There are soooooo many reasons you should give this walnut parsley pesto pasta a whirl. It’s fast, easy, inexpensive, and you likely already have all of the ingredients in your pantry, including that bunch of parsley languishing in the fridge (minus those few sprigs you needed for that other recipe).Angie Zoobkoff

A gold-rimmed white plate topped with a serving of walnut parsley pesto pasta.

Walnut Parsley Pesto Pasta

5 / 2 votes
This walnut parsley pesto pasta comes together quickly and is made with only a handful of pantry staples. Sounds like a weeknight winner to me.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories413 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time25 minutes


  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces dried linguine (or other long, skinny pasta)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted if desired
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
  • Lemon wedges for serving (optional)


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add the linguine and cook according to package directions until al dente.
  • While the linguine is cooking, use a food processor or blender to whiz together the garlic, parsley, walnuts, oil, and Parmesan until blended, scraping down the sides as needed, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Drain the pasta and dump it in a large bowl. Scrape in the pesto and chile flakes and toss. Serve immediately, if desired with more Parmesan and/or lemon for squeezing at the table.

Adapted From

Recipe Shorts

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 portionCalories: 413 kcalCarbohydrates: 46 gProtein: 11 gFat: 21 gSaturated Fat: 3 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5 gMonounsaturated Fat: 11 gCholesterol: 5 mgSodium: 130 mgPotassium: 265 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 2 gVitamin A: 1404 IUVitamin C: 20 mgCalcium: 98 mgIron: 2 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2017 Andrea Stewart. Photo © 2017 Faith Mason. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I love making pesto with whatever I can get my hands on—arugula, carrot tops, etc., so I was thrilled to try this recipe. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to make a quick weeknight meal. I made it a few hours before dinner and served it with steamed green beans mixed in.

The only thing I think this recipe needed was just a squeeze of lemon for brightness and maybe a pinch of flaked sea salt.

I had plenty of sauce for the pasta and it served 4 (maybe 5 if one of the eaters wasn’t a teenage boy)

This is an excellent dish with a very pronounced garlic flavor and a more subdued herb flavor. (The garlic cloves I used were plump and very fragrant.) The amount of garlic used could easily be reduced, but I happened to like it this way. I think this pesto will appeal to people who find basil pesto too overpowering.

I will certainly make it again. The recipe made plenty of sauce for the linguine.

This is a simple but filling and satisfying pasta. I love the spicy chile flakes paired with the Parmesan.

I used flat-leaf parsley and untoasted walnuts. I would probably add an acidic element to the dish when making it again, for a little more balance. Maybe some tomatoes added to the hot pasta. Also, real Parmiggiano is a must. Domestic Parmesan wasn’t the same and created a heavy, oily-tasting pesto.

Truly a lazy and broke person’s pesto pasta—no need to pluck leaves from the stems and no need for any chopping. A bunch of parsley at my grocery store is always a buck and the rest of the ingredients are pantry staples. Be sure you put the pot of water on before you start because this pesto takes less than 5 minutes to prep and blitz.

I just trimmed the bottom 2/3 of the stems (they were long!) and put the leafy parts in the Cuisinart. I suppose I could have even thrown a chunk of Parm in along with the whole (small) cloves of garlic in there, too, if I was really lazy.

I boiled about 1/2 pound of long fusilli (my kid likes the long curly cues) in heavily salted water, shook most of the water from it, and returned it to the pot to toss with the pesto. I got about 1/2 cup pesto and I found 1/2 pound dry pasta had the best coverage for us since we like it particularly saucy. I passed the chile flakes at the table along with more grated Parm and some black pepper, too.

You could get 4 normal portions from 1/2 pound pasta and I love the idea of adding chickpeas or grilled chicken to stretch the meal.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

Hungry For More?

Brie Mac and Cheese

The creamiest, cheesiest, most comforting mac and cheese you’re ever going to try. Swear.

1 hr

Jamie Oliver’s Sausage Pappardelle

This easy one-pot pasta meal from Jamie Oliver features fresh pasta and sausage smothered in a luxurious tomato sauce. Our testers are calling it a “quick, elegant, comforting meal.”

25 mins

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating