Thursday, 16 May 2024
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Pistachio Pesto Quinoa Salad

Pistachio Pesto Quinoa Salad

I’ve always been a fan of pesto but a pesto featuring one of my favorite nuts – oh yeah.  I love this flavorful pesto salad that Chef Matthew from Living On The Veg whipped up for us this week.  It’s simple but so delicious and perfect for lunch or dinner.


Enjoying raw pistachios in their shell has always been one of my favorite snacks.  Cracking them open takes a little effort, the reward is well worth it.  Using them as a substitute for pine nuts can add an interestingly flavorful change to what you call a customary pesto recipe, and help your budget a bit too.  Pairing this untraditional pesto with protein rich quinoa, ripe heirloom tomatoes, and fresh spinach leaves is a surefire way to get your taste buds to become your best friends.  You can also try this pesto recipe with other dishes, such as pastas, risotto, squash noodles or use it as a spread, topping or even make a salad dressing with it, the possibilities are countless.

Chef Matthew from Living On The Veg


For the pesto:

  • 2 cups packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup shelled raw pistachios
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh black pepper

For the quinoa salad:

  • 4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups packed and chopped spinach leaves
  • 1 cup finely diced heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup finely diced orange or yellow bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley


  1. Place all the ingredients for the pesto, except the oil, in a food processor.  Start the processor and slowly pour in the oil.  The pesto should be creamy but still have a bit of texture to it.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the quinoa and pesto until evenly coated.  Add the remaining ingredients in the bowl and gently toss until mixed.
  3. Serve immediately or place in the fridge until ready to serve.


Makes 4-6 servings.


Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

You can easily double or triple the pesto recipe and use it in a number of different ways.

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Pistachio Pesto Quinoa Salad
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