A plate of creamy pesto pasta.

5-Minute Creamy Pesto Sauce

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 0 mins
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: Italian


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. 

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  • 1 ½ cups fresh basil, packed
  • ⅓ cup fresh parsley, packed
  • 1 cup grated parmesan 
  • ½ cup toasted nuts (see notes)
  • 12 garlic cloves (start with 1 clove)
  • ½¾ teaspoon sea salt (start with ½ teaspoon)
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup water


  1. Add all of the ingredients to your blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy.
  2. 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.