Pecan Pesto Butter Sauce

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

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We are now in the full swing of gardening and summer cooking, and this Pecan Pesto Butter Sauce recipe is just perfect with pasta or my pork tenderloin. And when my basil is overflowing and it’s time for picking – I think of pesto. But this recipe is more of a butter sauce for your summer pasta salads, grains or BBQ meats. Learning this simple technique of Pecan Pesto Butter Sauce, you can design your own dishes with this incredible simple pesto sauce. Add it to pasta, salads, potatoes, lamb, chicken and the list goes on. I just can’t live without this sauce!

Pecan Pesto Butter Sauce

This recipe was found in my family recipe box from many years ago with the corners turned up, all stained with green basil spills. I happen to get invited for a cooking class as a guest at the local Herb Society Meeting in Rancho Santa Fe.

The chef made a large bowl of pasta and served it as her presentation. I loved that class and all the fine ladies I met that day. It’s one recipe I don’t make often (because of all that butter) but when I do make it, it takes me back to that friendly chef and how she gathered the pesto that day from her garden, and took us back into the porch area to make this amazing sauce. I remember taking vivid notes as if I was in class again. And that was a true farm to table experience before it became so popular like today!

That was over 20 years ago!

And to this day, I plant basil so I may have enough to make this memorable recipe.

Pecan pesto Suace

Why you should you plant basil:

  • Basil leaves compose of several health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral, limonene and terpineol. These compounds are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
  • Contains iron. Vitmain A;beta-carotene, potassium and manganese.
  • Basil leaves hold many notable plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties.
  • Member of the mint family it has been used as a medicinal plant, and its oils and extracts are said to have antioxidant and antibacterial properties.

To begin always start with gathering all your ingredients.

pesto-mise en place

Measure and cut everything beforehand.

Pesto Blend

Blend in the food processor or mixer.

Pesto Butter

Place the pesto in a saucepan. Slowly add the cubed butter.

Pesto Final

Keep warm on lowest temperature until ready to serve.


Pecan Pesto Butter Sauce

Make this sauce for a special occasion with a big bowl of pasta, salad, and garlic bread and you will make many family and friends very happy! Or add it to your favorite BBQ meat.
Course dinner, sauce
Cuisine California Greek
Keyword pasta sauce, pecan, pesto sauce
Author Mary Papoulias-Platis


  • 1 1/2 cups basil leaves, washed and patted dry
  • 6 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 sticks of butter, cubed


  1. In a food processor, fitted with a metal blade, combine the basil, garlic, pecans, and cheese.

  2. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. With the machine running, add the oil in a steady stream. Process until a paste is formed.
  4. Place the pesto in a saucepan, over low heat, heat the mixture.
  5. Whisk in the butter, a cube at a time, until all the butter is incorporated.
  6. Re-season the sauce if necessary.
  7. Set aside and keep warm.

Recipe Notes

This can be used on pasta, pizzas, or added to top chicken, pork, or meat dish.


The basic pork tenderloin recipe can be used for all occasions, changing out the sauce to cranberry for the holidays, oranges for the summer and so forth.

How to Cook Pork Tenderloin

Follow these few steps to serve a delicious pork tenderloin. Most tenderloins come with 2, which can serve up to 6-8 people.

Servings 4 to 8
Author Mary Papoulias-Platis


  • 1 pkg. pork tenderloin ( 2 in a package) Double sauce if using both.
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • salt and pepper


  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

  2. Using a large skillet, place over a medium heat and add olive oil.

  3. Pat the tenderloin dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.

  4. Add the meat to the pan, and brown the pork on both sides.

  5. Carefully remove from the heat and add the vinegar.

  6. Place the skillet in the oven, and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees. (well done) or 160 degrees (medium).

  7. Pull out of the oven, and cover to rest for 10-15 minutes.

  8. Slice into 1/2 inch slices and serve.

Enjoy your homemade pesto sauce and delicious dinner!



© 2015 – 2022, Mary Papoulias-Platis. All rights reserved.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 BarbaraNH

Oh, yum! These are both beautiful and delicious recipes! Thanks!

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