Pesto isn't like other pasta sauces, and that's why we love it. It's not cooked and it only has a few ingredients, so it's easy to make a batch in no time flat. You can make a giant patch of basil pesto and freeze it. And, of course, it tastes amazing. This basil pesto recipe is one of our favorites and we think it will be yours, too.

You need two garlic cloves and a quarter cup pine nuts to start. Put them in the food processor or blender and pulse everything until its coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese and process for another 30 seconds or so. Then add two cups of fresh basil leaves and process until the basil is coarsely chopped. Drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil and process the mixture until its smooth. Season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.

food processor

Homemade pesto works with any kind of pasta. This fresh pesto recipe also works as a spread on bread or crackers as well. Or try a spoonful over your favorite bean dip. Basil pesto will keep in the refrigerator for a few days; make sure to place it in an airtight container and pour a bit of olive oil on it or put a little bit of plastic wrap on top of the pesto to keep it from turning brown. You can double or triple the recipe and freeze the extra, too. One way is to use ice cube trays to freeze the pesto, then pop the pesto cubes into a freezer bag.

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Fresh Basil Pesto 

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time:



  • 1 oz basil leaves (About 2 cups, packed)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Process garlic and pine nuts in a blender or food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped.

Add the cheese and process for about 30 seconds. Next add the basil and process to coarsely chop. Then add the oil and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Pesto can be made in large batches, then frozen. Simply transfer the pesto to a freezer-safe container, then top with a thin layer of olive oil. The oil will create a barrier and help prevent oxidization. Some find the taste is better when they add the cheese after it has been defrosted instead of before freezing. Try it out and see what works for you!

Nutrition Facts
Fresh Basil Pesto
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1507 Calories from Fat 1404
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 156g 240%
Saturated Fat 27g 135%
Polyunsaturated Fat 25g
Monounsaturated Fat 97g
Cholesterol 44mg 15%
Sodium 765mg 32%
Potassium 266mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 2g
Protein 26g 52%
Vitamin A 5%
Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 56%
Iron 13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.