Somebody Feed Seb

Basil and Walnut Pesto with Cheddar

Walnut Pesto with Cheddar in a wooden pestle and mortar.
Jump to Recipe

Pesto doesn’t have to be made with parmesan and pine nuts to taste amazing! What is more, Pesto is extremely versatile: fill your toasties with it, make delicious pasta dishes or thin it with a little oil and drizzle over your fish and poultry dishes. Our quick, simple, and extremely flavoursome Basil and Walnut Pesto can be made with your everyday Cheddar!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, at no extra cost for you! Thank you!

Homemade vs Shop-Bought Pesto

One of the simplest and quickest meals we make is Pesto Pasta with lots of vegetables. The one thing that takes it to another level is homemade pesto. I’ll admit, I used to buy pesto for years. Until one day I had a pot of basil that was starting to look a bit sorry for itself on my window sill. I made my own Cheddar pesto and never looked back.

Since then, I’ve made numerous types of pesto, experimenting with different herbs, nuts, and cheese. Here, I present to you, my absolute favourite – Basil and Walnut Pesto with Cheddar! Quick and easy to make, it packs lots more flavour than a shop-bought pesto!

Pesto pasta made with homemade pesto in a white bowl.
Pasta made with homemade Basil, Walnut & Cheddar Pesto

Ingredients

Have you ever asked yourself: ‘Can I use Cheddar instead of Parmesan in pesto?’. Well, we will tell you straight up: the answer is YES!

Simple delicious ingredients are what make this pesto: fragrant fresh basil, sharp mature cheddar, pungent garlic, walnuts, and zingy lemon, all finished with extra virgin olive oil.

This pesto has been tested with toasted and untoasted walnuts. I found that it’s slightly too bitter if I use toasted nuts. But the addition of lemon zest, alongside lemon juice, adds just the right amount of bitterness.

Ingredients for pesto on a wooden chopping board.

Method

To make this pesto you need either a food processor (or even a powerful smoothie maker/ blender) or a large pestle and mortar.

Using a Food Processor

If you’re using a food processor, all you need is to put all the ingredients, except for olive oil, into the processor and blitz until you reach a consistency that you like. Then mix in extra virgin olive oil at the end. Similarly, you can make pesto in a powerful blender/ smoothie maker. This method is great if you want a smooth pesto, without much texture.

Ingredinets for walnut pesto in a glass of a smoothie maker.

Using a Pestle and Mortar

If you’re using a pestle and mortar, I recommend you chop your ingredients finely first to make your life easier. Put everything, but grated cheddar and olive oil in pestle and mortar, and crush until desired consistency is reached. Mix in cheese and olive oil at the end. Your pesto may have a more rustic look but will taste just as delicious. We actually prefer our pesto with a little bit of extra texture.

Pesto mushed into paste in a wooden pestle and mortar.

What To Use Walnut and Cheddar Pesto For?

The amounts in this recipe are for 3 portions of pasta. But I don’t want you to think that that’s all it can be used for. We love homemade pesto with cheddar used in a variety of different ways:

  • Spread the pesto on the slices of bread, top with cheese and make delicious toasties.
  • Mix your pesto with ground almonds, walnuts or breadcrumbs and spread on white fish before cooking in the oven.
  • Pesto makes a delicious pizza topping too.

Other Sauce and Dip Recipes

Recipe Card

Walnut Pesto with Cheddar in a wooden pestle and mortar.

Basil and Walnut Pesto with Cheddar

Pesto doesn't have to be made with parmesan and pine nuts to taste amazing! What is more, Pesto is extremely versatile: fill your toasties with it, make delicious pasta dishes or thin it with a little oil and drizzle over your fish and poultry dishes. Our quick, simple, and extremely flavoursome Basil and Walnut Pesto can be made with your everyday Cheddar!
4.80 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Servings 3 -4 servings
Calories 275 kcal

Equipment

  • Pestle and Mortar or Food Processor

Ingredients
 
 

  • 30 g fresh basil leaves only
  • 30 g walnuts untoasted
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1 small garlic clove finely chopped
  • 60 g mature cheddar finely grated
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Instructions
 

If Using Pestle & Mortar:

  • Chop your basil, lemon zest, walnuts and garlic as finely as you can. Tip them into a pestle and mortar, add salt and pepper and lemon juice. Crush everything together until desired consistency is reached. Then mix in your finely grated Cheddar. Mix in the olive oil.

If Using Food Processor:

  • Tip all the ingredients, except for olive oil, into a food processor and blitz to desired consistency. Stir in the olive oil

Notes

If you are planning to use pesto as a drizzle or a salad dressing, thin it with more extra virgin olive oil. 

Nutrition

Calories: 275kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 7gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 326mgPotassium: 97mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 731IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 172mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Basil Pesto, Homemade Pesto With Cheddar, Pesto, Pesto With Walnuts, Pesto without Parmesan, Pesto without Pinenuts, Walnut Pesto, Walnut Pesto with Cheddar
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Pin for Pinterest.

6 Replies to “Basil and Walnut Pesto with Cheddar”

  1. 5 stars
    I love the idea of using walnuts and cheddar. Definitely more frugal ingredients than Parmesan and pine nuts.

    1. Beth, yes! Exactly what we had in mind when we made this pesto! We always appreciate spending less without compromising on flavour! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    The pesto was super flavorfull. We had it with a pasta salad and was great.

  3. Amanda Wren-Grimwood says: Reply

    5 stars
    I actually prefer pesto with walnuts to pine nuts and this version is so tasty with the cheddar too.

    1. We prefer it too in many ways, lots of flavour and a lot less expensive too 🙂

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating