Skip the store-bought sauces and whip up a fast and fresh recipe for the best basil pesto perfect for serving with your favorite noodles.

Basil pesto pasta on a white plate with basil and cheese

I first shared this recipe for basil pesto way back in 2009. And after recently featuring it in my Instagram Stories, I decided it was about time this ol’ post got a makeover. The recipe is still the tried and true classic. But the photos have gotten some much needed nipping and tucking. (My Nikon and I have come a long way in the past 8 years!)

Toasted pine nute in a sauté pan

Basil pesto is one of my earliest childhood food memories, all thanks to my mom Noni, who made this recipe a staple in our home decades ago. The sauce is rich in flavor (and how about that color!), yet it stars seemingly few ingredients, allowing the fresh basil to take on the starring role.

Basil pesto ingredients inside a blender

 Its garlicky without being overwhelming, and it leaves the door wide open for customizations when it comes to nuts. Pine nuts are, of course, the most traditional option. But I’ve followed this exact recipe and substituted in nearly every nut variety with success, from pistachios and walnuts to almonds and even as one reader noted below, macadamia nuts.

Puréed basil pesto pasta in a white dish

And speaking of versatility, this basil pesto can be used in many a ways beyond a bowl of noodles. Try stirring a tablespoon or two into mayonnaise for a flavor-packed sandwich spread or French fry dip, or use it as the base for a seriously herbacious salad dressing.

No matter what way you blend it or use it, one thing is certain: Homemade basil pesto beats the store-bought stuff every time. And if you’re staring down any leftovers, pour it into an ice cube tray then freeze it. Pesto craving? POp out a cube, stir it into piping hot pasta and devour!

Basil pesto bucatini pasta on a white plate

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Appetizer

The Best Basil Pesto Pasta

Skip the store-bought sauces and whip up a fast and fresh recipe for the best basil pesto perfect for serving with your favorite noodles.
5 from 13 votes
Basil pesto pasta on a white plate with basil and cheese
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 1 cup

Ingredients 

  • 2 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed and dried thoroughly
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts, toasted and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions 

  • In a food processor or blender, combine the basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, garlic, toasted pine nuts, kosher salt and pepper. Pulse the ingredients together until well blended.
  • While the food processor or blender is running, drizzle in the olive oil and continue blending, scraping down the sides as needed, until the pesto is puréed. Taste and season it with salt and pepper then serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!

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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.


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Nutrition

Calories: 534kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 56g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 1318mg, Potassium: 36mg, Vitamin A: 85IU, Vitamin C: 2.8mg, Calcium: 127mg, Iron: 0.3mg

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Comments

  1. Best pesto I’ve ever made! I added a couple extra garlic cloves as I love garlic. The toasted pine nuts make a much better flavor than non toasted, so that’s a thing I never knew before. I’ll be using some of this on a homemade chicken/white cheese pizza tonight. Freezing the rest. It is very delicious! Easy to make!

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