Basil Pesto

Who else loves Seinfeld? 🙂 It’s one of our favorite shows! There’s an episode where George orders pesto at a restaurant and is disappointed.

GEORGE: Why do I get pesto? Why do I think I’ll like it? I keep trying to like it, like I have to like it.
JERRY: Who said you have to like it?
GEORGE: Everybody likes pesto. You walk into a restaurant, that’s all you hear – pesto, pesto, pesto.

Well, sorry George–we are some of those people who like love pesto. It’s so versatile and forgiving. And the flavor is unique but amazing. It’s a simple, fresh sauce that tastes salty and vibrant–and is a beautiful bright green from the basil.

Reasons to make this basil pesto:

  • delicious over everything (pasta, sandwiches, pizza, veggies, etc)
  • no cook sauce (woohoo for easy, summery foods!)
  • ready in about 5 minutes
  • easy to make ahead and use for the week
  • it’s homemade and probably cheaper than anything you can buy 🙂
Great way to use up that garden basil!

I highly recommend a food processor to get the best texture but a blender will work, too. You want everything emulsified at high speed and that’s hard to do by hand. But otherwise, this sauce couldn’t be easier to make!!

Print Pin
No ratings yet

Basil Pesto

Fresh basil leaves blended with simple ingredients for a classic no-cook sauce great on pasta, sandwiches and more. Vegetarian if the Parmesan is vegetarian. Keeps well in the fridge for 5 days. Yield: 1 cup.
Course Dressings/Sauces, Prep
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Basil, Garlic, Olive Oil, Pesto
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 240kcal
Author Emma J. Watling


  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • cup grated Parmesan freshly grated or shaker-style
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • juice of ½ a lemon = ~ 1 tbsp
  • cup olive oil best quality
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Combine basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor.
  • Pulse 2-3 times. Then, with the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified.
  • Scrape down sides if needed and pulse 1-2 more times to incorporate.

Use immediately, or to store:

  • Store in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Stir before use.


Tips on this pesto sauce:
  • quality ingredients are key–you’ll want really good olive oil
  • The lemon juice helps keep the bright green color fresh. We have made pesto without it but much prefer the addition of the lemon juice.
  • Taste before adding salt–your Parmesan may be very salty and you may not need any additional salt
Pine nuts can be pricey–we have find buying them from the bulk section is about 50% cheaper than buying them in the baking/nut aisle!


Serving: 14cup | Calories: 240kcal

Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope your weekend was great and you enjoyed the time to rest or get some sun 🙂 We’ll be making this basil pesto all summer long and you can, too!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.