Best Basil Pesto Recipe: Put This Easy Pesto Recipe on Everything by Donna John

Best Basil Pesto Recipe: Put This Easy Pesto Recipe on Everything

Basil pesto is not only packed with flavor, it’s also super easy and quick to put together. You'll want to use this delicious pesto recipe on pasta, in this caprese panini recipe, on grilled chicken breasts, grilled shrimp, in this peas with pesto recipe, on rice cakes, in a salad dressing or even on pizza (well, just about everything)!

While I do try other basil pesto recipes, this is my go-to-recipe. I love making chicken pesto pasta, pesto chicken breasts, pesto pasta salad and creamy pesto chicken spaghetti with it. I always make extra and freeze it for later. 

All you need to make this easy homemade basil pesto recipe is fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Blend it up and get ready to taste freshness on a fork (or spoon!). 

What's your favorite way to use pesto?

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Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cups olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

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Recipe Notes

  • Pine nuts are somewhat pricey, so sometimes I will use walnuts, almonds or even sunflower seeds.
  • Make extra and freeze it for later.

Here's how you make it:

  1. Put the basil, garlic and pine nuts in a blender. Pulse until chopped.
  2. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil.
  3. Pour the mixture into a bowl and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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Jennison Grigsby
Sounds easy and tasty!
Elisa Schmitz
I love pesto! Thanks for the easy recipe, Donna John!
Ann Marie Patitucci
Pesto is my favorite, but I've never tried making it. I've always been scared to mess it up! :) Thanks, Donna John !
Angel C
Love pesto. I have also substituted a small handful of walnuts instead of pine nuts since usually don’t have those on hand and they are $$$$$$! Also you can add a little lump of cream cheese believe it or not to the mix and it makes it just a bit creamy and delish. Not too much.
Donna John
Me, too! I picked my basil yesterday to make it, but we ended up getting a pizza to eat during the Astros game. Making it tonight. A few weeks ago I made Gale Gand's recipe, which you use butter in. It was very good! Tonight, going to make my ol' go-to version (this one!). Gale Gand uses pinenuts and walnuts in her version. Love the idea of cream cheese! Going to try that. food: Special Basil Pesto Recipe: Chef Gale Gand Adds Something Interesting to Her Basil Pesto Angel C Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
Donna John
Also, I froze some this year so I can enjoy it after my basil dies. Which, unfortunately, is happening right now, which is why I cut it back yesterday.
There are some ideas that frozen cheese is bitter. Don’t know. Just always add cheese at the table.
Donna John
My frozen basil pesto is always delicious. Never have an issue with bitter. Interesting, though.

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