How to Make Classic Pesto

How to Make Classic Pesto |

I think of two things when I see fresh basil in my garden; caprese salad and homemade pesto. Better yet, adding the pesto to fresh homegrown tomatoes. mmmm hmmmm

I used to spend way too much money buying pesto at the grocery store- making it at home is simple, fresh and so good. Plus, I usually have all of the ingredients in stock. 

This recipe is for classic pesto which includes fresh basil, garlic, parmesan, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, a little bit of salt, pepper and lemon juice. There are a lot of other substitutions that can be made for these, but I adore this simple recipe. 

How to Make Classic Pesto |

Traditionally, you would make pesto with a mortar and pestle but to speed things up a bit I used my Blendtec blender

I hope that you enjoy this pesto as much as I do. 

Classic Pesto Recipe

Prep: 5 minutes | Level: Easy | Yields: Roughly a cup


  • 3 cups of fresh basil, packed
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (pine nuts can be expensive- so buy these at either Trader Joe's or Costco to get more bang for your buck!)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (i.e. Parmesan)
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp of lemon juice 


In a food processor or blender; add basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, and a little bit of the olive oil. Pulse a few times to break down the ingredients.

On a low speed, slowly add the remaining oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Scrape down the sides and pulse until pesto is smooth and well blended. 

Cover with olive oil and store in an airtight container. I like to use these half pint Ball canning jam jars

Refrigerate up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months. 

To Freeze: add pesto to ice cube tray and freeze for over 2 hours. Pop out pesto cubes and place in a ziplock bag for use at a later date. Pesto will last up to 3 months. 

How to Make Classic Pesto |

There are so many ways to enjoy pesto; over fresh sliced tomatoes, on pasta, pizza, by the spoonful.. okay not really but maybe.. and so many more. Stay tuned for some of my favorite pesto recipes. 

As I mentioned before this recipe is for classic pesto, if you want to spice things up a bit check out my new internet pal's do whatever you want pesto recipe

Have you ever made classic pesto before? How do you like to enjoy pesto?



Crescent Circle Media, PO Box 2651 Huntsville, AL 35804