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If there’s a classic summer flavor, homemade basil pesto sauce is it! There are many variations, but I’m going to show you how to make pesto sauce with just 5 ingredients… and from there you can mix and match the nuts you use, or make other easy swaps for any dietary restrictions. Either way, it’s ready in just 5 minutes. I have a feeling you’ll want to make this basil pesto sauce recipe all summer long…
This time of year, the basil plants are growing uncontrollably. You prune them and then they grow even faster! Anyone else have a hard time keeping up? If you do, this homemade basil pesto is the answer to your too-much-basil-problem. But it’s not a problem anymore, because I have a delicious answer. While I love store-bought pesto throughout the year, nothing compares to the flavor of fresh basil.
It adds such great flavor to just about anything. Try it on fish, grilled chicken, veggies, or whisk it into salad dressings or mayonnaise. It’s incredibly versatile and I always recommend having a stash in your fridge or freezer.
Next time you find yourself with a big pile of basil leaves fresh off the plant? It’s time for this basil pesto recipe.
How To Make Pesto Sauce
The first step in this easy homemade pesto recipe is to choose what kind of nuts you are going to use! I have a list of options below, but for this version I made a macadamia nut pesto. The macadamia nuts give the pesto an incredibly rich flavor and they are incredibly nutritious.
Put the nuts in the food processor to give them a rough chop.
Then you’ll add all of the other ingredients into the food processor (see the ingredient list below!) and pulse the mixture until it reaches the desired consistency.
What Is Pesto Sauce Made Of?
Pesto sauce is made of a few simple ingredients. It’s best to use high-quality ingredients in recipes like this because they each stand out.
Basil pesto ingredients:
- Fresh basil
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Olive oil
- Nuts (see full list below)
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
As for the nuts, you have so many options! You can make basil pesto with cashews, or any of the following nuts:
- Macadamia nuts
- Pine nuts
How To Make Pesto Sauce Allergy-Friendly
If you or someone in your family has an allergy, it’s easy to alter the basil pesto sauce recipe to fit those needs:
- Paleo, dairy-free or vegan pesto sauce – simply omit the Parmesan cheese and add some nutritional yeast instead.
- Nut-free pesto sauce – simply replace the nuts with seeds, such as pepitas or sunflower seeds.
Pesto Sauce Calories
There are 162 calories in 2 tablespoons of pesto sauce. The full nutrition stats are below the recipe card, but here are the highlights:
- 162 calories
- 2 grams carbohydrates
- 5 grams protein
- 16 grams fat
This will vary a bit depending on what type of nuts you use in your pesto sauce recipe.
How To Store Homemade Pesto Sauce
Homemade pesto sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for about 7-14 days. If you want use it within two weeks, you should definitely freeze it as it freezes really well!
Can You Freeze Basil Pesto Sauce?
Yes, you can freeze basil pesto sauce. In fact, if you’re making pesto, you might as well double or triple the batch so that you can freeze some for later.
Simply pour your homemade pesto sauce into small, freezer-safe containers and freeze until solid. Once they are frozen, you can pop them out and put them into a freezer bag.
TIP: Wrap pesto pods with plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.
Recipes With Basil Pesto Sauce
Once you’ve learned how to make basil pesto, you might wonder what to do with it! There are so many ways to enjoy this fresh and herb-y condiment. (Find more keto low carb sauces, dips, and condiments here.)
Here are some recipes that use pesto you might enjoy:
- Caprese Salad Skewers with Pesto & Bacon
- Baked Pesto Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Pesto Keto Zucchini Lasagna
- Zucchini Stir Fry with Beef & Pesto
Tools To Make Homemade Pesto Sauce
Tap the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Food Processor – This homemade pesto sauce recipe couldn’t be easier, thanks to the food processor who does all the hard work! This is the food processor that I have, use, and love.
- Tabletop Spiralizer – Right after you finish making the basil pesto recipe, you’ll want to spiralize a big batch of zucchini noodles. Zoodles + pesto = fresh summer meal perfection!
- 12-Piece Freezer Container Set – These 2 oz containers are the perfect size for storing extra basil pesto sauce in. Or make a few batches when basil is at it’s peak to freeze for fall and winter.
Easy Basil Pesto Recipe: How To Make Pesto Sauce
Easy Basil Pesto Recipe: How To Make Pesto Sauce
The universal EASY basil pesto recipe! Learn how to make homemade basil pesto sauce: 5 ingredients, 5 minutes, and you'll want to put it on everything.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Place nuts into a powerful blender or food processor. Pulse several times until they are broken up into smaller pieces. (Don't over-process, or you'll end up with nut butter!)
- Add the remaining ingredients to the blender. Push the basil leaves into the olive oil.
- Pulse intermittently, scraping sides occasionally with a spatula, until the desired consistency is reached.
Last Step: Leave A Rating!
Serving size: 2 tbsp
I used a high power blender for this recipe. If using a food processor where the blade is notably higher than the bottom of the food processor, you'll want to modify the method slightly. Instead of adding the olive oil with the rest of the ingredients, gradually pour it in as a stream while the food processor is running.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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