Quest for Skinny Pesto Recipe

I’m probably not alone when I say that I love pesto sauce. Pesto pizza with roasted garlic + potato = awesome. Given my love for pesto, my inclination is to incorporate it into my cooking. I have made pesto sauce by hand before, using a recipe from 101 Cookbooks, and that was a ridiculously laborious process. My hand was hurting from chopping the basil alone.

Recently, I’ve been wanting to make my own pesto sauce again, but was a bit alarmed when I found that most recipes require at least 1/4 of olive oil plus a handful of nuts. While I have no aversion to olive oil or nuts, I wanted to find a lighter version so that I could eat it any time without feeling too heavy. I found a delicious low-fat pesto sauce made by Bolani, East & West Gourmet Afghan Food. If you’ve ever been to a farmers market in Northern California, you will have seen them before passing out tons of free samples of their bolani, sauces, and dips (an excellent sales strategy, by the way). Their sauces are great, but at $6 per tub, they can get pricey pretty soon. So I decided to make a skinny pesto sauce of my own.

The Challenge: Make My Own Skinny Pesto Sauce

I found an oil-free pesto recipe on eat, live, run and adjusted the recipe a bit.


  • 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 TBS white miso paste
  • 2 TBS freshly grated parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
  • 2 TBS sliced almonds
  • 3 TBS water (you can use more or less water)
  • lemon juice from 1/4 of a lemon


  1. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Add the water gradually to make sure that you get the right consistency.
  2. Enjoy!

Skinny Pesto Recipe

The Verdict: Pretty Good

I quite enjoyed this pesto. I thought that the miso paste was a bit too strong, so I added almonds in there to neutralize the taste. The original recipe did not call for any almonds. Next time, I will use only 1.5 TBS miso paste.

I used this sauce for my zucchini and summer squash noodles for dinner.

Zucchini Noodles with Skinny Pesto and Tilapia



3 thoughts on “Quest for Skinny Pesto Recipe

  1. Pingback: Skinny Kale Basil Pesto | Healthy Nibbles & Bits

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