Classic pesto

Classic pesto

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(37 ratings)

Cook: 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 nuts
  • 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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24th Jun, 2020
Added some spinach and substituted walnuts for pine nuts. Delicious.
FamilyLee's picture
21st Mar, 2019
Lovely recipe! I often add spinach to bulk up my basil to the required amount, but otherwise no adjustments required.
Victoria Smith's picture
Victoria Smith
29th Jan, 2019
Made this for me and my baby who I am currently weaning and we with likes it. Wanted to add something to his pasta for flavour, but can't use jar pesto as it's full of salt. So surprised at how quick and easy it is to make. Just wish pine nuts were cheaper. I added extra garlic as I love it.
2nd Nov, 2018
This recipe makes quite a runny pesto. It poured freely from the blender. If you like something a little thicker that you can spread, half the quantity of oil to start with, and then add a little to the blender - bit by bit - to get to the consistency you like.
Mrs P.
22nd Jul, 2018
Scruuuuuumy. Halved the recipe as I didn't need too much, but kept the garlic the same. Had it smeared on crispy toasted french stick slices to accompany a creamy pasta/chicken/spinach/roasted cherry tomato dish. Down the gym tmw!!!
Florrie Sutton's picture
Florrie Sutton
22nd Jul, 2018
fantastic recipe, perhaps a bit more parmesan really improved it in my opinion
18th Jun, 2018
Use this in the Care Home I cook for, Quinoa, mixed crushed nuts, chopped tomatoes and spring onions, toss in the Pesto.
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.


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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