Easy Keto Pistachio and Herb Pesto Recipe for a Delicious Low Carb Meal


A Fresh Twist on Pesto: Keto Pistachio and Herb Pesto

Are you on the hunt for a keto-friendly sauce that doesn’t skimp on flavor? Look no further than this Keto Pistachio and Herb Pesto. Packed with vibrant herbs, rich pistachios, and a touch of citrus, this pesto is the perfect complement to your low-carb lifestyle. Not only does it bring a burst of fresh flavor to any dish, but it’s also loaded with healthy fats that align with the ketogenic diet’s nutritional requirements.

Whether you’re dressing up grilled meats or adding a spoonful to your zucchini noodles, this pesto is guaranteed to elevate your meal. Plus, it’s so easy to whip up, you’ll be adding it to your weekly meal prep in no time. Let’s dive into the world of flavors that this keto pesto brings to the table.

Keto Pistachio and Herb Pesto

Why Keto Pistachio and Herb Pesto is a Keto Delight

Originating from the heart of Italian cuisine, pesto has always been a staple for adding depth to dishes. This Keto Pistachio and Herb Pesto is no exception, with its roots deeply planted in tradition but with a twist that suits the keto diet perfectly. The combination of shelled pistachios and fresh herbs like basil and parsley not only creates a rich, nutty base but also provides an excellent source of healthy fats and antioxidants.

For those on a ketogenic diet, it’s crucial to find ways to incorporate fats that fuel the body without the added carbs. This pesto achieves that by using pistachios, which are lower in carbs than other nuts, and by integrating high-quality extra virgin olive oil, known for its heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. The inclusion of fresh lemon juice adds a bright note, while Parmesan cheese offers a salty, umami kick without the carb count climbing.

Each ingredient has been carefully selected to not only create a symphony of flavors but also to ensure that it fits within the macros of a ketogenic diet. The result is a pesto that’s as nutritious as it is delicious, making it an ideal addition to your keto recipe collection.

Ingredients for Keto Pistachio and Herb Pesto

Mastering the Perfect Keto Pistachio and Herb Pesto

Creating this pesto is an art that’s easily mastered with a few chef tips. Start by preparing your ingredients ahead of time. This mise en place approach ensures a seamless blending process. When pulsing the pistachios and herbs in the food processor, aim for a coarse chop to retain texture and avoid overprocessing, which can lead to a paste-like consistency.

As you emulsify the pesto by adding olive oil, do so in a steady stream to achieve the creamy consistency that pesto is known for. It’s essential to scrape down the sides periodically to ensure all ingredients are well-incorporated. The addition of lemon juice not only brings a zesty flavor but also helps to preserve the bright green color of the basil.

Remember to taste as you go and adjust the seasoning accordingly. If you find the pesto too thick, a little extra olive oil can bring it to the perfect consistency. These extra steps will elevate your pesto from good to great, making it a showstopper on any keto-friendly plate.

Keto Pistachio and Herb Pesto Final Product

Variations to Spice Up Your Pesto

Spicy Keto Pesto

For those who enjoy a kick, add a few red pepper flakes or a small amount of chopped jalapeño to the food processor. The heat will complement the nuttiness of the pistachios and add an exciting twist to your dishes.

Cilantro Lime Keto Pesto

Swap out the basil and parsley for fresh cilantro, and replace lemon juice with lime juice. This variation offers a Mexican flair that pairs wonderfully with grilled chicken or fish.

Roasted Red Pepper Keto Pesto

Add a roasted red pepper into the mix for a sweet and smoky flavor. This colorful variation is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate, perfect for dressing up a simple keto meal.

Substitutions for Your Keto Pesto

If you’re out of pistachios or simply want to try something different, there are plenty of substitutions that keep this pesto keto-friendly. Almonds or walnuts can replace pistachios for a different nutty flavor profile. If dairy is a concern, nutritional yeast can stand in for Parmesan cheese, adding a cheese-like flavor while remaining dairy-free.

For an oil variation, avocado oil can be a substitute for extra virgin olive oil, providing a similar monounsaturated fat content with a milder taste. These substitutions ensure that your pesto remains versatile and adaptable to your dietary needs and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze Keto Pistachio and Herb Pesto? Yes, this pesto freezes well. Pour it into an ice cube tray for portioned servings, and store in a freezer bag once solid.

Is this pesto vegan? As is, it contains Parmesan cheese, but you can make it vegan by using nutritional yeast instead.

Can I use different herbs? Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with other herbs like mint or cilantro to tailor the pesto to your taste preferences.

How can I use this pesto in keto meals? This pesto is incredibly versatile. Use it as a sauce for grilled meats, a dressing for salads, or a flavorful addition to keto sandwiches.

What’s the best way to store leftover pesto? Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on top to keep it fresh.


Keto Pistachio and Herb Pesto

This Keto Pistachio and Herb Pesto is a vibrant, nutty, and herbaceous sauce that's perfect for dressing up your favorite keto dishes.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sides
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 392 kcal


  • Food processor
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Zester (optional)
  • Airtight container for storage


  • 1 cup shelled pistachios 150g / 5.3oz
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves 48g / 1.7oz
  • ½ cup fresh parsley leaves 15g / 0.5oz
  • 3 garlic, minced
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese 50g / 1.76oz
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil 120ml / 4 fl oz
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 30ml / 1 fl oz
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: Zest of 1 lemon for extra zing


  • Begin by measuring out and preparing all of your ingredients. This will make the process smoother and quicker.
  • In a food processor, combine the shelled pistachios, fresh basil leaves, and parsley. Pulse until the nuts and herbs are coarsely chopped.
  • Add the minced garlic and grated Parmesan cheese to the food processor. Continue to pulse until the ingredients are well combined but still have some texture.
  • While the food processor is running, slowly pour in the extra virgin olive oil in a steady stream. This will help emulsify the pesto and give it a creamy consistency.
  • Stop the processor and scrape down the sides as needed. Add the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste. If using, add the lemon zest at this point.
  • Pulse a few more times to fully incorporate all the flavors.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. If the pesto is too thick, you can add more olive oil to reach your desired consistency.


This Keto Pistachio and Herb Pesto can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
For a nuttier flavor, you can toast the pistachios lightly before processing.
This versatile pesto can be used as a dip, a spread for keto-friendly bread, or as a sauce for zucchini noodles or grilled meats.
The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients used.


Calories: 392kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 10gFat: 38gFiber: 3gNet Carbs: 5g
Keyword herb pesto, Keto pesto, keto sauce, low carb pesto, pistachio pesto
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating