Recipe Image
Basil Pesto, prepared and in a jar surrounded by basil leaves
Serving Size
Serving Size:
1 tablespoon

Basil Pesto


Make your own pesto for meals like pizza, pasta and sandwiches.



  • 4 ounces pine nuts
  • 4 cups fresh basil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper


Add the pine nuts to a small skillet over medium heat and toast until golden brown. In the bowl of a food processor, add half the pine nuts, 3 cups basil, 2 garlic cloves, ½ cup cheese and lemon zest. Process the ingredients on lowest setting. Slowly drizzle in ¾ cup of olive oil and continue processing until a smooth paste begins to form. Stop the food processor and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining pine nuts, basil, garlic, cheese, olive oil and lemon juice to the bowl. Pulse the ingredients until finely chopped. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Dietary and Nutrition


Basil is an herb, so it has very small amounts of energy and nutrients, but it does provide a small amount of vitamin A. Basil flavors food without adding salt to recipes

Learn more
Page Portals

Field to Fork Basil (FN1935, Reviewed Jan. 2020)

Learn about growing, storing and preserving basil, and view cooking tips and recipes using basil.

Harvesting Herbs for Healthy Eating (H1267, Reviewed Dec. 2021)

The purpose of this publication is to be used as a guide in growing and using herbs for culinary purposes.

This recipe was analyzed for nutrition using Food Processor SQL Nutrition and Fitness Software and tested in the kitchen.