Classic pesto

Cook: 15 mins Ready in 15 mins


Makes 250ml
You can whizz up your own delicious pesto in under 15 minutes – it’s great for a fast-fix meal

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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  • 50g pine nut
  • 80g basil



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

  • 50g Parmesan, (or vegetarian alternative)



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • 150ml olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 garlic clove


  1. Heat a small frying pan over a low heat. Cook the pine nuts until golden, shaking occasionally. Put into a food processor with the basil, Parmesan, olive oil and garlic cloves. Process until smooth and season.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (11)

nininog's picture

Beautiful pesto recipe! I omitted the pine nuts as my son has allergies and I always presumed it wouldn't taste as good. What a surprise, it was yummy!

suzlovescake's picture

Tasty pesto recipe, will be using this one from now on.

crea83's picture

Can i just point out the BBC hasn't promoted Parmesan as vegetarian. It clearly states Parmesan or vegetarian alternative! Just thought i'd point it out, and this was yummy!

last edited: 10:29, 27th Aug, 2013
ecocyclist's picture

How can any cheese be described as 'vegetarian' when it's made from milk? Do veggies not realise that a calf has to be born in order for a cow to produce milk, and that calf, if it's not shot at birth, will usually end up as veal or beef? Some are dairy replacements but you can't buy your milk just on the basis of a cow giving birth to a female dairy calf!

lighthouselady's picture

I have been a vegetarian for 25 years but as mine is health motivated rather than anything else I had no clue parmesan wasn't veggie!!! Oops.

abanner's picture

I really think that the comments about Parmesan are nit-picking. Surely people who are so discerning about what they eat will be well aware that Parmesan is not a vegetarian cheese?

jan0309con's picture

I do intend to try this recipe however, once again I have to express my disappointment that BBC Good Food are promoting Parmesan as vegetarian when it isn't. As Jacqueline has stated above.

Please BBC Good Food, always state this as some people can be confused and eat Parmesan therefore compromising their values and beliefs.

yumyum789's picture

How long can this be kept for once made?

goodfoodteam's picture

You can keep this pesto in the fridge for 3 - 5 days. Put it in a sealed container and top up with a little olive oil to cover the surface if necessary.

fluffyjacq's picture

Parmesan/Parmigiano-Reggiano is an EU Protected Designation of Origin product and has to be made using calf rennet, so it’s definitely NOT suitable for vegetarians.

Questions (1)

sozzie's picture

I followed this recipe to a T but mine did not look like the pesto in the photo - mine was much darker. How do I get pesto to look light green? This is the second BBC Good Food recipe I've used for pesto and both came out dark! I'm obviously doing something wrong, so can someone please point me in the right direction? Thanks!

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