Making homemade basil pesto couldn’t be any easier! Fresh basil, lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, lemon and toasted pine nuts.

Make and Freeze Homemade Pesto l

Liz already shared this recipe on her blog a couple of weeks ago and I swore to myself I was going to put my basil plant to use and make her recipe ASAP. I knew it was going to be amazing, everything Liz makes is. I love that it’s straight forward and calls for the basics; basil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, toasted pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and of course salt, pepper and olive oil. So simple… sooo good.

basil plant

I’ve already told you about my basil plant so I’ll spare you the deets. Other then it’s huge thanks to two huge bees. I swear it’s the same two bumble bees that every time I go to pick from my basil plant they would swoop down and buzz right by my ear and scared the you-know-what out of me. I’m not terribly scared of bees. More so wasps. Did I tell you about the time I was on our back deck enjoying a lovely pancake breakfast with my girls and I thought one landed in my hair? I know right? SO SCARRRRY! So in front of all the houses on our canal I was screeching and throwing my head up and down trying to shake it out. I could literally feel it in there and the wasp was stuck. In my hair. Oh. My. Lord.

Only it wasn’t a wasp… it was my bobby pin. Yeaaah. I probably didn’t tell you that story… because it’s totally embarrassing and who would be so stupid to confuse a bobby pin with a wasp. Pshhht I mean come on.


So anyways. The bees won’t keep me away from my basil plant. Those pollinators are doing their thang keeping my plant growing. And I still have a lot of basil to use before the summer months end and fall claims it. So I’m thinking since this pesto was SOOOO amazing… I’ll be making another batch soon. One can’t have too much basil pesto in the freezer.

basil pesto goodies

Grab the goods and GO!


First rinse any dirt off of 4 cups of fresh basil leaves.

pick through

I picked through mine just to make sure I didn’t miss any stems or soil particles, which of course I found.

rinsed and drain

Yes, that’s four cups of basil from my plant.I’m so proud! *sniff*

pat dry

Next, pat it dry.

air dry

And then let the air dry it the rest as you start prepping…

half cup pine nuts

Next, measure out a half cup of pine nuts. Love these little buggers.

pine nuts

And then throw them into a small skillet and set the pan on your stove to toast over medium heat. Or do what Liz does and toast them on a rimmed baking pan at 350 degrees for 6-7 minutes. Either way… toast’em.


Next, remove after the pine nuts start getting golden and smell all nutty like. Pull them off of the heat to cool.

peeled and roughly chopped

Then roughly chop three cloves of garlic. This is probably not necessary when you plan to use your food processor… but what the heck.

lemon zest

Next zest a small lemon.

basil in...

And then throw the clean basil leaves into the bowl of your food processor…

add pine nuts

Next add the toasted pine nuts.

lemon zest in

Add then the lemon zest. Smells amazing!

Parmesan and garliclemon juicedblack pepperkosher salt

Lastly a cup of grated Parmesan cheese, garlic, juice from the entire lemon, 1/4 teaspoon of coarse black pepper and 3/4  teaspoon kosher salt.




olive oil

Next secure the lid, let’er rip and star drizzling in a cup of extra virgin olive oil.


Then stop when smooth.


Lastly, to freeze this homemade basil pesto into cubes is just as easy. Scoop…

spoon in


Freezing Collage

Then cover with plastic wrap and freeze. I let mine freeze over night. But at least 2-3 hours should work.


Now just pop…


… and store. Liz says these homemade basil pesto cubes will last for up to 3 months in the freezer, but I doubt it’ll last that long. 😉


I kept a little jar of the pesto in the fridge to make our favorite grilled cheese… I added an heirloom. OMG. The pesto steals the show for sure!

Enjoy! And if you give this homemade basil pesto recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Make and Freeze Homemade Basil Pesto ll

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Homemade Basil Pesto
Yield: about 2 cups

Homemade Basil Pesto

Fresh basil pesto is the perfect on pasta, grilled cheese or as a dip!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Additional Time 4 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 whole lemon, zest and juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan for 5-6 minutes over medium heat until lightly golden in color and fragrant. Remove to cool.
  2. In the bowl of your food processor add the basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, both the zest and juice from one lemon and the salt and pepper.
  3. Secure your food processors lid and turn on while slowly drizzling in the cup of olive oil.


  1. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of pesto into each ice cube slot. Cover and freeze for 2-3 hours or over night.
  2. Pop the basil pesto cubes out and place into a freezer-safe re-sealable bag. Store frozen for up to three months.
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