5 from 11 votes
Basil pesto in a glass jar with basil in the background and wooden spoon from TheSuburbanSoapbox.com
The Very Best Basil Pesto Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins

Made with garden fresh basil, this Basil Pesto Recipe is simple to make in just a few minutes with very minimal prep work.

Course: Condiment, sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: basil pesto
Servings: 12
Calories: 115 kcal
Author: Kellie
  • 4 ounces pine nuts
  • 4 cups fresh basil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup coarsely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  1. Add the pine nuts to a small skillet over medium heat and toast until golden brown, approximately 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

  2. In the bowl of a food processor, add 1/2 the pine nuts, 3 cups basil, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 cup cheese and lemon zest. Process the ingredients for approximately 30 seconds or until the ingredients are finely chopped. 

  3. While the food processor is still running on low speed, slowly drizzle in 3/4 cup of olive oil and continue processing until a smooth paste begins to form. Stop the food processor and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  4. Add the remaining pine nuts, basil, garlic and cheese to the bowl. Pulse the ingredients until finely chopped.

  5. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the pesto sauce to a bowl and stir in the remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

  6. Store the basil pesto sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

To keep the pesto sauce from oxidizing, top it with a thin layer of olive oil.

Nutrition Facts
The Very Best Basil Pesto Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 115 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 5mg2%
Sodium 134mg6%
Potassium 90mg3%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 0g0%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 485IU10%
Vitamin C 2.4mg3%
Calcium 116mg12%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.