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For a flavorful, fresh and fast sauce for pasta or chicken, try this Pesto Recipe! Made with fresh basil, parmesan cheese, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil pesto never disappoints.
I don’t know about you but I love basil pesto. It’s a fast, uncooked, garlicky, cheesy, basily sauce that is so, so versatile! And so much better than store bought. Whether you’re grilling chicken or tossing it with pasta, this pesto recipe is one you need in your life.
First of all, what is Pesto?
Pesto (also known as Basil Pesto or Pesto Sauce) is a raw sauce from Genoa, traditionally consisting of fresh basil leaves, toasted pine nuts, garlic, salt, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Pesto was and still is typically used as a sauce for pasta, but nowadays it can be used as a versatile sauce for chicken, pasta, salad, and roasted vegetables.
Like I mentioned above, there are only a small handful of ingredients needed to make this mean, green, amazing sauce!
- Fresh Basil– I lightly pack the leaves into a measuring cup and add it to my blender.
- Pine Nuts– lightly toast in the oven or on the stovetop to bring out more flavor.
- Garlic– add as much or as little as you’d like.
- Parmesan Cheese– where possible, look for real Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (the rind is stamped with its name).
- Olive oil– extra virgin is best, but I’ve also used avocado oil in a pinch as well.
- Salt & Pepper– salt for seasoning, pepper for flavor and a mild, spicy kick,
How to Make Pesto
- Add the main ingredients to a blender or food processor: basil, nuts, garlic, cheese, salt, and pepper.
- With the blender on, slowly stream in olive oil to create a thick pesto sauce, about 1/2 cup. Add more if needed to create the consistency desired.
- Delicious on pasta, chicken, vegetables or turned into a salad dressing.
- Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
Pesto Recipe Lefovers
I have found the best way to keep this pesto recipe fresh is by placing plastic wrap directly on the pesto sauce, followed up with the tight-fitting lid for an airtight container. This keeps your pesto a bright green color PLUS it holds that garlic smell in with the pesto instead of all over your fridge.
Once you have your pesto recipe made and stored in their airtight containers, it will last in the freezer for up to 3 months, though don’t be surprised if you never have leftovers because it is so darn tasty on everything!
Ways to use this Pesto Recipe
- Marinate chicken or pork chops
- Spread over thick slices of toasted french bread or ciabatta for garlic bread
- Add to an antipasto platter
- Drizzle over Burrata cheese and serve as an appetizer (my favorite!)
- Spoon over sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella as a new take on Caprese Salad
- Toss roasted veggies in this sauce
- Brush onto corn on the cob
Regardless of how you use this pesto recipe, you are sure to love it! This is our new family favorite recipe that you most definitely need in your arsenal.
Dinner Ideas using Pesto:
- Pesto Stuffed Shells
- Baked Pesto Chicken & Rice Casserole
- Creamy Pesto Alfredo Chicken Pasta
- Vegetarian Pesto Quesadillas
- 4 cups fresh basil loosely packed
- 1 clove garlic peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup pine nuts toasted
- 6 oz parmigiano reggiano cheese cut into chunks
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil give or take a few tablespoons
- Place all ingredients, except olive oil into a blender or food processor.
- Turn blender on and slowly stream in olive oil until ingredients turn into a thick paste or sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Use as desired or spoon into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to two weeks.