olive pesto in a bowl with a plate of pasta off to the side
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5 from 1 vote

Olive Pesto

Olive pesto has an amazing flavor and is a delicious pairing for any pasta recipe! Whip it up in just minutes and store excess in the freezer for later!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword best pesto recipe, olive pesto, pesto sauce pasta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 16 tablespoons
Calories 86kcal
Author Alli


  • 2 cups olives kalamata, green, or both
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup nuts see note
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil or enough to bring pesto to desired consistency
  • salt to taste


  • In a food processor (see note), combine olives, nuts, and parmesan.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Gradually add oil, pulsing and checking consistency frequently. It should be about the consistency of a smoothie. Don't add it all at once, you may not need it all. 
  • Add salt to taste - I usually add a little less than I normally would and then make the final seasoning alterations when it is combined in whatever I'm serving it with (pasta, sauce, etc).
  • Serve a few tablespoons over warm pasta (see note) or freeze in ice cube trays for later use. It also makes a great addition to sandwich spreads, creamy sauces, or bread!



Almost any mild-flavored, raw nut will work in this recipe. I use pecans most often but walnuts, pine nuts, and sunflower seeds also work well. 
The consistency of pesto can be altered in a pasta dish by using pasta water.
I like to use pesto sparingly, so I would serve only half of this recipe over 1 pound of pasta. Experiment to see what taste you prefer!


Calories: 86kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 296mg | Potassium: 21mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 83IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg