Refreshing Basil Pesto Recipe With Lemon: Meet Your New Favorite Pesto Recipe by Ann Marie Patitucci

Refreshing Basil Pesto Recipe With Lemon: Meet Your New Favorite Pesto Recipe

I absolutely love pesto. I prefer homemade basil pesto, of course, but have always been intimidated by the idea of making it myself. Until now.

This is a pesto recipe I can handle and it’s delicious! There’s nothing like homemade pesto, and the addition of lemon makes it even more refreshing. Pesto pairs well with chicken, fish, pasta, vegetables and more.

Cuisine: Italian 
Prep Time: 10 minutes 
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes 
Servings: Makes about 1 cup


  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts (I prefer pine nuts)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Here's how to make it: 

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the basil leaves and garlic. Pulse until finely chopped. (If using a blender, you may want to use a baking spatula to scrape down the sides and then stir several times to fully blend and combine all ingredients.)
  2. Add the Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, lemon zest and lemon juice. Pulse to combine.
  3. Turn the blender on and drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil from the top opening. Add the salt and pepper and pulse to combine.

Need help converting cooking and baking measurements? Here are some handy kitchen conversion charts.

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Blenders $25 & Up
Food Processors $30 & Up
Pine Nuts $4 & Up
Walnuts $3 & Up

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Big yummy yum 🍋
Elisa Schmitz
Pesto and lemon are a winning flavor combination. Thanks for sharing the yum, Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead !

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