Alonti Pecan Pesto Pasta – CopyKat Recipes


Alonti pecan pesto pasta is incredibly delicious. Homemade basil pesto with pecans is tossed with pasta and served warm as a side dish or cold as a pasta salad.

Two bowls of copycat Alonti pecan pesto pasta.Two bowls of copycat Alonti pecan pesto pasta.

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What Makes Pecan Pesto So Good? 

Pesto is always made with pine nuts, right? Well, no. There is a wide variety of pesto, and one of the best is this version that uses pecans. Pecans give this sauce a sweet, buttery flavor that pine nuts just can’t match, and as a bonus, they are much cheaper!

Basil Pecan Pesto makes a good sauce for pasta, but there are so many more ways to use this versatile recipe! Check out the section below for more suggestions.

Why You Should Try This Basil Pesto With Pecans 

Besides switching out the type of nuts, this sauce has one more trick up its sleeve. Instead of using only parmesan cheese, as most traditional pesto recipes call for, it adds a touch of Pecorino Romano cheese.

The slight nuttiness of Pecorino Romano works perfectly in pesto resulting in a light yet full-flavored sauce you’ll want to make again and again.

Pecan Pesto Recipe Ingredients

For this pesto recipe with pecans, you’ll need:

  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Pecans
  • Kosher salt
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Pecorino Romano cheese

To finish the recipe, you’ll need:

  • Pasta 
  • Crushed pecans (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
  • Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (optional)

The best pasta shapes for this dish have a lot of surface area. Gemelli and fiorelliwith all their bends and folds, are perfect for trapping pesto sauce. Short tubular pasta like penne and rigatoni would also work well.

If you don’t care for pecans, you can substitute them with walnuts.

Copycat Alonti pecan pesto pasta ingredients on a tray.Copycat Alonti pecan pesto pasta ingredients on a tray.

How to Make Pecan Basil Pesto

To prepare the pesto sauce:

  1. Rinse the basil leaves and dry them very well. 
  2. Peel the garlic cloves and smash them with the flat side of your knife to make the cloves easier to process.
  3. Combine the basil, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, use a blender, but be careful not to blend too much and overheat the sauce.
  4. Pulse two or three times just to break up the garlic. 
  5. Add the kosher salt to the bowl of the food processor and crumble in the pecans. Process until there are no large chunks of nuts.
  6. Add the parmesan and Pecorino Romano cheeses. Pulse until the cheese fully incorporates. The texture should be somewhat smooth but not a liquid consistency.
  7. Use a rubber spatula to transfer the pesto to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge until needed. 

To sauce the pasta:

  1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. 
  2. Drain the pasta, but retain about a cup of pasta water. 
  3. Add the pesto sauce to a large mixing bowl. You’ll need about a cup of pesto sauce for each pound of pasta. 
  4. A few tablespoons of reserved pasta water mixed into the pesto sauce will thin it out and make mixing easier.
  5. Toss the pasta with the pesto sauce. If the pesto is still clumping, add a bit more pasta water. 
  6. Plate and garnish with optional crumbled pecans and grated cheese. 
Collage of making pecan pesto pasta.Collage of making pecan pesto pasta.

What Else Can You Do With This Pecan Pesto Recipe?

Most people hear “pesto” and immediately think of pairing it with pasta or gnocchi. Both are good options, but they aren’t the only ones. Here are some more creative ways to use Pecan Pesto Sauce:

  • Spread it on bread for more flavorful sandwiches.
  • Spread it on top of crostini or crackers with goat cheese for a delicious appetizer.
  • Make a pizza with pesto sauce, tomatoes, and goat cheese. 
  • Toss the pesto with boiled potatoes for an awesome side dish.
  • Mix the sauce with scrambled eggs. 
  • Whip cream cheese and pesto together for a quick dip. 
Copycat Alonti pecan pesto pasta and a small bowl of the pesto.Copycat Alonti pecan pesto pasta and a small bowl of the pesto.

How to Store the Leftovers 

Keep extra pesto in the fridge in an airtight container. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent it from browning.

For extended storage, pour the pesto into ice cube trays. Freeze it until solid. Transfer the frozen pesto cubes to a plastic freezer bag. It will last up to 3 months in the freezer.

How Long Will It Last

Basil pesto with pecans will stay fresh for three or four days in the fridge, but the basil may darken earlier. Adding a touch of acidity in the form of lemon juice or vinegar can help preserve the color. 

Overhead view of copycat Alonti pecan pesto pasta in two bowls.Overhead view of copycat Alonti pecan pesto pasta in two bowls.

More Recipes with Pesto

Check out more of my easy pasta recipes and the best copycat restaurant recipes on CopyKat!

Two bowls of copycat Alonti pecan pesto pasta.Two bowls of copycat Alonti pecan pesto pasta.

Alonti’s Pecan Pesto Pasta

Altonti’s Pecan Pesto is a great take on traditional pinenut pesto, this basil pesto is made with pecans. 

Add to Collection

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Italian

Keyword: Pasta Recipes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4

Calories: 855kcal


  • 25 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Romano cheese
  • 1 pound pasta cooked according to package directions


  • Wash the basil leaves and place them into a food processor with the olive oil and garlic. Pulse several times until the garlic begins to break into small pieces.

  • Add the kosher salt and pecans and process briefly at medium speed.

  • Add the cheese and pulse until the cheese is mixed uniformly throughout.

  • Pour some or all of the pesto over the cooked pasta and mix well.

  • Store any remaining pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will remain fresh for a few days.


Calories: 855kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 1019mg | Potassium: 345mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 525IU | Vitamin C: 1.5mg | Calcium: 366mg | Iron: 2.3mg