Tried-and-True Basil Pesto

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If there’s one pesto recipe to save, it’s this one. You can use it as a starting point for your own basil pesto, adjusting quantities to suit your taste, or apply the proportions to improvise with other herbs, nuts, and cheeses.

  • 1Servings


  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest, optional
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, optional
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper, optional
  • 4 packed cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2/3 cup olive oil


Blend pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper (if using) in food processor until finely chopped. Add basil, and blend 1 minute, or until finely chopped, scraping down sides of bowl once or twice. With motor running, add oil in steady stream, and process until smooth.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 103
  • Carbohydrate Content: 0.5 g
  • Cholesterol Content: 1 mg
  • Fat Content: 11 g
  • Fiber Content: 0.5 g
  • Protein Content: 1 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 2 g
  • Sodium Content: 20 mg
  • Sugar Content: 0.5 g