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This is the creamy pesto sauce that we make whenever we're craving pesto. It's made with simple ingredients and is easy to make (everything goes into your blender) and unbelievably creamy (without adding any cream.) It's delicious on everything from cooked pasta, roasted veggies, sandwiches, eggs, and more.
Table of contents
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 pesto cream 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 great pasta sauce. Served with your favorite pasta it makes the best creamy pesto pasta recipe ever!
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!
And if you love creamy sauces, make sure also to try our romesco sauce!
- 1 ½ cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- ⅓ cup fresh parsley, packed
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup toasted nuts
- 1-2 cloves garlic, start with 1 clove
- ½ – ¾ teaspoon sea salt – start with ½ teaspoon and add more to taste
- Juice from 1 lemon
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup water
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.
- If your blender struggles to make things smooth, try using your food processor.
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 dishes. 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 with basil pesto)
- Added to hummus.
More pesto recipes
Popular recipes using pesto
- Pesto Hummus with Homemade Pita Chips
- Pesto Stuffed Roasted Tomatoes
- Creamy Pesto Chicken
- Easy Roasted Italian Cauliflower
- 1 ½ cups fresh basil (packed)
- ⅓ cup fresh parsley (packed)
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- ½ cup toasted nuts (see notes)
- 1-2 cloves garlic (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.1 ½ cups fresh basil, ⅓ cup fresh parsley, 1 cup grated parmesan, ½ cup toasted nuts, 1-2 cloves garlic, ½ – ¾ teaspoon sea salt, Juice from 1 lemon, ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup water
- Taste and add more salt or garlic, if wanted. For a thinner pesto sauce, add a little extra water.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.
For more inspiration, check out all of our pesto recipes!