Victoria’s Pesto

The Healthiest Pesto You’ll Ever Make

I’m not exaggerating when I say I have grown a basil forest on the patio. After almost killing the one basil plant I bought earlier this Spring, I resolved to myself to buy 7 more basil plants and by hook or by crook one of them was going to stay alive. 

Well, fast forward a month and they’re all alive and thriving and I now have an abundance of basil every two weeks which means we’ve made a habit out of making this healthy pesto recipe into a fantastic pasta dinner. 

Healthy Pesto Recipe

I’m going to preface the introduction of this healthy basil recipe with some shocking and potentially blasphemous news: it doesn’t have any olive oil and you really don’t have to use pine nuts if you don’t want to. I know, it goes against all Italian formality, but this is a pesto recipe meant to be stretched out with pasta water and perfect to mix into other spreads (like mayonnaise for sandwiches or on its own on top of bread- the options are limitless). 

This is also a somewhat freestyle type of recipe that utilizes a good eye-measure than a traditional cup measure. And while I’d really like to take credit for concocting this basil pesto, I cannot, it is a recipe creation of my boyfriend’s mom, Victoria, who has inspired me to title this healthy basil pesto as “Victoria’s Pesto”. 

What you’ll Need to Create This Recipe 

Victoria's Pesto
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
An oil free healthy basil pesto ready to be stretched out with pasta water for your next pasta meal or serve it as is as a condiment for sandwiches.
Servings: 4
  • One giant bunch of basil roughly 2.5 cups leaves and stems
  • 8-10 ounces of crushed canned Tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup of powder parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup of pine nuts or whatever nut you have on hand, we've used walnuts before
  • 3 large pinches of kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste
  1. In a Food Processor , grind the pine nuts and garlic into a paste and turn the processor off.
  2. Add half of the tomatoes to the processor, then turn it back on to emulsify the mixture.
  3. Add in the basil so that it starts to look like the color of traditional pesto.
  4. Add in your powdered parmesan cheese. If the mixture is too thick, add in the remaining tomatoes to thin it out. You're looking for a chunky but spreadable mix.
  5. Finish the pesto by adding salt and pepper to the food processor to taste.
Recipe Notes

Use this pesto for pasta and stretch it out (thin it out) with pasta water (water reserved from cooking your pasta).
You can also use this as a flavor enhancer for your favorite condiments (hummus, mayonnaise, as is...)
Can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, although in my experience it doesn't last that long.

Author: Cynthia

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