How to Make Homemade Pesto Sauce
Learn how to make homemade pesto sauce! This delicious basil-based sauce is easy to make and adds tons of flavor to your favorite dishes.
Pesto sauce is one of those things that seems so difficult to make, but it's actually ridiculously easy. The key ingredient? Basil!
Homemade pesto always tastes better than store-bought and it's incredibly versatile, lending flavor to everything from pasta to grilled chicken. If you're looking for an easy way to add some zip to your next meal, give pesto sauce a try!
If you have a green thumb and love to garden, then this pesto sauce recipe is perfect for you.
What is Pesto Sauce?
Pesto sauce is a delicious Italian sauce made from fresh basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and olive oil. Pesto sauce is a traditional Italian pasta dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. It's said to have originated in Genova, Italy. Some variations of pesto sauce also include olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, or walnuts.
For the rest of us who don't have much time or inclination for gardening, we can still buy fresh basil at our local grocery store. All you need are some other ingredients like nuts (I prefer pine nuts), garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper - all staples in any kitchen pantry.
Pesto sauce is a delicious way to dress up your favorite pasta, sandwich or salad. Packed with flavor it will take any dish from mundane and ordinary - all the way into something special that's sure not be forgotten about for long!
How to Use Pesto Sauce
A few of my favorite ways to use pesto are as an ingredient for recipes like pizza, homemade ravioli, pasta sauce, in vegetable stir-frys and pesto salmon!
It also tastes great added freshness during summer months by adding some extra flavor into your seafood dishes before serving them up!
Try stirring a few tablespoons into a hot soup, serve it over cold meats, into tomato sauces, mix into scrambled eggs, drizzle over grilled fish or chicken or use it as a spread onto bread as an appetizer.
How to Make Pesto Sauce
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed, removed from stems
3 TBSP toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 TBSP garlic, minced
3 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup + 2 TBSP. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
In a food processor, add in your basil leaves, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, and lemon juice. Mix until pureed.
Slowly add in your olive oil. If you are using a blender that doesn’t open from the top to allow you to slowly pour the oil in, stop the blender, add in a little bit of oil, start it back up, and continue the process until the oil is fully incorporated.
Taste and add in your salt and pepper. You can add or remove any amount due to your liking.
Add to your favorite pasta, pizza, and more! Enjoy!
How to Store Your Pesto Sauce
A simple way to store pesto is in an airtight container, away from direct heat and light. You can also keep it refrigerated for up to 3 days or else your favorite green-bottomed pasta will turn brown!
It's really important to keep your pesto fresh and delicious, but sometimes that just isn't possible. So I've found the best way around this is by freezing it!
To keep your pesto fresh for up to 3 months when frozen: pour the desired amount into an airtight container. Leave at least 2 inches of headspace.