You don't need pine nuts to make an amazing pesto.
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Hazelnut-and-Green Olive Pesto
Credit: © Helene Dujardin

While we love a classic pesto studded with pine nuts, these typically pricey nuts aren't required to make the delicious sauce. Here, eleven terrific recipes that use alternative nuts (or even no nuts at all!), including aromatic mint pesto and autumnal sage-walnut pesto.

Mint Pesto

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This refreshing pesto is made with parsley and mint leaves. It has a special affinity for being paired with lamb, but it can really be used with any meat or vegetable, just as you would its basil counterpart.

Get the Recipe: Mint Pesto

Walnut Pesto

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Crushed red pepper adds heat to this terrific walnut pesto. Toss it with pasta or roasted vegetables, spread it on thickly sliced tomatoes and broil, or stuff it under the skin of a chicken before roasting.

Get the Recipe: Walnut Pesto

Pistachio-Oregano Pesto

Pistachio-Oregano Pesto

This delicious, easy pesto, made with roasted pistachios and fresh oregano, is perfect with roasted, grilled, or steamed fish.

Get the Recipe: Pistachio-Oregano Pesto

Kale-Basil Pesto

Kale Basil Pesto
Credit: Erin Kunkel

This fall-forward pesto bolsters traditional basil with lacinato kale for extra heartiness. Winemaker Clare Carver recommends choosing a mild, smooth extra-virgin olive oil here for a buttery richness that complements the toasted walnuts and balances the fresh garlic.

Get the Recipe: Kale-Basil Pesto

Spaghetti with Radish-Greens Pesto

Spaghetti with Radish-Greens Pesto
Credit: © Con Poulos

This pesto marries salted pumpkin seeds with radish greens to make a super-fresh, flavorful sauce. You can also use beet or turnip greens.

Get the Recipe: Spaghetti with Radish-Greens Pesto

Sage-Walnut Pesto Pasta

Sage-Walnut Pesto Pasta

This lovely fall pesto combines fresh sage, parsley, and toasted walnuts. A garnish of fried sage leaves adds a nice herbal crunch.

Get the Recipe: Sage-Walnut Pesto Pasta

Roasted Squash Wedges with Collard-Peanut Pesto

Roasted Squash Wedges with Collard Peanut Pesto Recipe
Credit: Oriana Koren

Blanching and shocking the collards preserves their vibrant color in this pesto and removes the greens' slight bitter edge. Use best-quality peanuts; their toasty, nutty flavor is the foundation of the creamy pesto.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Squash Wedges with Collard-Peanut Pesto

Spaghetti with Sun-Dried Tomato-Almond Pesto

Day 19: Spaghetti with Sun-Dried-Tomato-Almond Pesto
Credit: JOHN KERNICK

This Mediterranean dish from Philadelphia chef Marcie Turney is quick and utterly delicious. The pesto is a simple, satisfying blend of sun-dried tomatoes, roasted almonds, garlic, and olive oil.

Get the Recipe: Spaghetti with Sun-Dried Tomato-Almond Pesto

Mafaldine with Pea Shoot-Meyer Lemon Pesto

Mafaldine with Pea Shoot– Meyer Lemon Pesto
Credit: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

Fresh pea shoots, parsley, and dill make a verdant pesto balanced with salty ricotta salata cheese and nutty roasted sunflower seed kernels. The bright sauce clings beautifully to ruffled mafaldine pasta, but any textured pasta shape will work well. 

Get the Recipe: Mafaldine with Pea Shoot-Meyer Lemon Pesto

Linguine with Frenched Green Beans and Parsley Pesto

Linguine with Frenched Green Beans and Parsley Pesto Recipe
Credit: Photo by Tara Donne / Food Styling by Chris Lanier / Prop Styling by Raina Kattelson

In this classic recipe, 1988 F&W Best New Chef Johanne Killeen employs starchy pasta water to thicken her fresh, nut-free pesto into a sauce that clings to and flavors each strand of linguine, instead of pooling in the bowl.

Get the Recipe: Linguine with Frenched Green Beans and Parsley Pesto

Pesto alla Trapanese

Pesto alla Trapanese
Credit: Caitlin Bensel

This tomato-based no-cook sauce swaps almonds for pine nuts and comes together quickly with the help of a food processor. While basil is traditionally used, cookbook author Colu Henry likes to add mint and parsley for complexity.

Get the Recipe: Pesto alla Trapanese