4-Ingredient Basil Sauce Recipe: Because You Can Only Eat So Much Pesto by Donna John

5 months ago
4-Ingredient Basil Sauce Recipe: Because You Can Only Eat So Much Pesto

My basil plants are still going strong. With homemade basil pesto in my refrigerator and my freezer, I decided to find another way to use this fresh herb. This basil sauce recipe is quick, easy and so refreshing!

Garlicy, lemony and herbaceous, this green sauce is so versatile. Use this four-ingredient basil sauce recipe on chicken, shrimp, fish, scallops, vegetables, salads, pasta, tomato salads, caprese salads, potatoes or as a dip for hot, crusty bread.

To be honest, I almost skipped the blanching step, but decided because it was so easy and didn't take any time, I'd go ahead and do it. Did it make the sauce greener like the original recipe stated? I'm not sure, but if you have time, why not? Use the sauce immediately or refrigerate for up to one week.

Cuisine: Italian / American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: Makes about 3/4 cup


  • 1 cup basil leaves, packed
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons lemon juice (or to taste)

Here's how to make it:

  1. Plunge the basil leaves into a pot of boiling water. Boil for 30 seconds.
  2. Immediately remove to an ice bath.
  3. Drain and squeeze out as much water as you can.
  4. Put all the ingredients into a blender.
  5. Blend until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Add more lemon juice, if needed.

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Donna John
Used this on chicken. Absolutely yummy! Will be making this sauce a lot. Already thinking of new ways to use it.
Elisa Schmitz, 30Seconds
Mmm! Great idea, Donna John . Nice alternative to pesto! #yum
Great recipe to try with all the basil I’m growing in my yard.

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