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Classic Basil Pesto

Classic Basil Pesto

Turn the bounty of summer basil into a delicious sauce with this easy pesto recipe. Try it stirred into a tomato or potato salad, or spread onto a sandwich in place of your favorite condiment.


1 cup

Prep Time

10 minutes

Total Time

10 minutes


  • 2 1/2cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves (about 5 ounces)
  • 1/3cup finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1large clove garlic
  • 1tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2teaspoon salt
  • 1/4teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Place basil, cheese, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped, scraping down the sides once or twice. With the motor running, add oil and continue to process until well combined, scraping down the sides once or twice.


For the best flavor, toast nuts and seeds before using in a recipe. To toast seeds, sliced or chopped nuts, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. To toast whole nuts, spread in a single layer in a small baking pan and bake in a 350°F oven until golden and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring the nuts or shaking the pan once. Transfer to a small bowl or plate to cool. (When toasting hazelnuts, rub the nuts with a clean kitchen towel as soon as they come out of the oven to remove as much of the papery skin as possible.)

Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze in an ice cube tray. Transfer frozen cubes to a sealable plastic bag. Defrost as needed.

Nutrition Facts

Per serving (recipe makes 1 cup)

Calories 65kcal
Carbohydrate Total 1g
Total Sugars 0g
Added Sugars 0g
Fiber 0g
Total Fat 7g
Saturated Fat 1g
Mono Saturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 1mg
Sodium 101mg
Protein 1g
Potassium 36mg
Calcium 33mg
Folate 6mcg
Omega-6 1g
Vitamin E 1mg