If you don’t know How to Make Fresh Basil Pesto, I am here to help. There is nothing like fragrant basil pesto to liven up a simple meal. Whether you toss with pasta or potatoes, spread on grilled cheese sandwiches or pizza, or use to top salmon, fresh beats the jar every time!
(This post contains affiliate links from which I may make a commission, your price remains the same)
Let’s Talk Basil:
When it comes to basil, fresh is best! Growing your own in a raised bed herb garden is a great way to go, but if that isn’t going to work for you I find that buying a basil plant is the most economical way to use basil. I keep one or two plants on my porch or counter and pick leaves as I need them. A plant usually lasts me a month and costs $2.99 at Trader Joe’s whereas an already picked bunch costs $4.99 and only stays good a few days.
How to Make Fresh Basil Pesto:
To make pesto you will need a food processor. If a big one isn’t in your budget, Cuisinart makes a fabulous mini processor for around $35! (affiliate links)
Simply mince fresh garlic cloves in processor first, then add other ingredients: parmesan, sea salt, basil, and pine nuts. Give all ingredients a whirl and in a minute, you have fresh basil pesto! For my dairy free fresh basil pesto recipe, click!
Recipes using fresh basil:
Once you make your pesto, what do you do with it? Well toss it with pasta of course, but you can also try my Fresh Tomato and Basil Pesto Pizza…
…on spread on my gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches…
…or use as a flavorful topping on my crispy Pesto Salmon.
The Recipe: Basil Pesto
What you will need: food processor. If a big one isn’t in your budget, Cuisinart makes a fabulous mini processor for around $35! (affiliate links) Watch video tutorial here.
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 3 small garlic cloves, peeled
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
- toss with 16oz pasta, or use on any of the suggestions above (in blog post)
Pulse garlic in food processor. Add basil leaves, pine nuts and parmesan. Puree in processor, slowly adding olive oil till desired consistency is achieved. Add a generous pinch of sea salt and a few turns of fresh pepper, scrape down sides of processor and process again adding more olive oil if necessary. To save extra pesto, just place in a small dish, drizzle with olive oil to prevent oxidation and cover with lid or plastic. Keep in fridge for up to 5 days. This makes enough pesto for 16oz of any pasta you choose.
MAY I PLEASE ASK A FAVOR?
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Great recipe Linda, thank you for sharing, will be trying it out this weekend, as I have a whole bunch of basil plants which I wasn’t sure what to do with.
You are welcome!
Oh I LOVE fresh pesto! It’s so easy to make, isn’t it? 🙂
Parmesan is only thing I don’t add. Just might next time.
Yum, I love pesto but I’ve never made my own. Can’t wait to try it once my baby basil plants get bigger. Thanks for sharing ?
I’ve always wanted to try making pesto and this recipe sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing!
This looks delicious and beautiful. I never thought about making my own pesto, so I will have to try it!
Yum! I need to make this tonight!
It is a magical pesto! Universal all culinary senses with a pleasant texture (do not forget the next time parmesan), is not only delicious but also useful!
oh my gosh, this is everything. I love pesto, but have never thought to make it myself. once you said grilled cheese though, I’m down! thanks for sharing!
Mmm… those grilled cheese sandwiches! My kids would love those. And, now I have a great use for the tons of basil that I’ll get from my garden this summer. 🙂
The heat is starting to wilt my fresh basil, I should totally make pesto before it’s too late.
I LOVE basil pesto, and this recipe looks great! I have pinned it for later. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks I always appreciate a pin!
I love pasta! This is so refreshing. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Yum! I’ve never made basil before but I could definitely use it for some of my fave recipes!
Pesto always reminds me of my mom because she makes it all the time every summer. This looks delicious!
Thank you for sharing this recipe! I absolutely love pesto, but always get store bought! I would love to make my own!
I have never had luck making basil pesto — I always seem to make it too liquidy. But I love it so Im going to try your method! Thanks for sharing!
If you follow this recipe it shouldn’t have too much liquid!
I absolutely love pesto and have never made it on my own, but this looks SO good and sounds super easy! Definitely going to try making this at home
Thanks! Give a go, it really is easy!
I love pesto in almost anything lol. I recently had some with my ravioli and it was AMAZING!
It is extremely versatile!
Thanks for this awesome recipe. Can you freeze it? Just wanted to make a few batches and freeze for later.
Hmmm I never have. I am afraid the greens my be yucky after thawing. But you can google how to freeze pesto and see what you find, maybe there’s a great method out there!
Came out great, thank you for sharing. I made some adjustments and its best to taste as you are going along making. My son helped and he had a blast!