Everyday Easy Pesto Recipe
This everyday Easy Pesto Recipe is the only pesto recipe you need. It's delicious on pasta, sandwiches, or even by the spoonful. Once you learn how to make this basic basil pesto recipe, you'll have the skills you need to get creative with your pesto.
Friends, we're heading back to the basics today. Only except when I say basics I mean the most delicious, life-changing, 5-minute sauce you'll ever make. We're talking about an easy pesto recipe because we LOVE good food and love it even more when it's EASY.
This is the ONLY sauce you need/ want/ have to have every day for always is this one.
Once you master how to make this easy pesto recipe (and I can assure you that it is super crazy easy) then you'll have the building blocks to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day for the rest of your life. No lie.
Here's how to make this easy pesto recipe
- Throw the ingredients into your food processor or blender.
- Blend until everything gets nice and cozy together.
- Put your easy pesto on EVERYTHING.
How to serve pesto
Breakfast pesto →
- In an omelet
- Dip for your hash browns
- Over eggs benny
- Dripping out of your breakfast sandwich
Lunch pesto →
- Dip for your veggies
- Mixed with mayo and spread on your sandwich
- Rolled up in your wrap
- Tossed with quinoa and veggies
- Spooned into your soup
Dinner pesto →
- Over grilled meat
- Over seared fish
- Mixed with rice
- On your roasted veggies
- As pizza sauce
- On your burger
- Dip for your fries
Pesto basically begs to be changed and made new every time you make it. Did you see that picture up there with all the ingredients? ☝ Every one of those can be swapped for something else. Don't worry, it's easy to get creative.
As long as you have some greens, nuts, and oil you can make your own 5-minute pesto. You've got this!
Create your own easy pesto recipe
Choose one or more of any of these:
Basil, kale, parsley, spinach, steamed broccoli, green onions (green part only!), cilantro, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic scapes, carrot tops, radish tops, beet greens, or peas
Make different combinations and use them toasted for more flavor or untoasted for a more subtle pesto. Choose any or all of these:
Pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or Brazil nuts.
Parmigiano Reggiano is the traditional pesto cheese, but you can use others or leave it out entirely for a vegan pesto sauce. Try these:
Parmesan, grana padano, pecorino, asiago, goat cheese, or nutritional yeast.
Lemon is classic, but you can leave it out in a pinch or experiment with different flavors. Extra lemon juice for pesto with fish, orange pesto with basil and mint or lime pesto with cilantro.
Olive oil is traditionally used as it is flavorful and goes well with basil. While any oil will work, avoid using flavorless oils (canola, grapeseed, sunflower seed) as you'll miss out on a big part of the flavor in pesto. Try these:
Olive oil, walnut oil, avocado oil, argan oil, pumpkin seed oil or hazelnut oil.
More Delicious Pesto Recipes:
- Creamy Pesto Chicken
- Dairy-Free Pesto
- Pesto Stuffed Roasted Tomatoes
- Pesto Hummus with Homemade Pita Chips
- Easy Roasted Italian Cauliflower with Pesto Dip
Everyday Easy Pesto Recipe
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- 2 cups basil leaves, packed
- ¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Add the basil, pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic, and salt to your food processor and pulse until combined.2 cups basil leaves, ¼ cup pine nuts, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, 1 clove garlic
- Slowly drizzle in the olive oil with the food processor running. For creamier pesto, add more oil. Add the parmesan cheese and pulse to combine.¼ cup grated parmesan, ¼ cup olive oil
- Serve the pesto right away or store it in a jar in your fridge for up to a week – see notes.
Fairly good recipe. Would however put cheeses as in Genova, home town of pesto.
Namely 2/3 Parmigiano-Reggiano and 1/3 Pecorino Romano (saltier cheese – you should be able to get it in Canada; in the US you can).
Otherwise I would use the blender for everything but basil, in order to avoid that the basil lose all juices.
Definitely better to chop finely the basil with a sharp knife. For the olive oil one should use low acidity olive oil, as in Italian or Greek olive oils, better extravirgin one.
Great tips for a less easy pesto. 🙂
Do you ever find the olive oil gets bitter from blending? Any tricks to help?
I haven’t found that specifically with blending olive oil, but some olive oil can definitely be bitter. Make sure you like the flavor of the olive oil you use. They can vary in taste widely! If you’re not a big fan of the flavor of the oil you have, substitute half (or more) with a neutral flavored oil such as grapeseed or avocado oil. That should do the trick!
What amount of nutritional yeast should be used for the vegan version of pesto? I am new to this site. How do I know when an answer is posted?
Hi Mimi. Welome to The Endless Meal! When I’m making vegan pesto, I typically add about 1 tablespoon. 🙂