Pesto sauce

Pesto sauce

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(66 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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1st Oct, 2012
Delicious. Just stuck to the recipe and I'm converted. Will never use shop bought pesto again.
19th Sep, 2012
I am Vegetarian and have found a great alternative to Parmesan. I get it from a company called Bookhams, via the internet, saw them first at the December 2011 Good Food Show. It comes through the post and you can freeze it too which is great. I cut into smallish recipe amounts wrap in waxed paper put in an air tight container and then freeze. Hope this is of some use, as there is nothing worse than when a recipe says vegetarian and then says Parmesan!
4th Apr, 2016
Sainsburys also do their own veggie version of Parmesan in their basics range. It's called Italian hard cheese and it's really good. Finally I can have pesto again!
25th May, 2014
You do know Parmesan is cheese right? If that's the case I think you mean VEGAN not vegetarian!!!
5th Aug, 2014
Actually Parmesan isn't vegetarian because it contains Rennet, which is made from the stomach of slaughtered calves
14th Aug, 2013
I am vegetarian, but I thought cheese was ok! What's different about parmesan? Also, what is the alternative called, I couldn't find it? Thanks!
18th Aug, 2014
Some cheese is ok and some cheese isn't. All cheeses are made with rennet. There is animal rennet made from an enzyme from a newly born calf's stomach and there is vegetable rennet. Parmesan unfortunately contains animal rennet! I guess it's a similar thing to eating gelatin, not ok for vegetarians! There are lots of vegetarian cheeses out there though and lots of ones that substitute parmesan in recipes including Twineham Grange Vegetarian Parmesan.
3rd Sep, 2012
Very easy to make i will try a little less oil next time and maybe add a chilli. I put it with some fried gnocchi and rocket.
29th Aug, 2012
Based on other recipes, which use 2 parts basil to 1 part nuts and cheese, I guessed 'a large bunch' to be 100g. I can also report that it doesn't really work in a blender... ended up finishing it off by hand in my tiny pestle and mortar. Still, I have something that looks and tastes a bit like pesto, and wrapped around some spaghetti it was delicious.
23rd Jul, 2012
I grow several pots of basil and make bulk quantities. It freezes really well...tastes totally fresh straight from the freezer. I used less oil.


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