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This sage pesto is the perfect pesto recipe for the fall and winter months. If your herb garden is exploding with sage or you have leftover sage from holiday recipes…make this easy and delicious sage pesto!

Spoonful of sage pesto lifting out of glass jar surrounded by sage leaves and walnuts.

Reasons To Love This Sage Pesto Recipe

  • The perfect pesto for fall and winter! This pesto variation is a fantastic alternative once summer basil is gone. The sage flavor also pairs well with so many fall and winter dishes!
  • Easy to make! The food processor does all the work. You just need to add the ingredients!
  • A delicious way to preserve sage! I love preserving fresh herbs to enjoy year round. If your herb garden is exploding with sage, this pesto recipe is a delicious way to make sure it doesn’t go to waste!
  • A great way to use up leftover sage! Leftover sage from holiday recipes? I seem to always have more than I need! Whip up a batch of this sage pesto with the leftovers!
  • So many ways to enjoy it! Toss it with pasta, spread it on sandwiches, or drizzle over so many dishes for a pop of flavor. It’s so versatile! See the Ways To Use Sage Pesto section for tons of delicious ideas.
Glass jar of sage pesto with spoon scooping some out.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s what you need to make this homemade sage pesto recipe…

Labelled photo of ingredients needed to make sage pesto.
  • Sage: Fresh sage leaves removed from the stem.
  • Parsley: Some Italian parsley is added to round out and lighten up the flavors.
  • Walnuts: Toast the walnuts first for a delicious roasted flavor. Simply place them in a skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant (about 5 minutes), tossing gently every so often.
  • Garlic: A must in pesto!
  • Parmesan: Freshly grated Parmesan cheese – I recommend grating it yourself!
  • Olive Oil: Use quality extra virgin olive oil that you enjoy the taste of! It plays a big part in the flavor of pesto.
  • Lemon Juice: Some fresh lemon juice adds a pop of bright flavor. It’s optional but I really enjoy how it rounds out the flavors in this pesto.
  • Salt & Pepper: Some salt and freshly ground pepper to season. I like to use this sea salt.

Detailed ingredient list and directions located in the recipe card below.

How To Make Sage Pesto

Pesto is so easy to make and this sage pesto is no exception. Simply…

Numbered photo collage showing steps to make homemade sage pesto.
  1. Add dry ingredients to food processor: Add the sage, parsley, walnuts, garlic and Parmesan cheese to a food processor.
  2. Pulse dry ingredients: Pulse until finely chopped. This is the food processor that I have had for years and love. I use the mini bowl that comes with it to make pesto.
  3. Drizzle in olive oil: With the food processor running, slowly stream in the olive oil through the pour spout. Pause to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula and then continue running until the mixture is well combined but still has some texture.
  4. Season: Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice (adjust to taste) and enjoy!

Storage Tips

  • To Store: Store in a jar or airtight container in the fridge for 1 week. To prevent it from oxidizing and changing color, pour a thin layer of olive oil on top.
  • To Freeze: I like to freeze pesto in small portions in a silicone ice cube tray or the small Souper Cubes tray. Once frozen, pop the cubes out into a freezer bag or storage container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. When you would like to enjoy it, simply grab and thaw what you need and add to your dish.
Small bowl of sage pesto surrounded by fresh sage leaves and walnut pieces.

Variations

  • Substitute the Parmesan for another cheese: You could also use Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano.
  • Swap the walnuts: Use hazelnuts, pistachios, pine nuts or almonds instead.
  • Make it nut free: Swap out the walnuts for pepitas.
  • Make it dairy free or vegan: Swap the Parmesan for 1/4 cup nutritional yeast.

Ways To Use Sage Pesto

There are endless ways to use this sage pesto! Here are some great ideas:

  • Toss it with pasta or gnocchi for a quick sauce.
  • Use it as a spread on sandwiches or wraps. It’s so good on a turkey sandwich! Keep that in mind next time you have leftover turkey.
  • Drizzle over roasted vegetables or potatoes.
  • Spoon it over nourish bowls or grain bowls.
  • Use as a pizza topping (would be great on puff pastry pizza too!)
  • Drizzle over scrambled eggs or an omelet.
  • Mix into soups or stews.
  • Drizzle over roast turkey, chicken or pork (like this cast iron pork tenderloin).
  • Use it as a dip for fresh veggies or bread.
  • Mix into mashed potatoes.
  • Use as a sauce for grilled meats or fish.
Small bowl of homemade sage pesto with spoon lifting some out.

A Few Questions Answered

Can you make sage pesto without the parsley?

You can if you like! Sage has a strong earthy taste so I prefer to add in some parsley to round out the flavors.

How do you prevent the pesto from browning?

If storing in the fridge, cover the surface with a thin layer of olive oil to prevent it from browning. Alternatively, you could also press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pesto.

Why do you have to add the olive oil slowly?

Adding the olive oil in a slow steady stream while the food processor is running helps it to emulsify (helps keep the olive oil from separating).

Can you use a blender?

Absolutely! I just prefer to use a food processor for pesto since I find it difficult to get all the pesto out of a blender and it is also very easy to over blend the pesto when making it in a blender. You want a bit of texture in the pesto vs a smooth puree.

Sage pesto on a spoon.

Did you make this sage pesto recipe? I would love to hear about it! Leave me a comment below.

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Spoon scooping sage pesto out of a small glass jar.

Sage Pesto

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 11 reviews
  • Author: Vanessa | Maple + Mango
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 10 min
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

This sage pesto recipe is a delicious variation perfect for the fall and winter months. If your herb garden is exploding with sage or you have leftover sage from holiday recipes…make this sage pesto!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups lightly packed fresh sage leaves
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts (see notes)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, optional

Instructions

  1. Pulse dry ingredients in food processor: Add the sage, parsley, walnuts, garlic and Parmesan cheese to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Drizzle in olive oil: With the food processor running, slowly stream in the olive oil.  Pause to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula and then continue running until the mixture is well combined but still has some texture.
  3. Season: Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice (adjust to taste) and enjoy!

Notes

  • Toasted Walnuts: To toast the walnuts, place them in a skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant (about 5 minutes), tossing them occasionally.
  • This is the food processor that I use. I have had it for many years and love it. For pesto, I use the mini bowl that comes with it.
  • To Store: Store in a jar or airtight container in the fridge for 1 week. To prevent it from browning, cover the surface with a thin layer of olive oil.
  • To Freeze: I like to freeze pesto in small portions in a silicone ice cube tray or the small Souper Cubes tray. Once frozen, pop the cubes out into a freezer bag or storage container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

About Vanessa Gilic

I want to help you make delicious food using real ingredients! Explore a variety of easy to follow, real-food recipes ranging from healthy eats to comfort food. Welcome to Maple + Mango – I'm so happy you're here!

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18 Comments

  1. nancy says:

    i love a good pesto. This one with sage is delicious and really liven the flavours up. I will be adding this to all my pasta dishes!






  2. Asha says:

    This is my first time for making pesto. I used it to stuff pork chops. The end result was delicious.






    1. Vanessa Gilic says:

      Stuffing pork chops with it is a great idea!

  3. Marie-Pierre Breton says:

    This is interesting! I used to have such a big sage plant and didn’t know what to do with it. I would fry them up; I love them crispy! But yeah, I wished I had this recipe to use it all! It is such an underrated aromatic herb… I’ll try it as soon as I get my hands on some!






    1. Vanessa Gilic says:

      I love frying up the leaves as well (so good) but it is definitely difficult to use it all up that way. Since the pesto is freezer friendly, it is a great way to make sure none of that fresh sage goes to waste!

  4. Bernice says:

    I love the flavour of walnuts in pesto and they are much cheaper than pine nuts. Love this interesting spin on an Italian classic and I’m already planning on all the delicious things I’m going to make with it.






    1. Vanessa Gilic says:

      Walnuts definitely are less expensive than pine nuts and also pair so well with sage!

  5. Lily says:

    I love how this comes together so quickly. Served it with some fresh tomatoes and burrata – so good!






    1. Vanessa Gilic says:

      Yum! You’re speaking my love language with the burrata!

  6. Sara Welch says:

    This was such a smooth and robust recipe that does not disappoint! Was quick, easy and delicious; definitely, a new favorite recipe!






  7. Kim says:

    I can’t wait to make this Sage Pesto recipe of yours! I also love the storage trick of freezing them in a silicone ice molder. Will definitely try this soon!






  8. Andrea says:

    What a fabulous pesto for the Holidays. I’m already thinking of using it on appetizers and in leftover turkey recipes.






    1. Vanessa Gilic says:

      Such a great way to use this sage pesto!

  9. TAYLER ROSS says:

    This pesto is amazing! I made it last night to use on some pasta and it was so fresh and tasty!






    1. Vanessa Gilic says:

      I’m so happy that you enjoyed it!

  10. Anjali says:

    Love this twist on regular pesto!! The sage added such a rich depth of flavor and I’ve already used this pesto as a sauce for pasta and as a spread for sandwiches – delicious!






    1. Vanessa Gilic says:

      I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed this sage pesto recipe! Those are some great ways to enjoy it!