Linguine With Parsley Pesto

Dress up your weeknight pasta with fresh parsley pesto.

Linguine with Parsley Pesto
Photo: Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
15 mins

Get ready to meet your new favorite weeknight dinner. Making parsley pesto from scratch seriously upgrades a bland bowl of pasta into a composed dish that the whole family will love. This Linguine with Parsley Pesto may look stunning, but it comes together in just 15 minutes; all it takes is a little multi-tasking to set yourself up for success (while your pasta water is boiling, go ahead and make the pesto).

With its bright and grassy flavor, fresh parsley makes a tasty stand-in for basil when preparing pesto. This unconventional recipe replaces the usual pine nuts with pistachios, which boost the green color of the sauce and make it taste rich and buttery. Lemon juice adds a final note of zing to this pesto, while the Parmesan brings richness and decadence. You can make the pesto in a blender or a food processor, or even a mortar and pestle. When you drain your pasta, be sure to save some of the starchy water, which helps the sauce come together and cling to the noodles.

If you're looking for a healthier twist, feel free to use whole wheat pasta in this recipe. Toss in some baby spinach or arugula to bump up the vegetable component or add in some shredded chicken for extra protein.


  • 2 cups packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (from 1 bunch), plus chopped parsley for garnish

  • cup roasted salted pistachios

  • 1 ½ ounces Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about ⅓ cup), plus shaved Parmesan for serving

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 small garlic clove

  • 12 ounces uncooked linguine 

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

  • Crushed red pepper, for topping


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high. Meanwhile, place parsley, pistachios, grated Parmesan, oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic in a food processor or blender. Process until almost smooth, about 1 minute.

  2. Add pasta to boiling water; cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Return pasta to pot over low heat. Add butter and parsley mixture, gradually stirring in reserved cooking water as needed until desired consistency. Garnish with red pepper, shaved cheese, and chopped parsley.

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