Pesto Recipe

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Pesto is everything a good sauce should be: flavorful, versatile, and easy to make. This basil pesto recipe is my go-to when looking for a quick and delicious way to enhance a dish. You can have a batch of homemade pesto with less effort than it takes to open a jar of store-bought pesto on the table in minutes.

Not only is this pesto recipe straightforward, but it’s also versatile. Pesto is ideal as a sauce for pasta or pizza, a spread for sandwiches or wraps, or a flavorful addition to soup or salad. And, because pesto consists of just a few simple ingredients, it’s easy to customize to your liking.

Pesto Sauce Vs. Pesto Genovese

Pesto sauce and pesto alla Genovese are Italian sauces made with basil, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. Pesto sauce is a lighter, more versatile sauce in various dishes. Pesto Alla Genovese is a traditional sauce from the Liguria region of Italy that typically goes into pasta sauce.

What Makes a Good Pesto?

When deciding on a pesto recipe, there are a few key things to consider.

  • First, the quality of the ingredients is essential. I always use fresh basil leaves and good olive oil in my pesto.
  • Second, the ratio of ingredients is essential. A good pesto should balance flavors, with the basil and olive oil being the dominant flavors.
  • Third, the texture of the pesto is essential. I prefer my pesto to be thicker, but you can adjust the amount of olive oil to achieve your desired consistency.

Pesto Variations

While this is my go-to pesto recipe, there are endless ways to vary it.

  • To change up the flavor, try adding different herbs or spices. Some of my favorites include cilantro, mint, and sun-dried tomatoes.
  • For a cheesy pesto, add in some grated Parmesan cheese.
  • And, for a nutrient-rich twist, try adding in some leafy greens like spinach or kale.

This pesto recipe will be a hit no matter how you vary it!

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Pesto Recipe

With just a few simple ingredients, you can have a delicious batch of pesto on the table in minutes. This versatile sauce is perfect for pasta, pizza, sandwiches, wraps, soup, and salad.
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 cup
Calories 1064 kcal


  • Food Processor or Blender


  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 0.5 cup olive oil
  • 0.25 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.25 tsp black pepper


  • Add the basil leaves, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper to a food processor or blender.
  • Puree until the pesto is smooth.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
  • Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to a week.



    • To make a cheesy pesto, add 0.25 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
    • Try adding 2-3 cups of spinach or kale for a nutrient-rich twist.
    • Pesto is also great with cilantro, mint, or parsley.
    • If you don’t have a food processor or blender, you can use a mortar and pestle to make pesto.

    Serving Suggestions

    Pesto is also delicious on cooked veggies. Try it on roasted broccoli, grilled chicken, or baked potatoes.

    Storing Suggestions

    Pesto will last in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer.
    To freeze pesto, place it in a freezer-safe container and top with a layer of olive oil. This will prevent the pesto from turning brown.


    Calories: 1064kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 10gFat: 115gSaturated Fat: 19gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gMonounsaturated Fat: 81gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 1567mgPotassium: 114mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1464IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 348mgIron: 2mg
    Keyword Pesto
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

    FAQs Related To Pesto Recipe

    What Can I Use Instead Of Basil?

    If you don’t have basil on hand, you can use cilantro, mint, or parsley.

    How Long Does Pesto Last?

    Pesto will last in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer.

    How Do I Use Pesto?

    Pesto is delicious on pasta, pizza, sandwiches, wraps, soup, and salad. It’s also a great way to add flavor to cooked veggies.

    Wrap Up

    This easy pesto recipe is sure to be a hit. There are endless ways to customize this dish. Try it. Don’t forget to experiment with flavors.

    I hope you enjoy it!