Homemade Pesto


No matter what the season is, this easy homemade pesto will make a great addition for your dishes. Bursting with freshness and that irresistible basil flavor you will be amazed as just how quickly this all comes together. So put down that store bought bottle and try making your own from scratch, you won’t be disappointed.

With basically 5 ingredients and 5 minutes you can have mouth-watering fresh, vibrant pesto to add to your dishes. And once you master this version, the classic, you can begin to experiment with so many more variations. By changing the herb or the nut you can create so many different pesto creations.

Making Homemade Pesto could not be easier:

Simply combine all of the ingredients into a small blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If you prefer you can add the parmesan cheese last, after everything else had been blended to your desired consistency, then drizze the olive oil it to emulsify it. Either way works great so do what works for you.

If you don’t have a blender or food processor don’t worry, traditionally pesto was made with a mortor and pestle so if you have one use it. If you have neither of those things you can still attempt to make pesto just be sure cut use a sharp knife especially when cutting the basil leaves so you don’t bruise them. And use a garlic press, or microplane for the garlic then just combine everything with a spoon to combine.

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What to put your homemade pesto on?

Once you have a bowl of delicious pesto made there is no limit on what you can do with it.? A classic option would be to toss it with your favorite pasta for an easy supper, but that’s just the beginning of your options. Use it as a base for a homemade pizza, or just add a few dollops after the pizza has cooked to boost the flavor. Add it to your morning eggs or put a little in your favorite pasta salad. It also goes great with a protein like chicken, so make pesto chicken for supper. or layer on top of your chicken or even toss your chicken in the pesto then bake it for an easy Chicken Pesto dinner. If you are thinking of pesto as an appetizer then how about Pesto Garlic Bread. Just combine some softened butter with some of the pesto, then smother it over two halves of a loaf of french bread or a baguette and bake until melty and delicious. You could even add some traditional pizza toppings for a pizza sub, just add a few dollops of pizza sauce (or not) some toppings of your choice and a little shredded mozzarella and bake until golden. The possibilities for basil pesto are endless, and so are the varieties.

Varieties of Pesto?

Once you’ve mastered this traditional pesto recipe, there are so many pesto variations you can make based on what you have on hand, allergy or diet restrictions or simply what you’re feeling like making in the moment. Here are a few examples:
— Change up the nuts. You can use pretty much any kind of nut you like! Cashews, Almonds, pistachios, walnuts, or even pecans are all great substitutions. You can also se seeds like sunflower or pepita (pumpkin) seeds.
— Change up the cheese. If you’re looking for an alternative to parmesan any hard, salty aged cheese will work similarly; Pecorino Romano (made from Sheep’s milk) or Manchego (also made with sheep’s milk) which is a bit stronger in flavor than the pecorino are my two favorite substitutions for parmesan.
— The basil. Although basil is traditional, you can mix the basil 50/50 with arugula, kale, or mint but really any fresh green herb can be used. Try mixing what you have with some basil at first then gradually increase the amount of the new herb until you find the flavor you are looking for.

Storing Homemade Pesto:

The downside of homemade pesto it that it does have a relatively short shelf life. If you have leftovers they will last in the refrigerator for about 1 week in an airtight container. However, the real magic of pesto is that you can freeze it. (I also freeze fresh basil leaves, in Olive oil). If you make more pesto then you are going to use within the week, put the rest in a ice cube tray to freeze, then once frozen, pop them out and store them in a freezer safe bag, they will keep for about 4 months. Then when you want pesto, just pull out as many cubes as you need. Voila!

Homemade Pesto

This super easy 5 ingredient Basil pesto is a great addition to your pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course anytime, condiment
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 1 cup


  • 1 small food processor or blender


  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 3 Tbsp Pine Nuts
  • ¼ cup extra virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
  • pinch Salt & pepper to taste


  • Add everything to the bowl of a small food processor or blender and blend to combine until your desired consistency is achieved.
  • If the pesto is too thick you can thin it with a little olive oil or water to get to your desired consistency.
  • Enjoy!
Keyword 5 minute, Basil, pesto
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