This Homemade Basil Pesto recipe is perfect for vegetables, chicken, pasta and more!
Pesto is one of the highlights of summer for me. Who doesn’t love a bowl of ultra fresh pesto with home grown basil? It is an absolute delight! Today I’m sharing my go to recipe for Homemade Basil Pesto. You only need a few basic ingredients and a good food processor to make this recipe.
Serve this on good crusty bread, over pasta, on pizza, in stuffed peppers, or drizzled over your favorite salad! No matter how you choose to serve it, I can guarantee it will leave you wanting more!
Ingredients for Homemade Basil Pesto
As always, this is a quick overview of the ingredients you will need. For the complete recipe and instructions just keep scrolling.
- Fresh Basil: you will need several cups of fresh, packed basil leaves, if your garden plants are going wild right now this is a great way to use up all that basil!
- Olive Oil: look or a good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Garlic: fresh garlic, no need to mince or chop as it is going in the food processor.
- Pine Nuts: you need toasted pine nuts for the best flavor, I have a step by step guide if your grocery only offers raw pine nuts.
- Parmesan Cheese: a very good quality shredded or grated parmesan
- Lemon: just a smidge of fresh lemon juice is needed to really make the flavors pop. If you don’t have it on hand, that is okay, but if you do absolutely use it!
How do you make Pesto from scratch?
The first step is to toast the pine nuts. This adds wonderful depth and flavor to the pesto. If you are unsure how to do this, I’ve included step by step instructions below.
Aside from toasting the pine nuts that is all the prep work you need to do for pesto! Simply add the packed basil, toasted nuts, parmesan, olive oil, garlic, salt and lemon juice to a good food processor and blend until smooth.
How do you Toast Pine Nuts?
You can toast the pine nuts two different ways, the oven and the stove top. I prefer to use the stove top, as it doesn’t require heating up the kitchen, but both options work well.
- Stove Top: Heat a skillet to medium low heat. Add the raw pine nuts in a single layer to the skillet without any oil. Frequently stir the nuts for 3-5 minutes until they begin to turn golden brown. It is important to keep an eye on the nuts, and keep them moving, as they will burn easily. When the pine nuts are golden brown remove them from the skillet and set aside.
- Oven Method: Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Add the raw nuts to a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes total, remove the nuts from the oven and stir every 5 minutes. Remove the nuts from the oven when they are golden brown.
How do I store Pesto?
Store the pesto in an air tight container in the fridge. Fresh pesto is good for about a week if stored properly. Alternatively, you can freeze pesto in a freezer bag up to 6 months.
What can I make with Pesto?
- Pesto Chicken Bake: an easy low carb, keto-friendly dinner recipe.
- The best Pesto Smashed Potatoes: a delish, unexpected twist on a classic side dish!
- Keto Pesto Chicken Stuffed Peppers: a great light dinner or appetizer that required minimal ingredients.
- One Pan Pesto Chicken Penne: a vegetarian dish that is quick and easy to make.
- Keto Pesto Chicken Ravioli: a low carb delight!
- 3 cups packed fresh basil
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup parmesan
- 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts (see notes for toasting instructions)
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and add any additional salt, pepper or lemon juice as needed.
This makes approximately 3/4 cup fresh pesto.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 160Total Fat: 16.6gCholesterol: 3.2mgSodium: 176mgCarbohydrates: 1.8gNet Carbohydrates: 1.1gFiber: 0.7gProtein: 2.7g