Homemade Pesto

This easy Homemade Pesto is full of fresh basil and garlic flavor! Ready in 5 minutes, great for pasta, freezer friendly and so delicious! Skip store bought and make your own!

Homemade Pesto in a jar being scooped by a gold spoon.

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Homemade Pesto in a jar with a gold spoon inside.

This recipe was photographed and updated 7/2023.

Basil is my absolute favorite fresh herb! It goes so well with both sweet and savory flavors.

Every summer I always have a couple basil plants in my apartment patio garden. They're easy to grow and I love having the option of going out to pick some when I make dinner.

This basil pesto is traditional and completely homemade. It's ready in 5 minutes using your food processor or blender, and it's absolutely delicious!

This pesto has a great balance of basil and garlic flavors. You can taste a touch of lemon and the saltiness from the freshly grated parmesan cheese. The toasted pine nuts add that nutty flavor.

It's overall such a simple and classic recipe that is great for pasta, bread dipping, salads and so much more.

Keep scrolling for tips, process photos and more recipes using fresh basil! 

Thanks so much for supporting a small business and visiting our family owned blog 💕

Shopping list:

recipe ingredients displayed on a white background.

  • fresh basil leaves, packed
  • toasted pine nuts
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • garlic
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • salt 
  • black pepper

Scroll down to the printable recipe card for measurements and instructions!

Recipe tips:

  • You can substitute up to one cup of basil with another green vegetable, carrot tops and spinach are great substitutions.
  • Pesto can be frozen for up to to six months. Freeze in ice cube trays or ziploc bags.
  • Be sure to use freshly grated parmesan cheese. The taste and texture is much better than store bought.
  • A blender can be used instead of a food processor.

Homemade Pesto ingredients in a food processor before blending.

More fresh basil recipes you might like:

You can add or substitute with these ingredients:

  • use walnuts instead of pine nuts
  • skip the pine nuts for an allergy free option

Homemade Pesto in a food processor after being blended.

Our favorite kitchen equipment and supplies used with this recipe:

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!

Homemade Pesto in a glass jar.
Yield 2 cups
Author Hot Eats and Cool Reads
Prep time
5 Min
Total time
5 Min

Homemade Pesto


  • 1 ½ cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Add the basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the basil is finely chopped.
  2. With the food processor on low speed, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Once all of the oil has been added, allow the food processor to run for an additional 10-15 seconds to fully incorporate the oil. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to four days.

Nutrition Facts




69.2 g

Sat. Fat

10.22 g


6.07 g


1.03 g

Net carbs

5.05 g


0.91 g


6.86 g


221.64 mg


10.88 mg

Hot Eats and Cool Reads is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you try from this blog/website. You may not always have the same results due to variations in ingredients, humidity, altitude, cooking temperatures, typos, errors, omissions, or individual cooking abilities. 

You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful. I am not a certified nutritionist and make no claims to the contrary. Each individual's dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual.

Homemade Pesto in a jar scooped by a gold spoon with a recipe title text overlay.

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