Quick & Healthy Macadamia Nut Pesto Recipe With Fresh Zucchini Noodles by Jan Mostrom

Quick & Healthy Macadamia Nut Pesto Recipe With Fresh Zucchini Noodles

I love this delicious macadamia nut pesto! Every time I make this healthy pesto recipe I think of a new way to use it. It's great with pasta, as a sandwich spread, on a pizza or my new favorite over zucchini noodles (aka zoodles). 

I use macadamia nuts because I've developed a sensitivity to pine nuts, the usual nut used for pesto. And I love how healthy macadamia nuts are for you. The richness of the macadamia nuts combined with the lemon makes this a satisfying and delicious dinner

If you have any pesto left get creative and use it for a soup topping or on your next homemade pizza instead of tomato sauce. Pesto will keep for up to three weeks in your refrigerator. Add a bit of olive oil to the top and a piece of plastic pressed against it to prevent discoloration.

Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4



  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, toasted


  • 10 zucchini, washed, trimmed and peeled into "zoodles" (I don't use the middle core with seeds)
  • olive oil

Here's how to make it: 

  1. To make the pesto, preheat frying pan to medium heat and gently brown the macadamia nuts. (Alternatively you can do it in a 350-degree F oven for 6 to 8 minutes.) Be careful not to burn them!
  2. In a food processor with the chopping blade inserted combine the basil, garlic, cheese and macadamia nuts. Blend until it becomes a paste. 
  3. Keep blending and add oil and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. To make the zoodles, heat a dash of olive oil in a frying pan and add 1/2 the zoodles. Rotate with tongs and remove when heated through. Repeat for second half of zoodles.
  5. Put zoodles back in the frying pan and add the pesto. Mix to heat and generously coat the zoodles. Start with 1/2 the pesto and continue to add until you get the ratio of sauce to zoodles you want.

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Food Processors $30 & Up
Macadamia Nuts $6 & Up
Olive Oil $4 & Up

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What a fresh and beautiful plant based dish, love it!
Elisa Schmitz
I love your creativity in the kitchen and all your clean eating recipes, Jan Mostrom . This looks amazing!

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