Condiment/ Freezer Friendly/ Recipe/ Sauces

Homemade Basil Pesto

June 13, 2019 (Last Updated: June 28, 2019)

Homemade Basil Pesto is full of flavor and can be used in so many different ways. Make your own pesto with fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

This post was originally published in September 2017. 

Homemade Basil Pesto in a small blue and white dish.

Homemade Basil Pesto is packed full of flavor. Right now my basil in my garden is going crazy. It had such a slow start and I was certain I wasn’t going to be able to make any pesto this year.

Then, boom.  It turned hot and the basil grew and grew and grew. I keep picking and making batches of pesto. I freeze the pesto in small containers to use all year long. We use pesto as a dip with crackers, mixed in pasta, spread on pizza, on grilled cheese sandwiches  and baked into bread.

How long will homemade pesto last?

Homemade pesto will last for up to one week if stored covered in the refrigerator. Simply bring back to room temperature before using. If the oils have separated, just give the pesto a stir. 

How do I freeze pesto?

  • Portion basil into small freezer safe containers
  • Cover and freeze
  • Use ice cube trays to make small portions
    • There’s approximately 1 tablespoon in each cube

How do I use frozen pesto?

  • Remove from freezer and allow basil to thaw at room temperature
  • Stir before using

Fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan and olive oil.

What ingredients do I need?

To make pesto you just need five basic ingredients;

  • fresh basil
  • fresh garlic
  • pine nuts
  • Parmesan cheese
  • and olive oil.

Oh and you need salt and pepper. You need those for flavor but they really don’t count as an ingredient! Right?

Do I need to use a food processor to make homemade basil pesto?

I do use a food processor. You could also use a blender if you didn’t have a food processor.

What if I don’t have pine nuts?

You can leave the pine nuts out if you don’t have any. Walnuts can also be substituted for the pine nuts. The pesto will have a different taste if using walnuts. 

A bowlful of Homemade Basil Pesto in a small serving bowl.

 

Don’t forget to PIN for later!

Fresh basil, a head of garlic, pine nuts and olive oil clustered together on a board.

If you make this recipe, Iā€™d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below or snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop

5 from 4 votes
Homemade Basil Pesto
Homemade Basil Pesto
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

Pesto made with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.

Course: Condiment, Freezer Friendly, Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: basil pesto, pesto
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 141 kcal
Author: Kathy
Ingredients
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Place garlic cloves in a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds until garlic is chopped. 

  2. Add basil. Turn processor on. With motor running drizzle olive oil through feed tube. 

  3. Scrape down sides.  Add pine nuts, cheese, salt and pepper. Run processor until ingredients are well combined.

  4. If mixture is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of olive oil.

  5. Use pesto right away or cover and refrigerate.

  6. Pesto can also be frozen. 

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Basil Pesto
Amount Per Serving
Calories 141 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 3mg1%
Sodium 139mg6%
Potassium 53mg2%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 545IU11%
Vitamin C 1.9mg2%
Calcium 77mg8%
Iron 0.6mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    2pots2cook
    June 18, 2019 at 5:01 am


    Absolutely our favourite one. I have basil growing on my balcony and it also grows full speed ahead so, yes, we will keep some frozen for long winter days ! Thank you so much and enjoy your day !

  • Reply
    Valentina
    June 16, 2019 at 9:29 pm


    It doesn’t get much better than walking outside in your own garden to pick your ingredients. I bet this pesto is amazing! And it’s so pretty, to boot! šŸ™‚ Happy summer! ~Valentina

  • Reply
    Velva
    September 15, 2017 at 3:07 pm


    Homemade basil pesto like yours is proof that is simple is best! No doubt the pesto is flavor packed and can be added to so many dishes. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      September 18, 2017 at 5:50 am

      It is packed with flavor!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    September 14, 2017 at 10:48 am

    I just made pesto to freeze with my basil! Mine is slowing dying off as the temps get cooler and cooler. Sad face! haha This looks scrumptious – you just cannot go wrong with basil pesto!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      September 18, 2017 at 5:53 am

      I am just about at the end of my basil too. I’m glad I was able to make several batches of this pesto to last all winter!

  • Reply
    Miriam - londonkitchendiaries.com
    September 14, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Great idea to freeze the pesto – love the idea of having the fresh taste of summer all year long at my fingertips šŸ™‚

    Miriam x

    • Reply
      Kathy
      September 18, 2017 at 6:01 am

      My freezer is stuffed full of wonderful pesto!

  • Reply
    Agness of Run Agness Run
    September 13, 2017 at 2:44 am

    I was looking for a good pesto recipe and I found it! Excellent combination of ingredients, Kathy!

  • Reply
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
    September 11, 2017 at 7:07 am

    Pesto has to be one of my favorite things during the summer and yours looks perfect, Kathy! I could literally drink a gallon of this green beauty! Cheers!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      September 18, 2017 at 6:01 am

      A gallon! Whew….you’d better get busy making some pesto šŸ™‚

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    September 11, 2017 at 5:35 am

    Oh man, this totally brings back memories from a couple weeks ago when we made so.much.pesto. But like you, we love pesto around here, and we keep it frozen for easy winter meals. Plus, we had a TON of basil in the garden, and we needed to use it up somehow. Great video, Kathy! šŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Kathy
      September 18, 2017 at 6:01 am

      Thanks, David! šŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Dawn - Girl Heart Food
    September 11, 2017 at 5:17 am


    Lucky you with all the basil. I have no luck with growing basil outside and minimal with it growing inside. I love me some pesto and this one sounds fabulous. Plus, that colour is stunning! I could think of so many uses for this. Great job on the video too šŸ™‚ !!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      September 18, 2017 at 6:06 am

      Some years we have better luck growing basil than other years. I’m always grateful when we have a great harvest!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    September 9, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Nothing better and fresher than homemade pesto Kathy! I love it in pasta dishes, on sandwiches, you name it! Looks delicious!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      September 10, 2017 at 8:08 am

      My husband likes to use it on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise. It adds tons of flavor!

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