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Homemade Basil Pesto

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  • 1 bunch of fresh basil, about 3.5 cups basil leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 Tbsp of lemon zest, optional
  • 1 Tbsp of lemon juice, optional
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 cup extra virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste


  • Rinse the dirt of the basil leaves and let it air dry while you prepare the other ingredients.
  • Toast the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the garlic to the food processor and pulse it until chopped.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, except the olive oil, and pulse it to the desired consistency.
  • With the food processor running on low, slowly add the olive oil. You may add more or less depending on how thick/runny you like your pesto sauce.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning.


- To freeze, simply pour the pesto sauce into an ice cub tray. You can store it in the freezer for up to 6 months!
- You can substitute the pine nuts for walnuts or even pistachios!