Classic pesto

Classic pesto

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(10 ratings)

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 cloves


  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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11th Jan, 2018
Lovely pesto and easy to make. I can never get enough basil off of my plant so I add spinach as well.
1st Nov, 2017
Great vegan alternative to parmesan = nutritional yeast
6th Sep, 2017
Delicious and so easy to make. I used 4 cloves of garlic as I like it a bit stronger and it turned out perfect.
RoKo's picture
1st Feb, 2017
So easy, so quick and so delicious. Ate it all in one sitting. Didn't share ;)
11th Mar, 2016
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!
TheEightHours's picture
24th Sep, 2015
Or if you fancy a change from the usual Pesto go-to then try our Kale & Cannellini Pesto, as Kale is one of the most nutrient dense ingredients on the planet it's packed full of benefits (plus it's easy to make and so tasty)
16th Aug, 2015
Tasty pesto recipe, will be using this one from now on.
25th Aug, 2013
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!
9th May, 2013
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!
5th Jan, 2017
Vegetarianism is a meat free diet (so beef, pork, chicken etc). Veganism is an animal product free diet (so dairy, eggs etc). Just thought I'd clear that up for you. And yes vegetarians do know that cows produce milk because of calves....


10th Nov, 2013
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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