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Top view of a bowl of peso with cheese on a cutting board.

Homemade Pesto Recipe

My Homemade Pesto Recipe is simple and full of flavor using a ton of fresh basil, toasted pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan Cheese. Blended together until smooth and perfect for smearing on a baguette, on chicken, or tossed in pasta.
Course Sauce
Cuisine American, Italian
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 231kcal
Author Katie


  • Stove Top
  • Food Processor


  • 3 cups Fresh basil leaves packed
  • 1 cup Grated Parmesan-Reggiano
  • ¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup Pine nuts
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • In a small frying pan add pine nuts to the pan and toast until golden brown, but not burnt!
  • In a food processor add the whole garlic cloves and a drizzle of olive oil. Puree for 10 seconds. Then add the basil and pine nuts to your food processor. Puree for an additional 10-15 seconds.
  • Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • Start scooping out pesto and placing it into the individual ice slots. Make sure the pesto is packed down to the bottom of the tray. You do not need to grease the pan since the basil has olive oil in it which will act as the grease to get it out. One batch of Basil Pesto should fill one ice cub tray. Freeze for one hour uncovered, then pop the cubes of pesto out, and store in a freezer proof bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.


  • Yield - This recipe yields 1.5 cups of basil pesto.
  • Freeze - If you want to freeze this recipe freeze in either ice cube trays or ¼ cup increments. Frozen pesto when thawed will change from the bright green to a darker green.
  • Cheese - If you don't have Parmesan on hand you can use grated Romano cheese.


Serving: 0.25c | Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 256mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 780IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 209mg | Iron: 1mg