The Perfect Basil Pesto Recipe

The Perfect Basil Pesto Recipe

Sweet basil, fragrant garlic, and Parmesan cheese blend together to make the perfect Basil Pesto. It’s a classic Italian sauce — ideal for pasta, sandwiches, and snacks — that your taste buds will fall in AMORE with.

The Perfect Basil Pesto Recipe featured

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Want to savor every bite of your favorite dishes? Not just SOME but EVERY bite? Try this homemade basil pesto sauce. It bursts with mouth-watering flavor. It’s won the world over with its aromatic nature of sweet basil, garlic, and Parmesan, and pairs nicely with your pasta dishes, pizzas, and sandwiches.

The great thing is, you don’t have to be a fancy chef to make it, especially with this recipe. We take you through the process, outlining each step as you transform a handful of ingredients into your new favorite Italian accoutrement.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • It provides your meals with a burst of fresh flavors, courtesy of the sweet basil and lemon juice.
  • It’s a super-versatile dip that can be used with pasta, bruschetta, sandwiches, salads, and more.
  • It takes next to no time to make, which is a great thing considering how much nicer it tastes when it’s fresh.

Is This Basil Pesto Healthy?

  • Basil, one of the chief ingredients in this pesto, contains vitamin K and antioxidants
  • Garlic is good for your heart and your immune system
  • Lemon juice contains vitamin C
  • Olive oil and pine nuts both contain healthy monounsaturated fats (i.e., a good kind of fat), which keep low-density cholesterol (i.e., the bad kind) low
  • Though it provides calcium and protein, Parmesan cheese does contain sodium and saturated fat, so consume basil pesto in moderation.

INGREDIENTS

This recipe is scalable so increase the amounts according to how much you’ll need.

  • 2 cups fresh sweet basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (finely grated)
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ½ lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
The Perfect Basil Pesto Recipe ingredients

INSTRUCTIONS

Blend

Blend the garlic, pine nuts,  lemon juice, salt, and pepper in the food processor until crumb forms.

Add

Add the basil and blend until smooth. Add the Parmesan and blend.

Drizzle

While blending, drizzle the olive oil in slowly through the spout.

Variations

  • Replace pine nuts with sunflower seeds (i.e., the poor man’s pine nut ☺). You can also use cashews or walnuts. As with most alterations, using a different nut or seed will alter the flavor profile of the pesto slightly.
  • Add a handful of spinach or arugula to the basil to bulk it up if you think it needs it.
  • Loads of different herbs can be added to a pesto. Try cilantro, parsley, or mint, and see whether any appeal to you.
The Perfect Basil Pesto Recipe featured

Serving Suggestions

Basil pesto is versatile and so can be added to a wide range of dishes. Some cooks love to toss it with a freshly cooked pasta (I incorporate it in this recipe for Turkey Meatballs). It’s also a key ingredient on a Caprese salad (or try my recipe for a Cauliflower Caprese Skillet). Mix into a risotto or grain bowl. Spread on sandwiches, wraps, or paninis. It also works well as a marinade for meat (try my Baked Salmon with Asian Cilantro Pesto) or vegetables. Add a dollop on top of pizza or flatbread. If you’re making a creamy soup, just swirl in some sauce.

FAQs

Can I make this vegan?

Yes, instead of the cheese, you can use nutritional yeast and cashew nuts, or a plant-based Parmesan alternative.

My pesto turned out too thick, what can I do to fix it?

You can add some extra olive oil to thin it out a bit.

How can I make a nut-free basil pesto?

You can totally make a nut-free basil pesto by swapping nuts with sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. Or, if you want to ditch nuts or seeds altogether, just add a bit more Parmesan cheese and olive oil to get that perfect pesto texture.

Can I use dried basil instead of fresh basil in the recipe?

Now, fresh basil is where it’s at—super vibrant and smells amazing. But if dried basil is all you’ve got, go for it! Just use 1/3 less since the flavor’s stronger.

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How to Store Basil Pesto

To store your fab pesto creation in the fridge, put it in an airtight container and pour a teensy bit of olive oil on top to keep that gorgeous green color. It’ll last up to a week, perfect for a quick weeknight dinner!

You can also Freeze your pesto as long as you haven’t already added the parmesan cheese. I love using an ice cube tray! Cover with plastic wrap and freeze those little cubes. Once they’re solid, you can store them for up to 3 months in the freezer. When you’re ready to indulge, thaw the pesto-cubes, add some freshly grated cheese, and you’re good to go! Enjoy!

The Perfect Basil Pesto Recipe featured
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The Perfect Basil Pesto Recipe

Sweet basil, fragrant garlic, and Parmesan cheese blend together to make the perfect Basil Pesto. It's a classic Italian sauce — ideal for pasta, sandwiches, and snacks — that your taste buds will fall in AMORE with.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 138kcal
Author FoodFaithFitness

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh sweet basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese finely grated
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ½ lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Blend the garlic, pine nuts,  lemon juice, salt, and pepper in the food processor until crumb forms.
  • Add in the basil and blend until smooth.
  • Add the Parmesan. While blending, drizzle the olive oil in slowly through the spout.

Notes

  • Fresh basil is the preferred choice as it is more vibrant and aromatic; however, if you only have access to dried basil, you can do so. Just remember that the dried variety has a stronger flavor so you will only need 1/3 the amount of fresh basil you would have used.

Nutrition

Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 74mg | Potassium: 70mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 460IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1mg

The post The Perfect Basil Pesto Recipe appeared first on Food Faith Fitness.

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