Skinny Basil Pesto (Small Batch)

Skinny Basil Pesto (Small Batch)

This Skinny Basil Pesto Is The Perfect Lighter Alternative To Replace Your Store-Bought Pesto Sauce.

If you’ve never tried pesto, it’s basically summer in a jar. It’s light, herby and so delicious on practically anything! For a long time, I used to buy the jar from Costco, but wasn’t too impressed by the macros on it. So, I set out to make a lighter, reduced calorie pesto that could easily be paired with other macro friendly dishes. For this Skinny Basil Pesto, all you need are six ingredients! This recipe makes 1 cup of pesto sauce, so you won’t have to deal with a huge jar sitting in your refrigerator for weeks.

To make this recipe more accessible, I swapped out the pine nuts for walnuts. The pine nuts at my local store are extremely expensive and I’m personally not willing to make the splurge. Especially when it tastes just as delicious with walnuts (which are a fraction of the cost).

When compared to the Kirkland Pesto (72 Calories and 8 grams of fat per tablespoon), this recipe cuts the macros in half. Each tablespoon is 32 calories with 3 grams of fat and 2 grams of protein.

Only Six Ingredients

  • Fresh Basil: I personally love the taste of basil and believe it adds a certain freshness to any dish. You can certainly swap the basil other greens you prefer but nothing beats a classic basil pesto!
  • Walnuts: For a nut-free alternative, you can use sunflower seeds.
  • Olive Oil: This recipe calls for less fat than a traditional pesto, but just enough for the perfect texture.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Use freshly grated if you can!
  • Lemon Juice & Garlic

Once you’ve gathered all the ingredients, it’s really hard to mess us because you just have to blend! If you like a smooth pesto, you can blend it all up. But if you prefer a more textured pesto, blend up everything except the parmesan and stir it in at the end.

Pesto Hummus Toast

Most people love to use up pesto in a pasta dish, but my favorite way is a Pesto Hummus Toast! Making the toast just takes a few simple steps:

  1. Toast a slice of sourdough bread.
  2. Spread on a thick layer of regular hummus or red pepper hummus.
  3. Drizzle with 1-2 tbsp of this Skinny Basil Pesto.
  4. Season with Zaatar, Paprika and Red Chili Flakes
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Skinny Basil Pesto (Small Batch)

  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Simple, reduced calorie pesto made with only six ingredients!


  • 2 cups basil, packed tightly
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 5 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 12 tbsp water
  • 2 walnuts
  • Pinch of Salt



  1. Add everything to a food processor and pulse until blended together. For a smooth pesto, blend into a paste. For a more textured pesto, blend everything except the parmesan and stir in at the end.


For a nut-free pesto, substitute walnuts with sunflower seeds.

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Category: Sauces
  • Method: No Cooking
  • Cuisine: Italian

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