Making homemade basil pesto couldn’t be any easier! Fresh basil, garlic, lemon zest, toasted pine nuts and parmesan cheese blended with olive oil for a creamy delicious sauce. Recipe yields about 2 cups or 16 (2 tablespoon) servings.

Homemade Basil Pesto l #homemade #basil #pesto #easy #garden #fresh

This year my basil plant(s) are huge.

Besides me picking from all three of them all summer long, they’re the home to little green frogs. And big, fat bumblebees are always on them scooping out pollen. But I especially love when on windy or stormy days, the smell of fresh basil wafts through our front door.

Basil is my spirit herb.

Homemade Basil Pesto l #homemade #basil #pesto #easy #garden #fresh

The main reason I plant basil in my garden is to make pesto. It’s so simple and can add a fresh burst of herbaceous deliciousness to sauces, dressings or dips. You can even make a double batch and freeze some for throughout the year.

To Make This Homemade Basil Pesto You Will Need:

  • fresh basil leavesYou will need a lot. Like a lot.
  • pine nutsAdds a subtle warm nutty flavor, especially when toasted.
  • parmesan cheeseLends a fruity, nutty and slightly salty flavor.
  • garlicFor distinct punchy flavor.
  • lemon zest and juiceAdds citrus notes and brightens the flavors of the pest.
  • kosher saltEnhances the flavors in the pesto.
  • freshly ground black pepperAdds some subtle bite and flavor.
  • olive oilLends richness and flavor.

Place 2 cups firmly packed basil leaves into your salad spinner.

Rinse thoroughly and spin dry. I do this step a few times in a row. Set this off to the side for a moment.

Add 1/2 cup pine nuts to a small skillet. Heat on medium to medium-low, shaking the pan occasionally until the nuts are fragrant and golden. Allow them to cool before adding them to the food processor.

In the bowl of your food processor, fitted with the blade attachment, add in 2 cups firmly packed fresh basil, toasted pine nuts, the zest and juice from a small lemon, 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, 2 small garlic cloves and kosher salt and black pepper to taste.

Add in 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, secure the lid turn on your food processor.

Pulse, check, scrape down the sides as you go.

Stop once the basil pesto is smooth.

Homemade Basil Pesto l #homemade #basil #pesto #easy #garden #fresh

Recipes That Call For Basil Pesto:

Homemade Basil Pesto l #homemade #basil #pesto #easy #garden #fresh

How To Store Homemade Basil Pesto:

Store basil pesto in a jar or container with a tight fitting lid. If store properly, homemade pesto can last up to 5 to 6 days.

How To Freeze Homemade Basil Pesto:

Fill an ice cube tray with 2 to 4 tablespoons of pesto, cover and freeze up to 6 months or longer. This way you’ll have homemade basil pesto at your fingertips to thaw and add to sauces or dressings.

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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!

Homemade Basil Pesto l #homemade #basil #pesto #easy #garden #fresh

Homemade Basil Pesto l #homemade #basil #pesto #easy #garden #fresh
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Yield: 16 servings

Homemade Basil Pesto

Making homemade basil pesto couldn't be any easier! Fresh basil, garlic, lemon zest, toasted pine nuts and parmesan cheese blended with olive oil for a creamy delicious sauce. Recipe yields about 2 cups or 16 (2 tablespoon) servings


  • 2 cups basil leaves, rinsed and patted or spun dry
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 small lemon, zest and juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, or up to 3/4 cup- as needed


  • 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.
  • In the bowl of your food processor add the basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, both the zest and juice from one lemon, salt, pepper and olive oil.
  • Secure the lid to your food processor and blend until smooth.


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


Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.
Serving: 2tablespoons, Calories: 95kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Sodium: 121mg, Potassium: 40mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 188IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 43mg, Iron: 1mg