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  • Basil Pesto Recipe

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    It’s so easy to make your own pesto sauce at home and it only takes 5 minutes! This basil pesto recipe is full of flavor and perfect to stir into pasta or spread onto fish, meats, and sandwiches.

    recipe for pesto sauce in a white bowl

    Homemade pesto is so much fresher and flavorful than store-bought and I always make my own to have on hand. It’s so easy and made with simple ingredients.

    Make up a batch of this healthy pesto recipe in less than 5 minutes for a simple way to add flavor to your meals.

    For more sauces and dips, be sure to check out my Thousand Island Dressing and Avocado Crema recipes.

    pesto ingredients on a gray board

    Pesto Ingredients

    • Basil: Basil is the main flavor for pesto. It’s light and herby with a slight sweetness.
    • Olive oil: I like to use light olive oil when I make pesto. It’s more neutral in taste and isn’t overpowering.
    • Pine nuts: Pine nuts add a great flavor and texture to the sauce.
    • Garlic: Use fresh garlic cloves for the best flavor. You can also toast them for my deep flavor.
    • Parmesan cheese: Parmesan adds flavor as well as helping to thicken the sauce.
    • Salt: A little salt helps to bring out the natural flavors of the pesto.
    process of how to make basil pesto recipe

    How to make this basil pesto recipe

    • Add the basil & parsley leaves, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and salt to a food processor.
    • Process everything until smooth, stopping as necessary to scrape down the sides of the bowl, about 1 minute. Stir in the grated Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.
    pesto sauce recipe in a bowl with basil & pinenuts

    How to store basil pesto sauce

    Once you have made the pesto, place it into airtight jars. Drizzle a little olive oil to cover the top and it will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 5 -7 days. You can use it right from the fridge whenever you need it.

    Can you freeze pesto?

    Yes! Basil pesto sauce freezes really well and this recipe is easily doubled, so be sure to make a big batch! Freeze it in ice cube trays and then place in freezer bags and you have easy to grab portions that can be stirred straight into pasta.

    You can also store it in freezer-safe containers and thaw it in the fridge overnight. Frozen pesto will keep well for up to 6 months.

    creamy homemade pesto sauce in a bowl with a spoon

    How do you use basil pesto sauce?

    I love stirring this homemade pesto sauce straight into warm pasta for a quick and easy weeknight meal. It’s great to use as a sandwich filling or add to a simple Caprese salad. Try spooning it on white fish, like cod before baking it for a really yummy and healthy meal. You can also scoop it over spaghetti squash, or make easy pesto chicken.

    Recipe Notes and Tips

    • Pine nuts are a traditional ingredient in basil pesto, but you can also use walnuts, almonds, or pistachios if you have those to hand. You can also make it nut-free by omitting or substituting the pinenuts.
    • Use fresh garlic cloves rather than jarred for the best flavor.
    • Pulse the pesto, don’t blend it. The coarse texture of the pesto clings better to pasta, chicken, or fish.
    • Stream in the oil using a steady pulse to keep the sauce together so the oil doesn’t separate.
    • Keep the pesto refrigerated once you have made it.
    • You can also freeze it and add it to pasta, chicken, or fish for a quick & flavorful meal.
    basil pesto sauce in a white bowl

    More Easy Recipes

    recipe for pesto sauce in a white bowl
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    Pesto Recipe

    It's so easy to make your own pesto sauce at home and it only takes 5 minutes! This basil pesto recipe is full of flavor and perfect to stir into pasta or spread onto fish, meats and sandwiches.
    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Total Time 5 minutes
    Servings 6 servings
    Calories 165kcal

    INGREDIENTS

    • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, stems removed
    • cup pine nuts
    • 3 medium garlic cloves, peeled
    • cup light olive oil
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

    INSTRUCTIONS

    • Add the basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and salt to a food processor.
    • Process everything until smooth, stopping as necessary to scrape down the sides of the bowl, about 1 minute. Stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.

    TIPS & NOTES

    • Pine nuts are a traditional ingredient in basil pesto, but you can also use walnuts, almonds, or pistachios if you have those to hand. You can also make it nut-free by omitting or substituting the pinenuts.
    • Use fresh garlic cloves rather than jarred for the best flavor.
    • Pulse the pesto, don’t blend it. The coarse texture of the pesto clings better to pasta, chicken, or fish.
    • Stream in the oil using a steady pulse to keep the sauce together so the oil doesn’t separate.
    • Keep the pesto refrigerated once you have made it.
    • You can also freeze it and add it to pasta, chicken, or fish for a quick & flavorful meal.

    NUTRITION

    Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 262mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 567IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg
    Course Sauce
    Cuisine Italian
    Did you make this recipe?

    Use the tag #DeliciousMeetsHealthy when posting a picture of your recipe, and make sure to follow @deliciousmeetshealthy on Instagram!

    August 21, 2020

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