Bright green basil pesto in a small bowl with a white spoon, some basil leaves, a few pine nuts, a garlic clove and grated parmesan cheese.
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Homemade Basil Pesto

You only need a few simple ingredients to make the most amazing homemade basil pesto. It's so delicious and easy you will never want to go back to store-bought again!

Course Condiment
Cuisine Italian
Keyword fresh basil pesto, homemade pesto, pesto recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 people - makes 1 cup
Calories 138 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves packed
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts see notes for substitutions
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan up to 1/2 cup - use freshly ground parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced - about 2 small cloves
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste

Instructions

  1. Add basil, pine nuts, parmesan and garlic in the bowl of your food processor.

  2. Pulse a few times until ingredients are combined and look like a rough paste. 

  3. Pour olive oil slowly in the food processor while it's running (or add a little at a time, mix, add a little more and mix again). Pulse until it's mixed and somewhat smooth (I like it not perfectly smooth!), scraping down the sides of the food processor as needed. Season with salt to taste. Serve. 

  4. Make ahead: If you're not planning to use the pesto straight away, transfer to an airtight container and cover the surface with olive oil to prevent oxidation (this causes the pesto to darken but doesn't change the taste). Store in the fridge for up to a week. 

  5. Freezing: Pesto freezes really well. If you know from the start you're going to freeze it, omit the cheese (it doesn't freeze well). For individual portions, line an ice cube tray with plastic wrap, fill each pockets with pesto and freeze. Remove from the ice cube tray and store in freezer bags. When ready to eat, thaw in the fridge (not in the microwave) and add in the cheese. 

Recipe Notes

Variations/substitutions:

Dietary swaps:

 

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Basil Pesto
Amount Per Serving (2 tablespoons)
Calories 138 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 22%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 3mg 1%
Sodium 137mg 6%
Potassium 56mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 1g 0%
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 7.1%
Vitamin C 1.7%
Calcium 5.9%
Iron 3.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.