There is nothing better than a homemade, fresh basil pesto, particularly when it’s so easy to make in under 15 minutes. Whether it’s stirred through pasta, made into a creamy sauce with chicken, added to a salad dressing, spread on a big piece of sourdough or dolloped on top of a pizza, it is the ultimate way to add a whole heap of flavour to a meal without a whole heap of effort. It’s worth taking the time to make your own. Many of the store bought varieties are made with additives or can be expensive. This homemade version is completely customisable and the taste doesn’t compare to a store-bought version. Check out the recipe notes to see how to store your pesto and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks!
- Total Time: 15 mins
- Yield: 6 1x
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves (you can substitute half with parsley for a fragrant, brighter pesto)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1/3 cup pine nuts, walnuts or macadamia nuts (my preference is walnuts)
- 1 garlic clove, freshly minced
- 1 tsp salt flakes
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (plus extra to store)
- Place the basil leaves (and parsley if using), parmesan cheese, nuts, garlic, salt and pepper into a food processor. Pulse for 5-10 seconds, scraping down the sides as needed until the mixture resembles a fine crumb.
- Running the food processor, slowly add the olive oil, scrape down the sides as needed and blitz until smooth.
- Store in an air-tight container, see the storage instructions below.
Tips – The recipe includes a generous amount of seasoning but you can add more depending on your tastes. You can also add more olive oil if you prefer a looser pesto.
How long can I store homemade pesto? Homemade pesto can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Store in an air-tight container, drizzle the top of the pesto with extra olive oil – This is the key to preserving the pesto and keeping it fresh. It may darken over time on the top, but it will be completely fine to eat. Top it generously with olive oil each time after use. Freeze in ice-cube trays for up to 2 months. Thaw completely in the fridge overnight to use.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Category: Condiment
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Homemade pesto, how to make pesto, basil pesto
This is the nicest pesto I’ve ever tasted. Such a great way to use the excess basil leaves from our plants. It’s quick & easy to make. The longest part is picking the 2 cups of basil leaves but even that is easy. We love it on chicken, pasta & even make a pesto pizza. Delicious.
Oh this is so wonderful to hear – Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and rate the recipe. It really does mean so much to me. We absolutely love this recipe and I’m so pleased you love it too! x