Our favorite Pesto Recipe is made with only 7 real, simple ingredients and can be whipped up in about 5 minutes! The perfect homemade pesto sauce that will add a light, refreshing flavor to your favorite pastas (this pesto pasta is SO GOOD), sandwiches, roasted vegetables, and so much more!
The Best Pesto Recipe
During the warmer, summer months we always have a ton of fresh basil bursting out of our garden and we are looking for the best ways to use it. This fresh basil pesto recipe continues to be an absolute favorite every year! Whether we are making a basil pesto pasta or using it as a pesto spread on any of our favorite sandwiches, it adds just the right amount of flavor to really liven things up.
Plus, you can easily mix up this classic basil pesto recipe when you have the time and either store it in the fridge as part of your meal prep for the week or store it for months in the freezer. A perfect way to extend those fresh herbs into the cooler, fall and winter months! You will never go back to that store-bought pesto again!
Looking for a vegan or dairy-free option? We have you covered! Checkout our Vegan Pesto Recipe that is also dairy-free – another great recipe!
What You Will Need
- fresh basil leaves – perfect for harvesting from the garden all summer long or pick some up at your local farmers market or grocery store.
- parmesan cheese – option to purchase an already grated cheese or grate a block yourself.
- pine nuts – adds that classic nutty flavor that is a classic ingredient for any basil pesto!
- garlic cloves – everything is always better with some fresh garlic in it.
- lemon juice – a little bit of acidity to really bring out the great, fresh flavor!
- kosher salt – a simple seasoning that is a must.
- extra virgin olive oil – the oil base for this simple sauce! Feel free to add a little more if you want to thin out the texture.
How To Make Basil Pesto
The first steps to making this easy recipe for fresh pesto, are to gather all of the best ingredients.
Then place all of those fresh ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or blender.
Blend on the high setting until it reaches a smooth texture. For best results, make sure you use a small spatula to scrap down the sides and get everything blended together.
Use the finished product immediately or store for later!
What To Do With Pesto
There are so many great ways to enjoy this versatile sauce! Here are a few of our favorite ideas on how to use pesto:
- Pasta – toss this delicious pasta sauce with your favorite pasta noodles for a Pesto Pasta that can be served on its own or with some added protein! Or make some pesto meatballs with your pasta for a delicious family dinner!
- Sandwich spread – you can also use it as a spread on your favorite sandwiches, like a Caprese Sandwich! Or mix it into a pesto aioli and enjoy on our Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich.
- Salads – a generous dollop of this easy pesto recipe is great for adding to a Summer Grain Salad, a classic Caprese Salad, or Tomato Burrata Salad!
- Vegetables – if you are looking for a way to level up your side dish of roasted or grilled vegetables this would be great to drizzle on top or use as a dipping sauce.
Made this garlic potatoes recipe and loved it?! We would love it if you would take a minute and leave a star rating and review – it is also helpful if you made any substitutions or changes to the recipe to share that as well. THANK YOU!
Pesto Recipe – learn how to make this homemade basil pesto with just a few simple ingredients! Perfect for pasta, sandwiches and more!
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (more as needed)
- Add ingredients to a small food processor or blender.
- Blend until smooth
- Taste and add additional salt, as desired. Add additional olive oil, a tablespoon at a time, to thin.
- Storage: leftover pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for 5-7 days, in an airtight container. As it sits you will see a thin layer of olive oil rise to the top, just give it a stir and it’s ready to use.
- Freezing: store in a freezer-safe container for 3-4 months. Option to first put the pesto in ice cube trays, freeze, and then store the pesto cubes in a freezer bag and use as much as you need when you need it.
- Dairy-Free: looking for a dairy-free version – try this Dairy-Free Pesto recipe!
Keywords: pesto, basil pesto, pesto recipe, how to make pesto