This classic Basil Pesto recipe is a staple in our house! We grow so much basil that making pesto is a must. It goes well in so many different recipes, and can even be frozen without the parmesan added.
What is Pesto
Pesto is an Italian sauce, traditionally consisting of crushed garlic, pine nuts, coarse salt, basil leaves, and hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino, all blended together with olive oil. According to tradition, the ingredients are “crushed” or ground in a marble mortar through a circular motion of a wooden pestle. We gave instructions for making it without a mortar and pestle as not every household has one.
How To Use Pesto
This recipe is so fresh and flavourful it brings life to so many dishes. Here are some ways I love to enjoy it!
- Add it into lasagne (I like it in this Mushroom Lasagne recipe)
- Use it in a salad – this Creamy Avocado Pesto Pasta Salad is great!
- Toss it with fresh hot pasta for a quick dinner
- Use it on a sandwich as a spread
- Add it to roasted veggies
- Drizzle it on grilled chicken or veggies
- Use as a base to sub the sauce for homemade pizza
How To Freeze Pesto
You can freeze pesto to use later. Simply follow the recipe below but leave out the parmesan, put into small plastic containers and drizzle a bit of olive oil on top before placing the lid on and freezing it.
Homemade sauces are so much better than store-bought. Not only are they fresh and vibrant, but it feels good knowing all ingredients in the sauces you and your family are enjoying. Seriously, have you read the back of some of the labels? Homemade all the way, and I’ve got the recipes to help:
- Homemade Dill Tartar Sauce
- Homemade Apple Sauce
- Homemade Tzatziki
- Homemade BBQ Sauce
- Homemade Honey Mustard Sauce
This classic Basil Pesto recipe is a staple in our house! We grow so much basil that making pesto is a must. It goes well in so many different recipes, and can even be frozen, without the parmesan.
- 4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves washed and stems removed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 2/3 cup good quality olive oil
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
In a food processor, combine the basil leaves, salt, pine nuts and garlic cloves. Pulse until the mixture is blended and the basil is completely broken down. While the processor is running, slowly add the olive oil through the top in a drizzle until it is well incorporated.
At this point, if you are freezing the pesto, portion it into small freezer containers and drizzle olive oil on top before placing in the freezer.
If you aren't freezing it, stir in the parmesan cheese and enjoy! Amazing in pasta, on top of crostini, pizza ... the sky is the limit! This will store in the fridge in a covered container for up to 1 week.
Your pesto rocks Tori!!! Thank you for making extra for Dad & I … you’re the sweetest daughter ever!!!
Love you Mom 🙂
How long will it stay good in the freezer? Is there a better kind of container? Thx!!
Tori Wesszer says
Hi Josianne, it should stay in the freezer for up to 3 months. I use a resealable plastic container to store mine, there are tons on the market!
Making this today with our big harvest of basil!
I love Basil Pesto and am going to try your recipe this weekend because our basil crop is already out of control!!! I will be making the Basil Pesto with the nuts this time but….Do you have any nut free options/ideas/substitutions that can be served due to nut allergy?
Thanks so much for this recipe I use it all the time! It’s the best!
I’ve been meaning to ask about the “makes 6 cups”… is it more like 6 servings? When I make it it definitely doesn’t make 6 cups of pesto! (I wish it did!)
Tori Wesszer says
Hi Dee! So happy you like it! Oh no it sure doesn’t! I will have to measure again we will redo this post anyway as it needs a better picture haha! Take care, Tori
You’re the best! I’m making it tonight 💚