This homemade Basil Pesto is easy to make and absolutely delicious! Spread the basil pesto over a slice of bread or mix it into a pasta dish, no matter how you choose to use it, you’re going to love it!

a metal measuring cup holds homemade basil pesto. Fresh basil leaves and pine nuts in the background.

Pesto is a spring and summer staple. But at our house it’s a spring, summer, fall, and winter staple. We use it year round. We always add homemade pesto to our Easy Pesto Pasta dish. Basil pesto is incredibly versatile. We use it on pizzas, sandwiches, and like mentioned above, in pasta dishes.

Homemade pesto basil ingredients sitting in a food processor, waiting to be ground up.

This basil pesto is hands-down AMAZING!

You won’t believe how easy it is to make pesto at home. If you have your own basil plant, like we do, then this will be easy and even more cost effective.

Finely chopped basil pesto ingredients, sitting in the bowl of a food processor.

How do you make Basil Pesto?

  1. To start, put some pine nuts on a baking sheet. You’ll want to place them in the oven for 8-10 minutes. This is referred to as “toasting” the pine nuts. It brings out a rich nutty flavor. I placed mine in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes. Stir them around the 5 minute mark. Once they reach a golden brown color, remove them from the oven.
  2. Gather the basil, parmesan (I use freshly grated parmesan), salt, pepper, and garlic.
  3. Place all of these ingredients into your food processor (or blender), and pulse until it reaches a smooth consistency.
  4. With the food processor turned on, stream the olive oil in. Process for 30 seconds or so. Remove the pesto and place it in an airtight container. Pesto will last a week or two in the fridge. You can freeze pesto so that it will last longer.

A small, clear glass bowl full of fresh basil pesto. A fresh basil leaf blossom in the corner.

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Basil Pesto | Salt & Baker
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5 from 1 vote
Nutrition Facts
Basil Pesto
Amount Per Serving
Calories 700 Calories from Fat 648
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 72g 111%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 985mg 41%
Potassium 212mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 12g 24%
Vitamin A 35.6%
Vitamin C 7.7%
Calcium 35.5%
Iron 13.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Servings: 2 cups
Basil Pesto

Easy, fresh, basil pesto.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
15 mins
 
Calories: 700 kcal
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh basil (packed)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Add the basil, toasted pine nuts, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and parmesan to the bowl of your food processor (or blender). Pulse until the ingredients are incorporated.  

  2. With the food processor on, stream in the olive oil. I like my pesto a tad chunky, so I don't overdo it with the food processor. Taste the pesto, add salt and pepper to taste. 

Recipe Notes

Pesto will stay good in the fridge for about 1 week.

If you want to freeze the pesto, consider omitting the parmesan cheese, as it doesn't freeze well. Thaw the pesto, then stir in the grated parmesan cheese before serving. 

All images & text © Salt & Baker
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: basil pesto recipe, homemade pesto, how to make basil pesto