Jalapeño Pesto

It doesn’t take much to turn your traditional pesto into something a lot spicier. Jalapeño pesto is very simple to make; it’s an excellent way to amp up the flavor of pasta and appetizers.

Is jalapeño not spicy enough for you? We understand. Take a trek up the pepper scale to serrano pepper and use it as a substitute. Opt for two serrano chilies as they tend to be smaller than the jalapeño.

jalapeño pesto

Jalapeño Pesto

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Sauce
Servings 8 servings
Calories 223 kcal


  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  • In a food processor, finely chop by pulsing the walnuts and garlic.
  • Add the jalapeño, the Parmesan cheese, and basil and process the mixture until fully blended.
  • Slowly pour in olive oil while processing until the oil and pesto mix is combined.
  • To taste, season with salt and pepper.


Swap out the jalapeño pepper for two serrano peppers (they are typically smaller) to increase the heat.


Calories: 223kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 4gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 442mgPotassium: 50mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 409IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 127mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Jalapeno Pepper
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on February 19, 2022 to include new content.
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)
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Add some green Thai chiles for heat!