Basil Pesto Recipe

Basil Pesto is such a versatile sauce. It’s fantastic tossed with any pasta, or on burgers; not to mention in a grilled chicken sandwich with focaccia bread, cheese and heirloom tomatoes (can you tell what’s for dinner?).

Mom planted loads of basil this year and I’m putting it to good use – I’m on a pesto spree; making lots and lots of basil pesto with walnuts. Pesto freezes well so if you have loads of basil right now (and it’s not too late to plant some), you should try this! And do let me know how YOU love to serve pesto.

Ingredients for Basil Pesto:

1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil (extra virgin is best)
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves
1/8 cup lemon juice or juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

How to Make Basil Pesto:

1. Wash and dry the basil leaves (a salad spinner works best)

basil-pesto-3

2. Place basil into a food processor, add cheese, nuts, garlic cloves, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.Β Process until smooth.

basil-pesto

This was lunch:

basil-pesto-1

Basil Pesto Recipe

Prep time:
Total time:
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup olive oil (extra virgin is best)
  • ¼ cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves
  • ⅛ cup lemon juice or juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry the basil leaves.
  2. Place basil into a food processor, add cheese, nuts, garlic cloves, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Process until smooth.

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  • Viktoriya
    July 12, 2017

    Hi Natasha,
    Is it okay to omit to the nuts? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 12, 2017

      The nuts actually make up a large portion of this recipe so you might consider replacing them. I have heard of people making pesto with seeds. You might research nut free pesto on Google to get more ideas. Reply

  • flora
    June 27, 2017

    I have a question about the leaves. I looked at your recipe and on the picture with your basil leaves, one had a hole in it. Is it ok to use ones that are not ‘perfect’. I tried to look for information online to see which ones i should discard. So, I picked through a whole bunch and only picked the healthy ones and threw out the ones with any marks on them or holes or ‘bitten’ ones. Would love to know your experience with this. Thank you for your help. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 27, 2017

      Hi Flora, as long as the basil doesn’t look wilted or spoiled, a good rinse should do the trick πŸ™‚ Not all of the leaves have to be perfect since they are blended πŸ™‚ Reply

      • flora
        June 30, 2017

        Thank you for you response, however, still a little confused about what I do with brown spotted or marked ones. They so not look spoiled other than the marks… do I cut those parts out and still could use the leaves. For the bug bitten ones I was told I could use them…just wondering..because I had so many like that this year… Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          June 30, 2017

          You can add them to the pesto and just blend everything together. I wouldn’t discard unless you have an abundance or excess. Reply

          • flora
            July 1, 2017

            Thank you:) will try it out with your recipe

          • Natasha's Kitchen
            July 1, 2017

            My pleasure! Please let me know how it turns out!

  • LaTrice
    December 9, 2015

    I LOVE pesto!!!! It tastes so good on hamburgers, pasta and sandwiches. I wonder how well the pesto can keep up in the freezer? πŸ™‚ Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 9, 2015

      I’ve never tried freezing pesto so I’m not sure. If you test it, let me know how it goes. The color might not be as vibrant after freezing. Reply

  • steph.
    September 22, 2014

    hi, i was wondering if theres anything i can use instead of basil leaves? i cant find fresh ones anywhere πŸ™ Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 22, 2014

      Traditionally pesto is made with basil, but you can substitute for spinach although the flavor would change quite a bit. You might search online for a spinach pesto recipes. Reply

  • zhanna
    September 19, 2014

    how long can this pesto sit in the fridge for before it goes bad? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 19, 2014

      We’ve always eaten it within a couple days, but I probably wouldn’t leave it longer than 5-7 days in the fridge. It also depends on how fresh your basil is; if it was already kind of wilting when you used it, it won’t last long. Reply

  • Oksana
    April 14, 2014

    Hello. Quick question. Which salad spinner brand do you have? And also what size – small or large? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 14, 2014

      The one photographed here is the OXO large salad spinner. The one I currently use is the Dexas salad spinner. Both are very good! Reply

  • Snow
    July 29, 2013

    This year my mom got excited and planted a lot, in fact a little too much basil so when I show her this recipe she will be so happy that we can put that basil to good use. I’m excited to make this cause I love this stuff, even as a dip. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 29, 2013

      Let me know hot it turns out :). Reply

      • Snow
        August 1, 2013

        This stuff is amazing! We made pasta with it and later had it with our sandwiches (instead of mayo). I made a lot a froze about half of it. You’re awesome, Natasha! Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          August 1, 2013

          Thank you, I’m glad you like it :). Reply

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