Homemade Basil Pesto

basil pesto

Homemade basil pesto is your summertime homerun! If you’re growing basil, then this is way to have it all year long. Yep, it freezes well!

Homemade Pesto

Homeade basil pesto is so simple and easy to make. And, growing basil is simple and easy. All you need are your start basil plants, great organic healthy soil, sunshine, water and time!

The more you pluck and use your basil. The more it loves you because it continues to grow grow grow. 

For a complete detailed description of how to best grow your basil, click here! 

Basil Pesto Sauce

Basil pesto requires no cooking or any kind of time consuming prep. 

Just gather your fresh clean basil leaves and grab the other ingredients. 

So, what does the word ‘pesto’ mean? Why’s it called basil pesto?

According to our friends at Food Network, “Translated literally, the Italian word pesto means to pound. As in putting anything in a mortar and pestle and pounding. The pestle is the pounder – not a coincidence that the words are so similar since they are derived from Latin. Pesto can be anything that you pound in a mortar and pestle.”

Pesto Recipe with Walnuts

Typically basil pesto is made with pine nuts. However, you might well know that these tasty littl’ critters are quite expensive. 

I usually try to watch for them on sale at Costco, however, if I can’t wait for the sale, I’ll spring and pay the big price. 

But, if I want to avoid this extra pricey ingredient, I’ll substitute walnuts. Yes, walnuts are much more budget friendly.

Basil Pesto Ingredients

Ingredients for making basil pesto are straight forward. 

You won’t mess up. If you want more of a certain taste, more salt, a smoother texture, just add more of some of the ingredients. Like adding a little more olive oil to make the mixture more fluid and smoother. 

I do refrigerate my basil pesto. You’ll see that the olive oil coagulates in the refrigerator lower temperature. Just take out what you need in advance of serving, and let it sit at room temperature. It will be smooth and creamy again in no time. 

Basil Pesto Walnuts

Quite frankly, I can’t discern a major difference in taste when using the walnuts. I grind them in the food processor first to ensure that they’re fully in a sandy grainy mixture. 

Adding more grated cheese (parmesan, asiago or pecorino or a combo of these three) and more basil helps give more of the basilEEEE cheeeseEEEE taste. 

Pesto Basil

Basil pesto is so user friendly and versatile. 

Here are some ideas:

  • Use on your charcuterie board
  • Mix into your scrambled eggs
  • Slather on bread and make a chicken or turkey sandwich.
  • Put in old-fashioned ice cube tray. Freeze. Then pop out, put in a freezer bag and use in the winter months as seasoning cubes.
  • Dollop on tomato slices for an extra yum. 
  • Mix in jasmine rice for basil infused rice.
  • Use as a pizza slather for a veggie pizza. 

Here are a couple of yummy recipes:

One Skillet Basil Pesto Pasta

Pasta and Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto

Homemade Basil Pesto

Yield: Makes about 3+ cups


  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup grated parmesan or asiago cheese
  • 1 large lemon, juice only
  • Salt to taste


  1. Put the walnuts in a food processor and pulse until a fine ground mixture.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients into the food processor (you may need to add the basil in two or three additions) and pulse until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
  3. If you want the mixture more fluid, add a little more olive oil.

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Your sharing and comments help me stay in business! Share a photo if you make the recipe #allyskitchen Thank you! xo Ally

Basil Pesto


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