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Homemade Pesto Sauce Recipe

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Homemade pesto sauce is a delicious addition to almost any pasta dish that makes a great use for an abundance of fresh summer basil. The basil, garlic, and pine nuts come together perfectly to create a nutty, somewhat spicy combination. The blend of flavors turns any veggie or pasta into a special treat that you and your family will love. 

Soniya Saluja

Soniya Saluja

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Pesto Sauce Recipe

This Recipe's Index

What is Pesto Sauce?

Pesto sauce is a basil, pine nut, and olive oil based raw sauce. It is perfect as a sauce for noodles, vegetables, vegetables, meats, seafood, or bread. Pesto originally came from Italy and is a favorite sauce at Italian restaurants.

Pesto Sauce Recipe

What do I need to make this recipe?

You don’t need much to make great tasting basil pesto. To make the sauce, you’ll need:

  • fresh basil leaves
  • freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese – you can use the canned version if needed, but fresh tastes better
  • extra virgin olive oil – you can use regular olive oil if that is all you have on hand
  • pine nuts – you can substitute walnuts if needed or wanted
  • garlic cloves – make sure you mince it before adding to the food processor for the best consistency
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Video Recipe

How do I make this recipe?

This is a super easy recipe. You can make it in less than 5 minutes to add to your favorite noodles or vegetables.

Pesto Sauce Recipe

Start by rinsing the fresh basil leaves under cool water. Next, place the basil and all the ingredients into a food processor. Run the food processor until the ingredients all come together and form a sauce. 

You can add the sauce to cooked noodles or vegetables. You could also use it to marinate vegetables.

Pro tips and tricks

  • Fresh Parmesan or Romano cheeses give the best flavor, but canned varieties will work too.
  • Use minced or crushed garlic to avoid large chunks of garlic in the sauce.
  • Don’t over cook or heat the pesto too long, it can burn the garlic or basil.
  • Add a little lemon to prevent browning.
  • For a less spicy version, you can decrease the garlic.
  • Can’t find pine nuts? No problem, substitute walnuts instead.

Pesto Sauce Recipe

What is pesto sauce used for?

Pesto is used to season a variety of pastas, vegetables and your choice of protein. A Dollop over our Perfect Tender Baked potatoes  or scoop it onto spaghetti squash .You can also spread basil pesto on bread for a delicious appetizer or snack. It also makes a great dip for garlic knots or other bread.

You can add the sauce to noodles and roasted vegetables for a healthy, filling meal. 

Pesto Sauce Recipe

How do I store the sauce?

Basil pesto darkens when exposed to air, so to store in the refrigerator , spoon the sauce into an airtight container and cover tightly with cling wrap making sure the plastic is touching the top of the pesto and not allowing the pesto to have contact with air. The pesto will stay greener longer that way. Place in the refrigerator for about 4 to 5 days.

Can I freeze the pesto?

If you freeze the pesto, place it in a freezer safe container or bag. You can freeze the pesto for about 6 months. When you are ready to eat it, place it in the refrigerator to thaw. 

Reheat the pesto in a pot over low heat or in the microwave for a few seconds or add it to freshly cooked pasta.

How do I make it vegan?

You can make pesto sauce vegan easily. To do so, use cashew meal instead of the Parmesan cheese. Cashew meal has a similar texture and flavor of parmesan cheese. 

Pesto Sauce Recipe

What other nuts can I add to the pesto sauce?

Pine nuts are traditionally used in pesto sauce. But pine nuts can be hard to find and expensive.

If you want the great taste of pesto but don’t have pine nuts, you can easily substitute it with walnuts, pistachios, almonds, pecans or pepitas. Walnuts do provide a similar structure, feel, and taste to pine nuts. 

What other herbs can I use

If you feel that basil is too strong for your taste, you can replace it with Mint, Cilantro, Parsley or Spinach. 

Did you make this homemade pesto recipe ? Show us by uploading a photo and tagging us @dbellyrulesdmind on Instagram.

Pesto Sauce Recipe

Homemade Pesto Sauce recipe

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Homemade pesto sauce is a delicious addition to almost any pasta dish that makes a great use for an abundance of fresh summer basil. The basil, garlic, and pine nuts come together perfectly to create a nutty, somewhat spicy combination. The blend of flavors turns any veggie or pasta into a special treat that you and your family will love. 

Ingredients

  • fresh basil leaves- 2 cups
  • freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces) - ½ cup
  • extra virgin olive oil - ¼ cup
  • pine nuts - ¼ cup
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced - 4-5
  • salt ( add more to taste) - ¼ tsp
  • freshly ground black pepper - ¼ tsp

Instructions

  1. Rinse the Basil leaves in cold water .
  2. In a food processor or high-power blender, combine basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, pine-nuts ,salt, garlic, and olive oil.
  3. Your Pesto sauce is ready.

Notes

Pro tips and tricks

  • Fresh Parmesan or Romano cheeses give the best flavor, but canned varieties will work too.
  • Use minced or crushed garlic to avoid large chunks of garlic in the sauce.
  • Don’t over cook or heat the pesto too long, it can burn the garlic or basil.
  • Add a little lemon to prevent browning.
  • For a less spicy version, you can decrease the garlic.
  • Can’t find pine nuts? No problem, substitute walnuts or pistachios instead.
  • Are you allergic to nuts ? you can use no shell pumpkin (pepita) seeds  or hemp seeds

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Did you make recipe? don’t forget to come back and leave your feedback and star rating. We would be THRILLED if you would take a pic and tag us on Instagram @dbellyrulesdmind or Facebook @thebellyrulesthemind or Pinterest @Bellyrulesdmind

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Tania | Fit Foodie Nutter

Friday 21st of August 2020

This pesto sauce is a must have recipe, especially when you're in a rush but still want to prepare a delicious meal!

kmcconne79

Friday 21st of August 2020

Our family loves pesto! Such an easy recipe - can't wait to try it!

Kathryn Donangelo

Friday 21st of August 2020

This pesto recipes a classic and we enjoyed it over pasta. So delicious! Thank you for sharing!

Angela

Friday 21st of August 2020

It really was amazing on spaghetti squash!

Soniya Saluja

Friday 21st of August 2020

Hi Angela, that our favorite way too!

Stephanie

Friday 21st of August 2020

Yum! We have so much basil growing in the garden, and this is such a delicious and easy way to use it.

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