My keto pesto sauce is equal parts creamy and herby, made with fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese. Add it to your low-carb pasta dishes, layer it in a sandwich, or add a healthy dollop to any of your favorite keto meals!
Why you'll love this keto pesto sauce
When it comes to sauce cuisine, basil pesto is top-tier.
There's something about the combination of fresh herbs with high-fat additions like olive oil, cheese, and pine nuts, that makes pesto darn tasty. And you could practically eat my recipe by the spoonful!
Made with high-fat, low-carb ingredients, my keto pesto is the perfect topping for pasta, bakes, veggies, or any dish that needs a bit of herby brightness. The options really are endless!
While store-bought pesto can do in a pinch, it can be filled with added sugars or other high-carb ingredients that just aren't necessary. Plus, you truly can't beat the flavor of homemade pesto sauce.
So today, I'm showing you how to make my favorite keto pesto recipe in just 5 minutes! I'm also including delicious serving suggestions, cooking tips, and fun variations.
Here's everything that goes into my keto pesto:
Pine nuts are good for a keto diet because they provide great flavor and high-fat content while being moderately low in carbs.
100g of pine nuts contains 9g net carbs, so they do need to be eaten in moderation.
Note: For more information on eating nuts on keto, check out my post on The Best Nuts For Keto Diet.
The bright, herby flavor of pesto we know and love comes from fresh basil leaves. Herbs provide high-value to keto meals, tasting great and adding very few net carbs.
For a cheesy addition, I use grated parmesan cheese in my keto pesto. It mixes well with pine nuts for a rich and creamy taste.
A bit of minced garlic adds a bite to this pesto, adding a ton of tasty interest.
To thin our pesto while adding a yummy healthy fat, I include extra virgin olive oil in the mix.
Salt and pepper
Because this pesto sauce is made with such high-quality ingredients, it truly only needs salt and pepper to enhance its flavor.
Finally, lemon juice adds extra acidity. Cutting the high-fat ingredients with lemon juice keeps the sauce from tasting too rich.
Keto pesto sauce is super simple to make, and you'll get the best results using these tips:
- Pulse the ingredients in your food processor, being careful not to over-blend. This will break down the basil and result in a bitter flavor.
- Add small amounts of olive oil at a time to reach the perfect consistency.
- Adjust the brightness of your sauce using lemon juice, adding an extra squeeze for more acidity.
How to make keto pesto sauce
Ready to learn how to make pesto sauce? Just follow three easy steps:
Measure and blend
First, add pine nuts, fresh basil, parmesan cheese, minced garlic, salt and pepper, and lemon juice to a food processor.
Then, a half cup of olive oil and blend to combine. Your consistency should be smooth with a bit of texture.
Adjust the consistency
Next, adjust the consistency to your preference. If the pesto sauce is too thick, slowly add more olive oil.
Add and mix until you reach your ideal consistency.
Store and enjoy keto pesto!
And just like that, your keto pesto sauce is ready to eat!
You can also store your pesto for later use, refrigerating it in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
For longer storage, you can freeze this pesto in ice cube trays. Simply spoon your sauce into the individual cubes and freeze.
Then, when you're ready to cook, just pop out a pesto block from your ice cube tray and add it directly to your pan!
What to serve with keto pesto sauce
My basil pesto sauce is incredibly versatile for any of your favorite savory meals.
It would also majorly elevate my pesto chicken salad wrap, swapping store-bought pesto for a homemade version!
Here are just a few ways you can jazz up your homemade basil pesto:
- Before processing, add your pine nuts to a pan on low-medium heat, stirring continuously for toasted pine nuts.
- Add chives, parsley, and cilantro for a mixed herb pesto sauce.
- Substitute pine nuts for chopped almonds; this will make a lower-carb pesto.
Here are some questions people often ask about my keto pesto sauce recipe. If you don't see your question in this list, please leave it in the comments.
Traditional pesto sauce recipes are often keto because they contain simple, low-carb, whole foods like herbs, nuts, cheese, and oils. Some store-bought pesto, however, can contain added sugars and filler ingredients that may affect its keto status.
Remember to read your labels, checking the ingredients and macronutrients!
If your basil pesto tastes bitter, you likely over-processed your sauce.
When herbs like basil are roughly processed, they can break down and get bitter. To avoid this, pulse your basil and avoid over-mixing.
If you like this keto pesto recipe, try these!
I have so many keto-friendly recipes for you to try. Start with some of these:
- Keto Taco Salad Recipe features seasoned ground beef and fresh greens.
- Unstuffed Pepper Casserole is topped with a thick layer of melty mozzarella cheese.
- Keto Grilled Salmon Recipe is made with a fresh and herby marinade.
- Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole Recipe is stuffed with chicken, ham, and mozzarella.
- My Favorite Coconut Shrimp Recipe is gluten-free and perfectly crispy.
Keto Pesto Sauce
- ⅓ cup Pine nuts
- 2 cup Fresh basil leaves
- ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 3 tsp. Minced garlic
- ½ - 1 cup Olive oil as needed
- Salt to taste
- Fresh lemon juice
- Add all of the ingredients to a food processor, and blend until completely combined and smooth. Start with just a half cup of the olive oil.
- If the sauce is thicker than you would like, drizzle in a bit more olive oil until you reach the consistency you desire.
- Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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