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Coriander-Walnut Pesto

Move over pine nuts and basil as fresh coriander and toasted walnuts blend together to make this wonderful and easy pesto.

Traditional Pesto also called Pesto Alla Genovese originates in Genoa,Italy and consists of pine nuts, salt, basil leaves , minced garlic, Parmesan cheese and olive oil. Also quite strictly this pesto is pounded with a mortar and pestle to achieve the desired results. However a small food processor works great too.

In this modern version the pine nuts are substituted with walnuts and the star ingredient is fresh Coriander leaves or Cilantro and just some basil leaves thrown in for good measure. All the ingredients compliment each other really well and trust me you will be tempted to eat this pesto by the spoonful.

Here is my recipe for this delightful pesto. I have wonderful memories fine tuning this recipe for an event at the college, I taught at some years ago. With quite a few trials and errors we perfected this recipe and now it’s a go-to recipe in my kitchen.

This is absolutely delightful and flavourful.Heart healthy pesto has a variety of uses. More than a toss up with your favorite pastas, this herbaceous pesto can be slathered on your morning toast, drizzled over a salad and even used as a marinade over some chicken or fish.

Well you could use this coriander pesto in practically anything that calls for the use of a traditional pesto. Use up all that extra coriander that you have in the refrigerator and delight yourself with this super easy and so healthy pesto.

I curated a wonderful virtual bread class last week and while my bread was proving I decided to demonstrate this recipe for a Coriander-Walnut pesto.

It sure was a hit with the class. I had a whole batch which I used my in a pasta for dinner after class. This is such a versatile recipe and you may use this in so many different ways. The list is really endless and some of my fav ways to use this pesto are listed below.

Warning: This turns out so darn delicious that you may never want to buy store bought pesto again!

To Make This Pesto You Will Need Some Simple Ingredients:

  • Fresh Coriander or Cilantro
  • Basil Leaves
  • Walnuts
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Walnuts
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Minced Garlic

Some Variations To The Above:

  • Toasted almonds or cashews or pistachios
  • Skip the nuts and make it nut free
  • Handful of Mint Leaves
  • Dash of hot sauce or tabasco
  • Skip the cheese and add some greek yogurt
  • Experiment with spinach or kale

Some Of My Favorite Recipes Using Coriander Pesto:

  • Pasta: Fusilli or Penne tossed in some olive oil and minced garlic. Add in a couple of tablespoons of coriander pesto and garnish with parmesan shavings. So good.
  • Roasted baby potatoes tossed in coriander pesto and garnished with Arugula leaves and Olive oil (served warm)
  • Ditch the usual pizza sauce and use some coriander pesto for your base.
  • Use in sandwiches and grilled Paninis.
  • Marinate Chicken or Fish in Coriander pesto.
  • Add Pesto to a vinaigrette for a salad dressing.

Here Is An Easy Recipe For Coriander-Walnut Pesto:


  • Small bunch Fresh Coriander  (de stemmed, cleaned, rinsed and chopped)
  • 1-2 pods garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 30-40 grams Parmesan cheese (grated either fresh or packaged)
  • ยฝ teaspoon Black pepper powder
  • 30 grams walnuts (roughly crushed)
  • 60 ml Olive Oil
  • 8-10 Basil Leaves (roughly chopped)
  • Dash of salt to season



  1. Blend the coriander leaves, minced garlic, vinegar, basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, pepper, and walnuts in a small grinder.
  2. Mix the ingredients well.
  3. Season with salt.
  4. Lastly keep drizzling olive oil till the Pesto reaches desired consistency


  1. Tammy Taylor says

    I have never made pesto, but your recipe and the beautiful photos are inspiring me to make some!

  2. I’ve just bought the cilantro but no walnuts…I’ll have to remedy that. I like the idea of baby potatoes tossed in coriander pesto, that sounds great.

      • Thanks so much Karen for the shout out. Appreciate your kindness. It’s been a busy past few months with the virtual workshops and we are finally out of a lockdown here in Toronto and enjoying the summer. Hope you are well too..I have several blog posts al now in the drafts folder and should publish soon.

  3. I just pulled out my last jar of basil pesto from the freezer which I made last year. I am one of those who either love or hate cilantro – unfortunately I am one of the “haters”. I have tried to like it, even grew it a couple of times… I know I could sub parsley for it but would probably change the taste in this case.

    • Hey Judi….I hear ya. Not everyone is fond of Cilantro…Yes basil pesto ofcourse is amazing, however I feel parsley would be too overpowering a flavour:))

      • I was told that adding a few leaves of parsley would help keep the pesto from turning ๐Ÿ™‚ Funny – to me cilantro is strong… When I heard Ina Garten, Chef and cookbook writer, also didn’t like cilantro I felt better ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. There are so many other herbs and greens besides basil that make lovely pesto. I’m not a fan of cilantro, but many people are are I’m sure this would please them! (Sorry, I”m one of those folks who thinks it tastes like soap!).

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