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homemade basil pesto in a bowl

Easy Homemade Basil Pesto

  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: 5 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: Italian


Make this easy basil pesto in just 5 minutes! Spoon it over chicken, pasta, salads, or use it as a salad dressing. 


Units Scale
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 3 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Combine basil leaves, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and lemon juice in a bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely minced. Scrape down the sides with a spoon or small rubber spatula.
  2. While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream. Scrape down the sides as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 week. See notes for freezer instructions.


  • To Freeze Pesto – put spoonfuls of pesto into ice cube trays and place in the freezer until solid. Then transfer the pesto cubes to freezer-safe plastic bag or container with a lid and keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw out overnight in the refrigerator before using.
  • Substitutions – see blog post for a full list of ingredient substitutions.


  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 187
  • Sugar: 0.3 g
  • Sodium: 68.3 mg
  • Fat: 20.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.4 g
  • Protein: 2.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 2.9 mg

Keywords: easy, fresh, summer, pasta