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How to make pesto

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This Italian no-cook sauce contains garlic, Parmesan, olive oil and lots of fresh basil – whip up a batch ahead and you'll have a quick meal to hand.

Whizz up this classic pesto in a matter of minutes using just five ingredients. This herby sauce is perfect for swirling through pastas and soups, as well as being a delicious topping on pizzas, flatbreads and jacket potatoes.


Tips for making homemade pesto

  • Heat a dry frying pan over a low heat. Add 50g pine nuts and toast until golden, shaking the pan occasionally to ensure they're evenly coloured and don't burn.
  • Put the pine nuts into a food processor with 2 garlic cloves, 50g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), 80g basil and 150ml olive oil.
  • Blitz until smooth or pulse for a chunkier consistency. Season to taste.
  • Pour the pesto into a jar and cover with a little extra oil, then seal and store in the fridge. Will keep in a fridge for up to two weeks.

Put your homemade sauce to good use with our easy pesto recipes.


If you’re making a small quantity, you can use a hand blender to combine the ingredients.

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