Fresh Basil Pesto Sauce

How to make pesto sauce? Fresh Basil Pesto Sauce (as known as Pesto lla Genovese), is a Northern Italian sauce, made with primarily fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, and 2 kinds of cheeses. It’s a simple sauce that requires no cooking, only blending, and tossed with pasta for a quick dish during the spring and summer months. 

Our fresh basil pesto sauce is made with 5 ingredients and no nuts! And it is blended into a creamy smooth sauce.  It’s completely nut-free and so delicious-tasting.


What is Pesto Sauce?

  • Pesto sauce is a green-colored sauce, made primarily with fresh basil and olive oil. No cooking, only blending.
  • And a few additional ingredients are added to enhance its aromatic flavors: pine nuts, and two kinds of cheeses, Pecorino, and Parmigiano.
  • It originated from Genoa the region of Liguria, in Northern Italy. But to be prepared strictly with a marble mortar, and a wooden pestle. The Ligurians are known for making the BEST pesto sauce in the world.
  • Still today, the Ligurians hold yearly competitions and even award those who make the “best pesto sauce” year after year.  

However, nowadays, and with nut allergies in our family, we have become a NUT-FREE home, eliminating all the nuts altogether.

Regardless, even without pine nuts, our pesto sauce is exquisite and positively delicious every time!


Reasons to Love Fresh Basil Pesto Sauce:

  1. pesto is super versatile as a sauce, and the possibilities are endless!
  2. it’s very easy and requires No cooking! (whatsoever!)
  3. use it as a delicious condiment: easily drizzle it over pizza, eggs, and as well on grilled shrimp or chicken.
  4. use it on fresh garden tomatoes and mozzarella for Caprese salad. 
  5. add about 1 to 2 tablespoons of pesto to soups for extra flavoring.
  6. not only for pasta! You can stir pesto into the risotto and enjoy the most delicious flavor in risotto ever!


I make it all year long and use it with so many recipes. 

In our family, everyone’s favorite dish is spaghetti with fresh basil pesto sauce – hands down!!

Fresh Basil Pesto Sauce by

Fresh Pesto vs. Buying the Jarred Pesto?

  • While “fresh” sauce always tastes so much better than store-bought, when it is homemade, you can actually taste the difference!  Best of all, it’s so much better for you, and healthier.
  • No preservatives, no additives, no soybean oil, or corn oil. Just all-natural, healthy ingredients to give us the BEST flavor and tasting sauce ever!
  • When you make it homemade you know you are getting quality ingredients. Not a fake, imitation sauce.

Take our word for it!  It’s worth making it homemade! 

Fresh is always BEST!

Pro Notes and Tips…

  • If you prefer, you can add nuts to this recipe, and about 2 tablespoons of pine nuts or walnuts when blending.
  • When blending, try not to blend the mixture too long, or it will start cooking the sauce. You want to keep it fresh, and clean tasting.
  • Also, it is recommended to drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the top after you have transferred it to your mason jar. This will keep the fresh bright green color, and keep it from turning brown.
  • Keep in mind, that pesto sauce is a delicate sauce. Do not place it directly over heat. It’s best to remove your pasta pot from direct heat when tossing the pesto with your pasta.

Can we freeze pesto sauce?

  1. Yes, you can. You can spoon the pesto into your ice cube trays and drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the tops of each of the cubes.
  2. Then freeze the ice trays for a few hours until solid. Remove the frozen pesto cubes add them to a large plastic food storage bag and label it along with the date.

Additional recipes to use pesto sauce with…

Keep in mind, if you have family members that have nut allergies.  Omit the nuts completely! 

Here’s a GREAT Tip!
Keep our pesto sauce in an air-tight jar, refrigerated.  Add a small amount of olive oil on top of the sauce in the jar after every time you use some.  It will stay fresh for up to 4 months. 

Fresh Basil Pesto Sauce by

Also, try our recipes for other Pesto Sauces: 

Fresh tasting and delicious over pasta!  They too won’t disappoint! 


Fresh Basil Pesto Sauce by
Yield: 2 cups

Fresh Basil Pesto Sauce

Fresh Basil Pesto Sauce

Fresh Basil Pesto Sauce is an easy and delicious sauce for any quick dish anytime! Fresh basil with some garlic and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and pecorino cheeses are blended with extra virgin olive oil. Serve with your favorite pasta for a delicious quick meal.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1 to 2 bunches of basil - about 3 to 5 cups or more - packed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil ( plus extra as needed)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. of salt
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese


  1. First, if you taking fresh basil from your garden, you will need to prep and rinse the leaves. Remove only the leaves of basil, and discard all the stems. Using a salad spinner rinse fresh basil under cold water, then spin out excess water. No Need if you buy fresh basil that's already been rinsed.
  2. Using a blender, or a food processor, pour in only 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil and toss in the basil leaves, garlic cloves, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  3. Blend on high speed to puree those first ingredients (hold the grated Parmesan and pecorino cheeses), for a few seconds, until it is well blended. Then, use a spatula to push down on the sides. NOTE: If the mixture is too thick, drizzle a little more olive oil into the mixture, do this only in small increments and blend until it reaches a nice smooth consistency.
  4. Then add in both kinds of cheese and blend until well combined. If you need to add more olive oil, you may do so.
  5. Taste the pesto, and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  6. Transfer and store in an air-tight jar or container. Keep it chilled in the refrigerated, and it will stay fresh for up to 3 months.
  7. Yields: about 2 cups

Nutrition Information:


4 to 8 servings

Serving Size:

1 serving (1/4 cup)

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 71Total Fat: 7.4gCarbohydrates: .8gFiber: .2gSugar: .1gProtein: 1.4g

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Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!  

Happy and Healthy Cooking! 🙂

xo Anna and Liz

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Welcome! From Anna and Liz

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