Walnut Sage Pesto

Sage Walnut Pesto

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Walnut Sage Pesto is the delicious result of a sage explosion in the garden. It grows well in our climate, and we’ve had an extremely hot, dry summer, which is perfect for sage.

Walnut Sage Pesto

Pesto Is Magical

I hate to see anything from the garden go unused, so I’ve been trying out new ways to use up this wonderful herb. And if you have a lot of herbs and a food processor, homemade pesto is incredibly easy. It’s hard to believe something so delicious is this crazy simple to make. But it is. Simply combining fresh green herbs with garlic, olive oil, nuts and Parmesan cheese is an almost magical transformation.

Sage Walnut Pesto

Walnuts and Sage Are Delicious In Pesto

Pine nuts are the traditional ingredient, but I like to use walnuts in homemade pesto. We can get them locally, and the slightly bitter, nutty taste is perfect in this sauce. There’s something magical about the flavour marriage of toasted walnuts and sage. It’s like they were made for each other. They compliment each other beautifully and the fresh, yet earthy flavours together just scream “fall”. Be sure to toast the walnuts first for a toasty (of course), the extra depth of flavour. I also used toasted walnuts in this Parsley Walnut Pesto.

Two jars of pesto, with herbs

About Sage

Sage is a very potent herb, so a little goes a long way. I have a lot of sage, so I can be choosy and use just the small, new leaves, which are milder in flavour. But if you don’t have your own crop, it’s very easy to find bunches of fresh sage at this time of year. Sage tastes both bitter and sweet, and the pungent flavour that it adds to this walnut sage pesto is really amazing.

Two jars of pesto on a wooden cutting board

How To Use This Pesto 

Because of its strong flavour, this walnut sage pesto stands up well to cooking. As in, heating it before adding pasta, or using it as a pizza base. But, don’t be afraid to try it just as is. Try it as a dip for fresh apples or pears, for a sublime fall appetizer. And this stuff, it smells amazing. Use it as a topping for grilled chicken or fish, or grilled or roasted veggies. (Especially butternut squash).

Sage Walnut Pesto

Try Some More Sage, Too

If you want to try sage in more dishes, check out Herb Grilled Chicken Thighs, or Blueberry Sourdough Sausage Stuffing. And winter is coming. So if you want to preserve some of your fresh herbs to use during the colder months, here are some ways to do it: Preserving Fresh Herbs, 6 Ways

Two half pint jars of walnut sage pesto with sage and parsley leaves

Can You Freeze Pesto?

Yes! If you have a lot of summer herbs, pesto is an ideal and easy way to use them and it freezes beautifully. You can put pesto in ice cube trays to use in pasta or any other sauces. Or, you can try this freezing method that I’m doing this year. From The Kitchn.

A jar of pesto on a cutting board with a spoon


Sage Walnut Pesto

Walnut Sage Pesto

Sage & Walnut Pesto is a deliciously different take on pesto and takes only 10 minutes to make.
4.49 from 29 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Sauces, Dips & Toppings
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 16
Calories 82 kcal


  • 1 cup fresh sage leaves
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • In a food processor, pulse sage and parsley leaves, garlic, walnuts, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper until smooth.
  • With motor running, slowly pour in olive oil.
  • Turn off motor and stir in Parmesan cheese
  • Store in the fridge for up to a week


Toast walnuts in a skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes, shaking the pan every couple of minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool before using in the recipe.


Serving: 2gCalories: 82kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 1gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 97mgPotassium: 63mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 460IUVitamin C: 5.8mgCalcium: 60mgIron: 0.9mg
Tried this recipe? What changes did you make?Let us know how it was!

25 thoughts on “Walnut Sage Pesto

  1. Hi Colleen! The recipe looks delicious. How firmly do you pack the sage and parsley in the cup? Or how many grams of both do you think you put in the recipe? I normally weight this type of ingredients for a more consistent taste. Thank you! I can’t wait to try it!

  2. What a beautiful colour! I really like the combination of walnuts and sage, I love them both, and walnuts are available locally so they’re definitely less expensive. Do you think this would freeze well?

  3. Mmmm sage, I’ve never tried a pesto with it before, but you’ve convinced me. Thanks for sharing, Colleen! Looks lovely, as always 🙂

      1. I had to come back and tell you that I just made this, and it’s everything I hoped it would be and more! I’m eating it right now with roasted vegetables, steamed chard and chicken. Delicious! 🙂

  4. What a lovely pesto, Colleen. Toasted walnuts and sage are a perfect pairing. I can imagine this pesto in a Chicken Saltimbocca dish and a glass of Pinot Grigio. And I want to try it with apples for a fall appetizer as you suggest – that sounds intriguing! 🙂 I also have lots of sage in my abundant herb garden to use, so I will definitely be giving your recipe a try.

  5. I love walnuts and this pesto looks really good! I have no excuse not to try it, cause I have almost all the ingredients ! (except parsley).And I was wondering what else to do with my sage besides drying it, thanks for sharing!

  6. Now this sounds flavourful. I can just imagine this on some fresh pasta…even stuffed pasta. Perfect with a glass of wine for an easy weekend meal.

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