Fresh Basil Pesto

Summer is right around the corner, this quick and easy fresh basil pesto can be paired with fresh pasta or a crunchy French Baguette for a light meal that everyone will love.

It’s Friday- and you find yourself working from home becoming distracted by what was originally a small basil plant that you bought thinking “I know I’ll use this, it’s basil. I love basil!”. Let’s be honest, you used three leaves on pasta that one time and then forgot about it.

And it never died, because it’s basil. And even I can keep basil alive. Anyways, the plant is huge now.

So you’re in your next Zoom meeting thinking about that plant. What do I do with it? I can’t throw it out. It is ALIVE after all and I’m not a monster.

Allow me to introduce… Pesto sauce!

This vibrant green sauce will instantly brighten your day and no one but you needs to know how easy it is to make. If you really feel like getting creative, hope over to my Fresh Pasta Tutorial and make some fresh pasta to toss in this!

What you need to make fresh basil pesto :

  • Food processor, you could probably use a blender to substitute
  • About two cup of fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (buy the block and grate it fresh, you know you’ll eat the rest)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (this is raw garlic, trust me on this and stick to TWO)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper

First things first… how much of that beautiful green basil do you really need? About two cups. I like to pack it in, act like you’re measuring spinach (where does it all go?!?). Toss it in the food processor with the pine nuts and pulse a few times.

fresh basil pesto fresh basil pesto

Next you want to add the garlic cloves, cheese, and a dash of salt & pepper. Don’t get too crazy with the s & p at this stage. It’s more of a thought than a seasoning here. You’ll adjust it to your taste at the end. Pulse this mixture until it looks like the second image below.

fresh basil pesto fresh basil pesto

Next, take a break and have a slice of your extra parm. You deserve it.

This next step requires some focus. We’re going to pour the olive oil into the food processor tube while running on low speed. Slowly pour the OO into the processor, watching the mixture. Once it starts looking like a sauce, pause and open the lid. Using a spoon or spatula (please don’t use your fingers, stitches will not look good on your next Hinge date) test the consistency. This is where your preference comes in. How thick do you want the sauce? If you want it thinner, add some more OO and pulse a few times. Adjust the s & p to your preference.

fresh basil pesto

This is the consistency I prefer mine to be (slightly thick). If I’m using it on pasta, I’ll toss the pasta directly into the sauce with a little pasta water to thin it out.

fresh basil pesto

So that’s it. You did it, you made fresh basil pesto. I’m so proud of you. Maybe you’ll make another Lowes trip and buy another basil plant (you’ll keep track of watering it this time, I promise).

Have another herb plant hanging around that you need recipe ideas for? Drop me a message/comment and I’ll be sure to send you some delicious possibilities!

Basil Pesto

Quick & easy sauce for dipping or pasta
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8
Calories 170 kcal


  • Food processor


  • 2 cups basil fresh
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated or shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic raw
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper


  • Place the basil and pine nuts in the food processor and pulse on high until combined.
  • Add cheese and garlic and pulse on high until combined and slightly smooth.
  • While the processor is running on low, slowly pour in the olive oil until the sauce becomes smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Keyword basil, sauce

2 Comments Add yours

  1. tlawther says:

    Looks delicious! Might make it tonight !

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