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This is the easiest basil pesto recipe you'll find on the internet! This recipe makes about ¾ of a cup of prepared pesto but is super easy to scale up or down depending on how much basil you've got on your hands!
Season to taste with salt and enjoy!
You'll Love This
- It tastes SO much better than store bought pesto. I still use store bought when I'm in a pinch (but I only ever use this brand). However most of the time I set aside a few minutes and throw together my own pesto before buying one off the shelf. The flavors are so much fresher and much more delicious!
- It feels a little fancy but it's SO easy to throw together! Pesto is not your everyday condiment or sauce, so it feels a little EXTRA and I like that. Also, no dicing, no slicing, no chopping - just toss everything in the blender and it's done!
- It adds a little something unexpected to every dish. Jazz up your weeknight pasta dish with a big scoop of pesto. Spread a tablespoon of this fresh basil pesto on your favorite sandwich at lunch time. Saute your weeknight veggies in a big scoop of pesto and enjoy the elevated flavors.
- Obviously, use fresh basil! The fresher the better, but living in Wisconsin I realize that you can't always pop out to the garden to grab a fresh bunch. Luckily your local grocery store and even Amazon has some great fresh options too!
- Always use fresh garlic! You have no idea how long that jar of minced garlic has been sitting on the shelf. You don't even have to mince the clove of garlic in this recipe either - just toss the whole clove right in!
- Use a good olive oil! You can learn more about what makes a good olive oil in my Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar Bread Dip post. But basically you're looking for an olive oil that is cold pressed and organic. This one is my fave.
- Use your favorite nut! I like to use walnuts or pecans for this pesto because I always have them on hand. Most recipes use pine nuts but they are super expensive and I find that they don't make a huge difference in the end result. Use what you've got in the pantry - just make sure they haven't gone rancid (which can happen really easily with nuts).
- DON'T store basil in the fridge. That's right folks. Basil should never go inside the refrigerator!
- It stays freshest when stored like a bouquet of flowers.
- Put the basil (stems first) in a jar or vase of water. Make sure no leaves creep below the water level as they will break down and get slimy.
- Leave the bouquet of basil uncovered and treat it like flowers, changing the water every couple days.
Did you know that pesto freezes like a dream?!?
- A great tip for freezing pesto is to scoop it into an ice cube tray. Place pesto in the freezer about an hour or until it freezes. Then pop the pesto cubes out and transfer them to an airtight container. Those pesto cubes will stay good for up to 3 months in the freezer.
- A great use for those frozen pesto cubes is to add 1-2 to your pan when you're sauteing chicken or veggies to give them a little pop of fresh basil flavor.
- You can also just freeze a small mason jar of pesto if you think you'd like to use a larger portion of pesto at one time.
- To thaw basil pesto, set it out on your counter for about an hour or so and let it come to room temp. Alternately, you can thaw it overnight in the fridge also.
What to make with pesto
- Use it to make a tasty Pesto & Tomato Pizza with my No Knead Pizza Dough
- Throw a tablespoon into my Homemade Tomato Soup
- Spoon it over my super easy Cheesy Wonton Ravioli
- Add a little more olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar to for a quick and easy pesto vinaigrette
Dips & Sauces
- Olive Oil & Balsamic Bread Dip
- Baked Spinach Dip
- Creamy Dill Yogurt Sauce
- Creamy Avocado Sauce
- Tomato Cream Sauce
- Roasted Tomato & Goat Cheese Dip