5-Minute Creamy Pesto Sauce
This is the creamy pesto sauce that we make whenever we're craving pesto. It's easy to make (everything goes into your blender), unbelievably creamy (without adding any cream), and delicious on everything from pasta, roasted veggies, sandwiches, eggs, and more.
What makes this creamy pesto sauce so special
- It's lusciously creamy, thick, and unbelievably flavorful.
- No heavy cream. Unlike most creamy pesto recipes, we don't use any cream. It's the creamiest sauce around and uses only good for your body ingredients.
- Lots of nuts. We use more nuts than most pesto recipes, and we blend them really well which gives this pesto its super creamy feel.
- Bright green. That gorgeous color you see is made by adding a little bit of parsley to the mix. You don't taste it, but it makes the pesto the most beautiful vibrant green color.
It's a pesto sauce unlike any you've had before. It's the recipe that we make at least a few times a month AND it gets requested for nearly every special dinner. Warning: once you try our creamy pesto sauce you'll have a hard time going back to store-bought!
How to make creamy pesto sauce
The trick to making lusciously creamy pesto sauce is to blend it really well. If you have a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix) pull it out of the cupboard.
- Put the ingredients into your blender.
- Now blend the pesto at the highest speed until it is super smooth and creamy.
Full recipe in the recipe card below.
How to make pesto creamy without a high-powered blender
Don't worry if you don't have a high-powered blender, you can still make creamy pesto sauce. But you'll have to be careful about the nuts you choose to use.
- Pine nuts are your best option as they are very soft and blend easily. But they are also very expensive.
- Cashew nuts are your second best choice. Try soaking them in cold water for 4 hours before you use them to help them soften and blend better.
How long does creamy pesto last?
This creamy pesto sauce will keep well for 3-4 days in the fridge. While it will be safe to eat for several more days, the color will darken a little and it won't taste as fresh after 4 days.
How to serve creamy pesto sauce?
Make creamy pesto pasta, of course! Cook your favorite noodles then smother them in this sauce. We like to add some quickly sautéed cherry tomatoes to the mix.
But creamy pesto sauce is good on more than just pasta. Here are a few other ways that we like to serve it:
- With roasted potatoes.
- Or with any roasted veggie. Try our roasted Italian cauliflower.
- On eggs – scrambled, fried, omelets, you name it!
- Instead of mayo on a sandwich.
- Mixed into pasta salad.
- Stuffed into tomatoes (try these pesto stuffed roasted tomatoes)
- Added to hummus.
More pesto recipes
- Avocado Pesto Salad Dressing
- Dairy-Free Pesto (Whole30 + Vegan)
- Everyday Easy Pesto Recipe
- Carrot Top Pesto
Popular recipes using pesto
- Pesto Hummus with Homemade Pita Chips
- Pesto Stuffed Roasted Tomatoes
- Creamy Pesto Chicken
- Easy Roasted Italian Cauliflower
This is the creamy pesto sauce that we make whenever we're craving pesto. It's easy to make (everything goes into your blender), unbelievably creamy, and delicious on everything from pasta, roasted veggies, sandwiches, eggs, and more.
- 1 ½ cups fresh basil, packed
- ⅓ cup fresh parsley, packed
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- ½ cup toasted nuts (see notes)
- 1–2 garlic cloves (start with 1 clove)
- ½–¾ teaspoon sea salt (start with ½ teaspoon)
- Juice from 1 lemon
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup water
- Add all of the ingredients to your blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy.
- Taste and add more salt or garlic, if wanted. For a thinner pesto sauce, add a little extra water.
Over the years of making this recipe, we've found that each time we make minor adjustments to it after we blend it. Sometimes one clove of garlic is enough, other times the garlic we get is less flavorful and we add an extra clove. The flavor of lemons and basil can also vary in intensity. If you taste the pesto and know that you want it a little more lemony or garlicky, just add a little more.
If you have a high-powered blender, you can put a chunk of parmesan (so you don't have to grate it) and whole garlic cloves into your blender.
We like to toast the nuts we use as it adds an extra layer of flavor to the pesto. Pine nuts and cashews blend the easiest. A mix of almonds and pecans is a nice blend. Walnuts tend to be a bit bitter so only use them in small quantities.