Lemon Pesto Sauce

Lemon Pesto Sauce

The vibrant color of this Lemon Pesto Sauce should tell you that it’s bursting with flavor.  There’s fresh basil combined with garlic, toasted walnuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil.  I added lemon juice to brighten up the flavor even more.  

Sure, you can buy pesto sauce at the store, but this Lemon Pesto is so easy to make, and the taste is so worth it.  Just pop everything in the blender or food processor, give a whirl, and voila! — homemade pesto sauce.

Most pesto sauces are loaded down with oil, and honestly, I prefer to taste the fresh ingredients more than the oil!  When you make your own pesto, you can control that.   

This Lemon Pesto Sauce may be made in advance and stored it in the refrigerator for up to one week or even frozen for up to a few months.

This sauce is not for pasta alone – spread on sandwiches, pizzas, or serve atop grilled beef, chicken, or grilled veggie kebabs.  If you don’t have basil, use arugula or spinach – the options are endless.  

This sauce will make any dish extra special.

Lemon Pesto Sauce

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Pesto sauce meets lemon juice and brightens right up! This pesto is bursting with freshness and is the perfect compliment to pasta, pizza, sandwiches, grilled meats, and veggies.

Lemon Pesto Sauce


  • 4 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnut pieces or pine nuts
  • Juice of one lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


Add basil, garlic, nuts, lemon juice, and salt to a food processor or blender. Pulse until mixture resembles a paste. Continue to pulse while slowly adding the olive oil.

Place the sauce in a medium size bowl. Stir in the parmesan cheese. Add more salt if necessary.


Freeze leftover sauce in airtight container or ice cube trays wrapped in foil and plastic wrap.

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