Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

basic pesto

★★★★☆ 4
a recipe by
Nashville, TN

I love pesto! This is quick and easy... and really good!

Blue Ribbon Recipe

What to do with an abundance of fresh basil? Turn it into pesto! This recipe is a basic version and it's delicious. Pesto is a versatile sauce. Spread it onto toasted bread slices. Toss it with pasta for an easy summertime dinner. Or, drizzle it over grilled chicken. This flavorful sauce can be whipped up in no time. If you don't use all the sauce, freeze the extra.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
★★★★☆ 4
serves Makes 1 cup
method No-Cook or Other

Ingredients For basic pesto

  • 2 c
    basil leaves, fresh and packed
  • 1/2 c
    Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/2 c
    extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 c
    pine nuts or walnuts
  • 3 clove
    garlic, minced (medium-sized)
  • salt
  • pepper

How To Make basic pesto

  • Basil and pine nuts in a food processor.
    Combine the basil with the pine nuts. Pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.)
  • Garlic added to the food processor.
    Add the garlic. Pulse a few times more. (You can use a mortar and pestle instead if you'd like.)
  • Slowly drizzling in olive oil.
    Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on.
  • Grated cheese added to the food processor.
    Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese.
  • Cheese incorporated into the pesto.
    Pulse again until blended.
  • Salt and pepper added to the pesto and poured into a small bowl.
    Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.