Basil almond pesto

Basil & Almond Pesto

Tomorrow holds a lunch for my husband’s grandmother’s birthday and we’re on pasta salad. I thought it would be a good chance to try making pesto again. Last time I made pesto it was okay — it dried out a bit — but I barely remember that recipe, except that it used low fat ricotta for creaminess and moisture, without the fat content that the usual oils provide.

I threw together this concoction this afternoon and hoped for the best! I haven’t put the pasta salad together yet, but the pesto tastes good!


  • 1 bunch basil (mine was approx. 3 cups of medium packed leaves)
  • 0.5 cup low fat ricotta
  • 2 tbs almonds (I used sliced because I had them in the cupboard, but I don’t think it matters — blanched or roasted would give different flavours)
  • 1.5 tbs apple sauce (no added sugar)
  • 1 dash each salt, pepper & garlic salt
  • 2 dashes cayenne pepper


Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. That’s it! Although, I did have to process the basil before adding the other ingredients so that it would all fit in my little processor. Also, I added just one dash of cayenne pepper at first, but I found the pesto was still a bit sweet from the apple sauce, so I added another dash.

You could also add some parmesan cheese (1 tbs would probably be about right). I intended to add parmesan, but I forgot to use it until after I’d already put my pesto in a jar. You could exchange some of the cayenne pepper for parmesan, which should counteract some of the sweetness of the apple sauce (which is in there as a low fat alternative to oil and helps keep the pesto moist).

If you try this recipe or some variation of it, or if you have a favourite low fat pesto recipe, let me know in the comments!