Homemade Basil Pesto is really easy to make and tastes so good. This simple pesto recipe is made in a food processor. Just add all the ingredients and blend!
Fresh basil is so amazing! It is so aromatic and I love filling my kitchen with the smell of basil. If you can, but a fresh basil plant or use home grown herbs for this recipe.
We enjoyed this on some fresh pasta, with a little extra Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. The pesto is a burst of freshness that will brighten so many dishes! Add it to this yummy Garlic Parmesan Noodles Recipe or my Eggplant Pasta.
Basil Pesto Ingredients
To make this homemade pesto recipe, you will need the following ingredients (see the recipe card below for exact amounts):
- fresh basil
- garlic clove
- pine nuts
- grated Parmesan cheese
- avocado oil
How to Make Homemade Basil Pesto
- Rinse the basil and pat the leaves dry. Juice the lemon, removing any seeds.
- Place all of the ingredients into a food processor.
- Pulse on medium until everything is minced and well combined.
Is Pesto Healthy?
Pesto is full of ingredients that have amazing health benefits, like basil, garlic, nuts and avocado oil. It can be high in calories because of the nuts and oil, but these foods are full of “healthy” fat – unsaturated fat. These fats improve cholesterol and lower inflammation.
What Can I Put Pesto On?
- Replace tomato sauce on pizza with pesto sauce. Add chicken, mozzarella and tomatoes for a delicious homemade pizza recipe.
- Of course, pesto goes great on any kind of pasta, but my personal favorite is bow tie pasta with cherry tomatoes and Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
- Use pesto as salad dressing.
- Spread on a panini sandwich.
- Make a delicious bruschetta appetizer with pesto sauce and a balsamic reduction glaze.
Tips for Homemade Basil Pesto
Pine nuts can be a little pricey, but don’t let that deter you from making homemade pesto. Instead of pine nuts, you can substitute walnuts or cashews. Other popular substitutions are almonds, pistachios, pecan nuts, peanuts, hazelnuts or macadamia nuts.
Nut-Free Pesto Sauce
If you have a nut allergy, you can make a nut-free pesto with sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds.
Can I Freeze Pesto Sauce?
Store any pesto sauce that is left over in an airtight container for up to a few days in the fridge.
If you want to freeze your sauce, you can freeze pesto sauce in individual servings. You do not want to thaw and freeze the sauce over and over.
The easiest way to freeze pesto is to divide the sauce in an ice cube tray. It will stay good in the freezer up to 6 months.
This is great for making pesto in big batches. I use fresh herbs from my garden, so this is a great way to meal prep and preserve food.