Easy Fresh Basil Pesto


Using fresh basil leaves, this easy fresh basil pesto packs a lot of flavor for fewer calories than the store-bought variety!

pesto in processor

During the quarantine, Julian and I have had a lot more time on our hands and we have taken up growing herbs on our apartment patio.  It has been fun to watch the plants as they grow, and is very rewarding when we can use it in our kitchen!

Fresh basil leaves

Key Ingredients

A key to making the most flavorful pesto possible is in the ingredients:

  • Basil: fresh basil is best.  If you aren't able to grow your own, look for it in the fresh herbs area in the produce section of your local grocery store.
  • Olive oil: using a high quality olive oil will make a huge difference here.  
  • Parmesan: I recommend getting a wedge of parmesan, such as a Parmigiano Reggiano, and cutting or shredding it yourself.  It always tastes better than the pre-shredded variety!
  • Garlic: fresh garlic is a favorite ingredient in my house.  My motto is you can never overdo garlic.  There are no limits, use more or less in this recipe if you'd like!
Basil pesto ingredients

Pesto Uses

Pesto is such a great sauce to make because you can use it in so many different meal preparations, such as:

  • Pastas: you can make many different healthy pastas by using any pasta shape and proteins that you like with it.
  • Fish: pesto is great to top any fresh fish with.  For example, I use this pesto on top of baked salmon.
  • Chicken: you can bake a tasty and quick chicken breast by coating it with pesto!
  • Eggs: up your breakfast game and top your eggs with it!
pesto ingredients in processor
Easy Fresh Basil Pesto

The nutrition information provided is an estimate generated using a third party online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.


Easy Fresh Basil Pesto

Fragrant basil packs this pesto with amazing flavor. A delicious addition to any meal!

Prep Time:
Cooking Time:


  • 2 cups chopped basil
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsley chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup parmigiano reggiano


  1. In a food processor, add basil, garlic, and parmesan.  Run continuously until smooth.
  2. Add oil and pulse until well combined and your desired consistency.  I prefer to make mine a little chunky.
  3. Serve immediately.

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