Easy Parsley Pesto Recipe With Almonds & Pecorino

creamy pesto sauce recipe-parsley pesto recipe

With the hot season coming, I’m dusting off all my refreshing summer recipes. Yesterday, I was looking at my fridge deciding what to make for lunch, when a bunch of parsley caught my attention. I was craving something fresh and thought, “Why not make a pesto with it?

Since I started making my own homemade pesto, I’ve always loved trying out variations with various fresh herbs and vegetables. Fresh basil pesto is delicious, but why limit yourself to that when there are so many tasty possibilities out there?

Once you start figuring out how to combine the different plants, nuts, and types of cheese, you can make a delicious sauce in minutes with whatever vegetables you have on hand. Considering parsley’s fresh, peppery, and slightly bitter flavor, I mixed it with almonds and pecorino cheese. 

Here’s what I did! 

Why This Recipe Works

There are many things I love about this recipe: 

  • It’s very creamy and packed with savory flavors;
  • It’s budget-friendly; and even if you decide to cut on some ingredients to save more money, it will be delicious anyway;
  • It comes together in just a few minutes and you can make it while cooking other food in the background, so it’s perfect for both busy weeknights and easy weekend meals;
  • You can use leftover parsley. I usually buy lots of parsley because I plan to trim the leaves and freeze them with chopped chives to use them later in other recipes. Whenever I don’t feel like spending time on the cutting board, I use the leftovers to make batches of pesto and freeze them in small ice cube trays. 

… and most of all, it’s super easy – a great way to make something tasty without putting in too much effort. 

creamy pesto sauce recipe-homemade pesto

What You’ll Need

This parsley pesto recipe works with just a handful of simple ingredients that can be found in every grocery store. Here’s everything you need. 

Flat-leaf parsley: the star of the show. Also known as Italian parsley, this herb is more flavorful and less bitter than curly parsley. And with its peppery, slightly spicy taste, it gives pesto a very special flavor. The fresher, the better!

flat leaf parsley

Pecorino cheese: Sometimes a pesto works better with parmesan cheese, other times with a 50/50 mix. In this case, I find that pecorino cheese is the better option, but a lot depends on your personal taste. If you want to learn the difference between pecorino and parmesan, here is a handy article explaining how they taste and can be used for different recipes! Side note: compared to other pesto recipes, this one uses a little less cheese than usual. I find that the most used amounts of cheese can sometimes cover the flavor of the parsley, so I lowered its presence a little

Almonds: when making pesto, every herb matches better with a specific type of dried fruit. In the case of parsley, I find almonds to be the perfect match, but you can also use walnuts or pine nuts if you prefer. I saw many parsley walnut pesto recipes on the web. If you are allergic to nuts or can’t spend too much money, go ahead and skip this ingredient. 

Extra virgin olive oil: if you can afford to spend on that, do it and choose a high-quality one. It will make a huge difference. 

A clove of garlic: no pesto recipe is complete without it. Avoid dried garlic, get a fresh clove and enjoy its flavor! Just don’t overdo it. You don’t need the full head! 😀

Coarse salt: just a pinch to add to the food processor before starting. 

Chili flakes and black pepper (optional): given the spicy flavor of parsley, why not enhance it with a little chili? Get some of your favorite chili flakes and add them to the pesto!

Lemon juice or lemon zest (optional): this is not mandatory, but if you’d like your pesto to be a little more zesty, add a bit of either lemon juice or freshly grated lemon zest. 

parsley pesto ingredients


Start by washing the parsley and putting it in the food processor with a pinch of coarse salt and a peeled clove of garlic. If you prefer, you can put the ingredients in a bowl and use an immersion blender. Add a little olive oil and blend until smooth cream. 

Now, add the almonds, grated pecorino cheese, and the rest of the oil, along with the optional ingredients I mentioned above. Blend again. 

parsley pesto instructions

If the pesto is too thick, add a little more oil.

Said and done, your pesto is ready. You can use it right away to dress a pasta, a salad, or one of our subs recipes. Or, you can freeze it in an ice cube tray and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

creamy pesto sauce recipe-parsley pesto pasta

Tips & Tricks

This recipe is very simple, so there is not much advice to give. The only cautions you should have are:

  1. If the garlic has started to develop a green shoot inside, remove it. That sprout develops when the garlic is ripe and can make it more bitter and difficult to digest. 
  2. Use fresh ingredients. This sounds obvious but when you prepare something with vegetables it makes a lot of difference. 

That’s pretty much all – I told you, easy recipe 😀 

Now, I leave you with the usual recipe card. Let me know if you have tried my recipe and what you think of it. Make it nice!

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creamy pesto sauce recipe-parsley pesto recipe

Fresh Homemade Parsley Pesto

  • Author: Mortadella Head
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Want to give a new spin to your homemade basil pesto? With its zesty fresh flavor, this parsley pesto recipe is a great way to give a new spin to your favorite pasta dishes and salad dressings – especially in the hot season! Here’s how to make it at home!



5 oz fresh parsley

4 grated pecorino cheese (you can use parmesan or a 50/50 mix, if you prefer)

6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

1 tbsp of either Calabrian chili flakes or lemon zest (optional – you can also use a dash of lemon juice, if you prefer)

1 tbsp Ground black pepper (optional) 

coarse salt to taste


Wash parsley and place it in a food processor with a pinch of coarse salt and a peeled garlic clove. Alternatively, use a bowl and immersion blender.

  1. Add a small amount of olive oil and blend until smooth.
  2. Incorporate almonds, grated pecorino cheese, remaining olive oil, and any optional ingredients.
  3. Blend again until well combined.
  4. Adjust consistency by adding more olive oil if the pesto is too thick.
  5. Your pesto is now ready for use.


 Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided for this recipe is only an estimate generated with VeryWellFit’s online calculator. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed. If you need this information for medical reasons please check with your doctor.

  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Pesto


  • Serving Size: 100 grams
  • Calories: 357
  • Sugar: 0.2
  • Sodium: 1442mg
  • Fat: 33g
  • Saturated Fat: 10.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.6g
  • Fiber: 1.1g
  • Protein: 16.9g
  • Cholesterol: 40mg

Keywords: fresh pesto, parsley almond pesto


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