Pesto sauce

Pesto sauce

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(42 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 5 mins


Makes 250ml

Make your own delicious pesto sauce in just 15 minutes

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per tbsp

  • kcal105
  • fat11g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs0g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre0g
  • protein2g
  • salt0.06g
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  • 50g pine nuts
  • large bunch of 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, plus extra for storing
    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 remaining ingredients and process until smooth, then season.

  2. Pour the pesto into a jar and cover with a little extra oil, then seal and store in the fridge. It will keep in a fridge for up to two weeks.

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Comments, questions and tips

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11th May, 2017
I had to improvise slightly with this as I didn't have all the ingredients! I only used 50ml of olive oil, also used spinach instead of basil and added some lemon juice and 3 (small!) cloves of garlic. The results were fantastic, I literally had it with Tagliatelle pasta some feta cheese and sundried tomatoes which made a fab pack up! This sauce is fantastically creamy and fresh, I love it!
12th Mar, 2017
I love this recipe as it's so quick and easy. I used half basil and half spinach for added vitamins. You only need to add a little oil to the top of the jar once it's made to stop it drying out. I stirred my pesto into rigatoni and added char-grilled chicken strips and vine roasted tomatoes - heaven on a plate!
18th Jan, 2017
Made this a few times and it has turned out great. I now use walnuts instead of pinenuts as a cheaper alternative.
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)
30th Aug, 2014
Very easy to make. I used 50g of a mix of basil and spinach leaves, about 80ml of olive oil and only one garlic clove. It was delicious!
25th May, 2014
Just made this using about 75mls of oil and I also roasted the garlic as I find raw garlic overpowering in homemade pesto. Added some lemon juice, black pepper and chilli flakes, tastes amazing! Might recommend slightly less cheese.
12th Jan, 2014
Used about 120ml with three standard sized supermarket bags of basil and the liquid balance was pretty good. Followed Italy Unpacked advice and used the closest in our local supermarket to trofie which was - not that close - gemelli - still short and holds the sauce. Return of happiness to cooking/prep time about as high as you can reasonably get.
9th Oct, 2013
150ml olive oil was way too much!! ruined the taste even though I only put 100ml
21st Sep, 2013
Just plain delicious and super quick.
14th Aug, 2013
This is a delicious recIpe , I used about a 120mls of Greek olive oil with about 50g of small leaved Greek basil , the flavour was so intense , put some over plain boiled pasta and freshly ground black pepper .....mmmmmnnn mmmmnnn , will add chicken and green beans next time :)


1st Jul, 2014
Does anyone know if this is freezable? I've got loads of basil growing in the garden and I'd like to make up a few batches. Any advice gratefully received.
goodfoodteam's picture
7th Nov, 2014
Hi there thanks for your question, yes you can freeze the pesto - try freezing it in ice cube trays for convenient portions.
19th Oct, 2014
It won't help you now but you could always do some basil butter and freeze them for thewinter. Not sure how long it will keep but it's an idea anyway.
24th Sep, 2015
I added rocket to add a bit of a kick. Chopped mushrooms add a nice change too. I served with linguine, asparagus, tomatoes and falafel. A good vegetarian parmesan alternative is tesco's everyday value 'Italian style hard cheese'.