Sauces and Seasonings

Cheesy Walnut Beet Sauce

“I received a free sample of Kikkoman soy sauce mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Kikkoman and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

If you like pesto then you’re going to love this cheesy walnut beet sauce! Extra virgin olive oil, freshly grated parmesan cheese, chopped beets, walnuts, and soy sauce are pulsed together into a perfectly cheesy, slightly salty, slightly sweet sauce that you’ll want to drizzle over everything. Plus, if you use pre-cooked beets, this sauce is whipped up in less than 5 minutes.

During our honeymoon in Italy, Bry and I became obsessed with pesto. After all, the Cinque Terre is the birthplace of the delicious green sauce. I was hesitant at first, as pesto in the states always upsets my stomach, but even after eating a huge slice of pesto lasagna in Italy my stomach was perfectly fine. I’ve also noticed stomach troubles with fresh basil, so my current theory is that my body does not like a preservative used on basil in the US. As a result, I avoid eating pesto altogether. And I life without a pesto-like sauce is just sad.

Enter in this beet sauce. While I wanted to call it Beet Pesto, this sauce does not contain basil or pine nuts, so it just felt wrong to call it “pesto.” If anyone has a better, shorter name for this delicious sauce I am all ears!

This recipe could not be easier! Simply chop up the beets, shred your cheese, then add all the ingredients to your food processor and pulse away. To save on time, I used pre-boiled beets sold by Trader Joes, but if you can’t find any pre-cooked beets you can either roast your beets in an oven heated to 375F for 45-60 minutes or simmer beets in a saucepan of boiling water and vinegar (reduce to a simmer after adding the beets) for 45 minutes.

Looking at the ingredient list, you may do a double-take when you see soy sauce. Yup, there’s soy sauce in this sauce. While soy sauce often gets a bad rep for its sodium content a study published in the Journal of Food Science recently found that swapping soy sauce for salt in recipes can actually reduce the sodium by up to 50% without negatively impacting the flavor. This is awesome news as soy sauce not only adds a salty flavor, but it has such a wonderful depth of flavor, which gives this beet sauce a serious boost in the flavor department.

By using ½ tsp of Kikkoman Soy Sauce in place of ½ tsp. of table salt, you can slash 1000mg of sodium from your recipe!

Looking to try out this sneaky swap? Recipe Redux members have been challenged by Kikkoman to swap out salt for soy sauce in some of our favorite recipes, so be sure to check out my fellow Redux members’ creations!

Besides being quick, easy, and delicious, this sauce is also jam-packed with good-for-you foods: heart-healthy fats from the walnuts and olive oil and immune-boosting vitamin C (in addition to potassium and folate) from the beets. 

So here’s a toast to

Cheesy Walnut Beet Sauce
Yields 1
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Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
  1. 1 cup chopped cooked beets (boiled or roasted)*
  2. ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  3. ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  4. ½ cup roasted, unsalted walnuts
  5. 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  1. Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until it forms a pesto-like consistency (mostly smooth, but with a few lumps).
  2. Pour into a mason jar or tupperware container and store in the fridge for up to 7 days.
  1. *To make this a super quick recipe, I used pre-boiled beets from Trader Joes.
The Healthy Toast

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  • Reply
    Autumn @
    January 11, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Wow, what a creative pesto! Love this idea, and beets too!

    • Reply
      The Healthy Toast
      January 12, 2017 at 8:30 am

      Thanks Autumn! Hope you give it a try 🙂

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Whatever you call it, I call it delicious! Love the story from Italy!

    • Reply
      The Healthy Toast
      January 12, 2017 at 8:30 am

      Haha, sounds good to me 😉 Thanks Serena!

  • Reply
    Tara | Treble in the Kitchen
    January 12, 2017 at 7:23 am

    Yum!! What an interesting yet delicious looking sauce!! My husband and I honeymooned in Cinque Terre too 🙂 We did a cooking class with Daniella and Pierro and learned how to make many delicious Italian dishes…including Pesto!!!

    • Reply
      The Healthy Toast
      January 12, 2017 at 8:32 am

      I’m so jealous you got to do a cooking class there! We didn’t realize how popular they’d be so by the time we went to reserve a class it was completely booked 🙁 but I bet the pesto you guys made was amazing!

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