Herb Basil Pesto is a great addition to just about any dish! Basil, herbs, garlic, oil, and pine nuts are blended together to create a powerful and flavorful sauce that is great on pesto pasta, chicken, pizza, or pork!
This easy Italian Basil Pesto sauce is delicious and easy to make! It adds an incredibly fresh flavor to just about any dish! The nuttiness from the pine nuts paired with the garlic, herbs, and basil seriously pesto is so easy to make, you will never buy pesto again!
I love a good pesto on pasta, shrimp or drizzled over pizza. This easy herb basil pesto recipe comes from my sister (and bestie) Candace (who also works with me here on Spend With Pennies)!
This sauce is fresh, delicious and all of these pesto ingredients pack quite a punch, so a little bit goes a long way with this sauce!
It’s perfect over pasta but it’s also great drizzled over plain cream cheese as an appetizer or drizzled over our fave Margherita pizza!
What is Pesto?
Pesto is a simple sauce that requires no cooking. Traditionally, it is made by combining fresh basil, pine nuts (or other nuts), olive oil, and parmesan cheese in a blender. Once smooth and blended, this sauce can be enjoyed on pasta, pizza or grilled meats.
The great thing about homemade pesto is how customizable it is. You can add more or less of any ingredients you would like to change the flavor of your basil pesto!
If you’re looking for things to do with fresh basil, or if you have a garden full of excess herbs, you’ll love this recipe! You can use all basil or substitute half with herbs or even spinach! It’s the perfect dish to make with my garden herbs (I love adding dill, parsley, cilantro). I would suggest the more leafy herbs, using really strong pungent herbs like rosemary or sage can overpower the pesto.
The pine nuts can be swapped for cashews, walnuts, almonds, or pecans depending on what you have in your pantry!
How To Make Pesto
The easiest way to make pesto is in a food processor, but you can use a blender if you’d prefer. Begin by adding your herbs and some of the oil into the food processor or blender, and blend to break everything up.
Add your remaining ingredients, one at a time, in order. Slowly drizzle in the remaining oil until you have a smooth paste. If you prefer a chunkier pesto, blend it a little less!
If you notice your pesto is a little too thick, add another splash of olive oil to your processor. Remember to scrape the sides of your processor while you use it to ensure you get everything combined correctly! I love adding this pesto to roasted cherry tomato pasta for an extra oomph! It is seriously delicious and flavorful.
Can You Freeze Pesto?
Yes, you can freeze pesto!
Basil Pesto sauce lasts a few days after you make it in the fridge, but you can freeze it for future use if you would like. My favorite way to do this is in an ice cube tray! Just add a little olive oil into your ice cube tray and scoop the pesto into it. When you need some pesto for a sauce or dish you are making, you have individually portioned pesto cubes to add!
Is Basil Pesto Healthy?
Yes it is a fairly healthy sauce to add to your vegetables or grilled chicken! It’s loaded with fresh herbs and healthy fats from olive oil and nuts. Keep in mind, healthy is not the same as low fat but this basil pesto uses fresh ingredients, no add sugar or processed foods.
Herbed Basil Pesto
- 1 cup firm packed basil
- 1 cup firm packed parsley, spinach or other herbs
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, walnuts or almonds
- 1 large garlic clove, quartered
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Place the herbs in a food processor. Pour in 1 tablespoon of the oil and blend into a paste.
Gradually add the remaining ingredients in order scraping as needed. Blend until smooth.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)