Efficient methanation of CO2 relies on the development of more selective and stable heterogeneous catalysts. Here we present a simple and effective method to encapsulate Ni nanoparticles in zeolite silicalite-1. In this method, the zeolite is modified by selective desilication, which creates intra-particle voids and mesopores that facilitate the formation of small and well-dispersed nanoparticles upon impregnation and reduction. TEM and XPS analysis confirm that a significant part of the Ni nanoparticles are situated inside the zeolite rather than on the outer surface. The encapsulation results in an increased metal dispersion and, consequently, a high catalytic activity for CO2 methanation. With a gas hourly space velocity of 60000 ml/g catalyst h-1 and H2/CO2=4, the zeolite-encapsulated Ni nanoparticles result in 60% conversion at 450°C, which corresponds to a site-time yield of around 304 mol CH4/mol Ni h-1. The encapsulated Ni nanoparticles show no change in activity or selectivity after 50 h of operation, although post-catalysis characteri-sation reveals some particle migration.