Basil, Walnut & Za’atar Pesto



I made this pesto one evening as I had some basil to use up and as I went into the pantry to grab the nutritional yeast I saw the za’atar so I thought, why not try adding it?!

I am so glad I did as this basil, walnut and za’atar pesto has such a lovely flavour with the za’atar and is a great addition to many different dishes.

I have enjoyed this pesto over pasta, on roasted vegetables and as a spread on sandwiches and wraps. There are so many options.

Where to buy za’atar

You can buy za’atar from most major supermarkets these days and there are lots of really good brands available. Also small specialist food shops normally stock it too.

What is Za’atar?

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend which is normally a blend of dried hyssop, thyme, oregano, sumac and sesame seeds. Ingredients may vary slightly in countries or with family recipes.

You may notice in the ingredients list for this pesto that it contains no garlic. Garlic is in most pestos and whilst it adds a lovely flavour I can sometimes find it overpowering. When I first made this basil, walnut and za’atar pesto I made it without garlic and it worked really well flavour wise without it that I decided to keep it out of the final recipe.


-1 large bunch of fresh basil (approx. 30g), washed and stems removed

-Juice of 1 lemon

-2 tsp. za’atar

-5 or 6 walnut halves

-1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

-pinch of salt to taste

-good glug of extra virgin olive oil (about 2-4 tablespoons depending on the consistency of the pesto you prefer)

How To Make

  1. Place all the ingredients except the olive oil and salt into a mini food processor and blend. (If you don’t have a mini food processor you can use a stick blender or a blender too)

  2. Whilst blending start drizzling in the extra virgin olive oil until the mixture gets to the desired consistency you want. I don’t like my pesto really smooth as I enjoy the texture it gives dishes so I don’t blend it for too long.

  3. Taste the pesto and add salt if needed.

  4. Serve with pasta, spread on sandwiches, drizzled over salads and roasted vegetables or however you wish.

  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.



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