Easy Homemade Pesto

Do you have an abundance of basil growing in your garden? Collect it before the first frost and use it to make the best Homemade Pesto!

homemade pesto pin image

Summer is quickly coming to an end, and it is time to start harvesting the last of the herbs that are still growing in your gardens.

I enjoy gardening, and I find herbs very satisfying to grow. Basil is one of the herbs that I enjoy growing the most every summer.

Fresh basil, whether I grow it or buy it, is a necessity in my house because this Easy Homemade Pesto is one of my favorite foods to keep on hand at all times.

Incredibly easy and quick to whip up a batch or two to keep in the fridge or to freeze.

I love to use it on almost everything. Some of my favorite uses for this pesto is pasta, of course. But we also use it on baked potatoes, pizza, veggie dip, baked chicken and seafood, and crostini bread. YUM!

If you want more unique and delicious sauce recipes, try my

homemade pesto

Ingredients Needed For Easy Homemade Pesto Recipe

  • Fresh Basil Leaves – stem removed
  • Pine Nuts
  • Parmesan Cheese – grated
  • Garlic – minced
  • Lemon Juice – fresh
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
homemade pesto ingredients

How To Make Easy Homemade Pesto

Thought making pesto was hard? Think again! Here’s how.

Step 1

Puree the pine nuts, basil leaves, parmesan cheese, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor.

recipe process

Step 2

Once the mixture is pureed well, slowly add in the olive oil while the food processor is running.

Step 3

Give it a taste, then add salt and pepper as desired.

homemade pesto in food processor

Step 4

Use your homemade pesto on your favorite pasta, pizza, dipping sauce, and more.


homemade pesto on a spoon

Easy Homemade Pesto Recipe Notes And Tips

  • If you use a blender that does not have an opening on the top to allow you to pour the oil in, you will need to stop the blender, pour in a little oil, put the lid back on, and continue this process until the oil is fully incorporated.
  • Romano cheese would be a great substitute to use in place of parmesan.
  • When you stop the food processor to add more oil, be sure to scrape the sides to make sure all the ingredients get well incorporated.
  • If you choose to freeze the homemade pesto, it is best frozen in smaller batches. Using an ice cube tray, line with plastic wrap, then fill the cubes with the pesto. Once the cubes are frozen, use the plastic wrap to lift the pesto out of the tray. Put the cubes in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag and place in back in the freezer.
  • Basil pesto becomes darker when it is exposed to air. The pesto will stay greener longer if you place plastic wrap on the surface of the pesto and store it in an air-tight container.

Variations Of Easy Homemade Pesto To Try

  • Walnuts, pistachios, and almonds are all great substitutes for pine nuts.
  • Get a little adventurous and try some different combinations of greens and nuts such as spinach and walnuts, pistachio and arugula, or cilantro and pumpkin seeds.
  • If you have a nut allergy but still want the added texture, using pepitas or hemp seeds are great options to consider.
homemade pesto


Does this Homemade Pesto freeze well?

Yes, it will freeze nicely if you leave out the cheese. The cheese will not freeze well, so you can simply stir it in once you defrost the frozen pesto.

Store in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag for up to 6 months.

When you want to use it, allow it to thaw at room temperature or place the bag in a bowl of warm water so that it thaws more quickly.

How long will Homemade Pesto keep in the refrigerator?

You can store it in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

What can I do if the pesto is too thick?

If you feel like the pesto is too thick, you can thin it down with a tablespoon of olive oil or water.

Should I wash the basil leaves before making the pesto?

Yes, it is important to wash the basil, whether it is fresh out of the garden or store-bought. This will ensure that any dirt or bugs are washed off. Rinse with room temperature water and dry immediately.

Do I need to mince the garlic or can I use whole, fresh garlic?

That is completely up to you! The food processor will do the job if you don’t have minced garlic or want to save yourself some time.

homemade pesto in a jar

More Easy and Delicious Recipes To Try

homemade pesto

Easy Homemade Pesto

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Do you have an abundance of basil growing in your garden? Collect it before the first frost and use it to make the best Homemade Pesto!


  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed, removed from stems
  • 3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper


  1. In a food processor, add in basil leaves, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, and lemon juice. Mix until pureed.
  2. Slowly add in your olive oil. If you are using a blender that doesn’t open from the top to allow you to slowly pour the oil in, stop the blender, add in a little bit of oil, start it back up, and continue the process until the oil is fully incorporated.
  3. Taste and add in your salt and pepper. You can add or remove any amount due to your liking.
  4. Add to your favorite pasta, pizza, and more! Enjoy!

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