fruity and nutty flavors will shine through, plus it’s an essential part of any pesto.

Parmesan cheese ~ fresh is best! Please stay away from the pre-shredded, as tempting as it is. It won’t give you the same flavor, plus it has preservatives to keep it from clumping together. Buy a big block of it, and store it in the freezer, so you’ll always have it handy!

Pistachios ~ I buy the shelled and roasted for a little time saver. You can substitute any nut, but I urge you to try the pistachios with this recipe…it’s really tasty.

Lemon ~ helps keep the basil green and adds a fresh flavor. It’s optional
Garlic ~ Adds an extra punch, but leave it out if you are not a garlic fan.

Basil is a beautiful herb in so many ways-however it doesn’t have to be the star in the traditional pesto. There are limitless ways to whiz up this multifunctional sauce, AND it doesn’t have to be stupidly expensive to make. Create your own dream pesto, and come back here and share in the comments! I’d love to add a new one 🙂

Freshly blended basil artichoke pesto

Mix & Match For Your Perfect Pesto

  1. First, anything green- goes. Spinach, parsley, cilantro, mint, arugula, beet greens, peas, or watercress. Kale and collard greens too! Just blanch them first, as they tend to be a little tougher green when raw.
  2. Second, pick a nut or seed. Cashews, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), pecans, or sesame seeds. I’m probably missing one or two.
  3. Third, get cheesy. Aged, or sharp cheddar, gouda, romano, asiago, manchego, cotija or gruyere.
  4. Lastly, the seasonings or the other stuff. Lemon or orange juice/zest, red pepper flakes, garlic, or other more assertive herbs like rosemary, thyme, or oregano.

Easy peasy! The hardest part is deciding what to mix and match! You might be thinking about how much of each ingredient Teri. Here’s what I go with. At least 2 cups of green, 1/3 to 1/2 cup cheese, 1/2 cup olive oil, and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon seasoning (1 to 2 teaspoons of citrus juice)

Bowl of basil artichoke pesto with basil brushetta.

Make Ahead & Storage

Take advantage of the summer fresh basil. Make this pesto ahead, and have it all year to use in so many delicious ways!

Store in an airtight jar or container in the fridge for 5-7 days. The best way to freeze is by adding pesto to ice cube trays. Drizzle a little olive oil over all the filled cubes. Doing so will keep air from turning brown. Cover with plastic wrap until firm, and place in a freezer storage bag. Freeze for up to 6 months.

How To Make Basil Artichoke Pesto

  1. Rinse the basil and pat dry. Add basil, artichokes, parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and nuts to a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times to break everything down.
  2. Add the olive oil, and blend until the mixture becomes a paste. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
  3. Store in an airtight jar or container in the fridge for 5-7 days. The best way to freeze is by adding pesto to ice cube trays. Drizzle a little olive oil over all the filled cubes. Doing so will keep air from turning brown. Cover with plastic wrap until firm, and place in a freezer storage bag. Freeze for up to 6 months.

Other summer recipes you may enjoy

Zucchini Corn Pasta “Sauce”

Greek Salad With Lemon Yogurt Chicken

Broccoli Slaw With Ramen Noodles

Chicken Quinoa Bowl

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Basil Artichoke Pesto


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  • Author: Teri Wallingford
  • Total Time: 5 to 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 to 1/2 cup 1x

Description

This basil artichoke pesto gets a delicious spin on the classic with artichokes and pistachios. You’ll love this subtly sweeter and nuttier pesto, packed with Aromatic basil, salty parmesan cheese, and fresh lemon. It pairs perfectly with pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and more.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped artichokes. Jarred, canned, in water, or oil.
  • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil. Use less if you prefer
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup shelled and toasted pistachios
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon EACH salt & pepper


Instructions

Equipment needed. Food processor or blender.

  1. Rinse the basil and pat dry. Add basil, artichokes, parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and nuts to a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times to break everything down.
  2. Add the olive oil, and blend until the mixture becomes a paste. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
  3. Store in an airtight jar or container in the fridge for 5-7 days. The best way to freeze is by adding pesto to ice cube trays. Drizzle a little olive oil over all the filled cubes. Doing so will keep air from turning brown. Cover with plastic wrap until firm, and place in a freezer storage bag. Freeze for up to 6 months.
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: American/Italian

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