Here’s an easy basil pesto sauce recipe that you can make in just 10 minutes.
What have you been up to lately?
Got any new recipes to show me?
As for me, I’ve got something interesting to show you today.
Have you ever noticed that I use pesto sauce in many of my dishes? Ever wondered why?
Well, in my opinion, this is one of the tastiest sauce ever. Its rich texture and flavor make any dish stand out. And at the same time, it makes cooking a lot easier.
Let me give you an example so you can understand what I am trying to say.
You’re on a tight schedule, you’ve got little time for cooking and take away is not exactly your cup of tea.
If you have some pasta around (like spaghetti or penne) and a bit of pesto sauce, then all you have to do is boil it and top it with pesto.
And just like that, you’ve made a super delicious meal in literally no-time.
That is why I love it so much. It’s not just the flavor but it actually makes cooking easier.
Now, if you browse through the shelves of your local grocery store you will find many kinds of pesto. These may or may not be 100% healthy; as always read the label carefully.
But personally, I like to make my own pesto sauce. This way I have more control over the ingredients and it’s super easy to make.
Trust me, you would spend more time going to the store and back than actually making it.
And that is what I want to show you today, how to make basil pesto sauce easy.
But before that, I would like to answer some questions about it.
I noticed foodies have many questions, like what is it exactly, which one is the best, or if you can freeze homemade pesto.
If you are one of them, keep reading as I will cover all of these questions.
So let’s start with the basics and see what it is and where it comes from.
What is Pesto?
This is a sauce that originates from Genoa, Italy (Liguria province) and it is also known as Pesto Alla Genovese (Source: Wikipedia)
The traditional pesto recipe is made of crushed garlic, pine nuts, salt, basil leaves, Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano), pecorino and olive oil.
In modern cuisine, some of the ingredients are replaced because of their availability and seasonality.
Hence, pine nuts are sometimes replaced with pecans, cashews, walnuts, almonds or peanuts.
Other recipes replace basil with parsley and some include mint leaves.
In Provence, they make it only with olive oil, basil, and garlic. In Sicily, they add tomatoes and use much less basil. Thus, the Sicilian pesto is not green, but red.
Yet, today I will show you how to make the traditional pesto recipe, which I think is also the best.
Moving on, let’s see if we can freeze homemade pesto and how long we can keep it.
Can you freeze homemade Pesto?
Yes, you can freeze pesto sauce and keep it up to two months.
I usually make a large batch, pour it into small jars or ice-cube molds, then freeze and keep them sometimes even longer than two months.
See what I meant when I said that it makes cooking a lot easier?
You can make it once a month and use it whenever you need to cook something delicious fast.
Now, let’s see what recipes you can make with this creamy Pesto sauce.
Best ways to use Basil Pesto Sauce Easy
This is where it gets interesting. Basil pesto sauce works wonders on many dishes, whether it’s pasta, pizza, salads, sandwiches, seafood or steaks.
One of the most popular combos is pesto and pasta. As said above, if you don’t have time for cooking you can just boil some pasta, add it a bit of green pesto and you’re all set.
Of course, if you want to be creative, you can add other ingredients like tomatoes or corn.
Another delicious way of using it is to spread it on sandwiches, crackers or toasted sourdough. I usually like it in BLTs or plain chicken sandwiches.
Here are some of my favorite recipes with this delicious green sauce:
I hope I’ve covered everything but if you would still like to know more about it don’t hesitate to ask me.
Now it’s time to show you how to make this easy basil pesto recipe.
And if you would like to see more delicious recipe videos, please Subscribe to my YouTube channel and let’s cook together.
Basil Pesto Recipe
- 1/2 cup (70g) pine nuts - raw
- 1 1/2 cup (60g) packed fresh basil leaves
- 3/4 cup (75g) Parmesan cheese - grated
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) olive oil - extra virgin
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 garlic clove
- sea salt and pepper - to your taste
- Heat a small frying pan on low heat.
- Cook the pine nuts until golden, shaking occasionally.
- Place the pine nuts into a food processor together with basil, Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic cloves.
- Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Process until smooth, for about 1-2 minutes.
- Keep the pesto sauce in a 300ml jar fitted with a tight lid and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
- After making it, you can pour it into ice-cube molds. Freeze, then remove the cubes from the tray and store them in a freezer bag. You can keep them like this for up to 2 months. This way you'll have it portioned, so whenever you may need some, just grab a cube or two, defrost, and use it.
- Use good quality extra virgin olive oil. There are some which are far from great, either not extra virgin or their taste is too intense. Find a good one, that is cold pressed and has a mild taste.
- When toasting the pine nuts, keep an eye on them and stir constantly. They can get burned easily!
- Try different kinds of nuts like cashews, sunflower seeds, walnuts, pistachios or macadamia. You may also add various fresh herbs and greens like mint, parsley or even kale. Mix and match until you find your favorite combo!
- Feel free to add more garlic if you'd like. Also, try it with 1/2 Tsp of lemon zest for a more citrusy flavor.
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Is it alright to can pesto? Every article i have read says to freeze it. I would like to can it. If I use a water bath, how long do i boil it?
I have never canned it, so I can’t say how long you’d need to boil it. Most people freeze pesto instead of canning because otherwise, it will lose its strong flavor, nutrients and color.
I would recommend you freeze it in ice cube trays so you’d have it portioned when you need it. This way, you won’t have to defrost the whole jar if you need just a small quantity.
After freezing it, you can also place the cubes in Ziploc bags.
Hope this helps