Fresh Basil Pesto Sauce is an easy and delicious sauce for any quick dish during the spring and summer months. It’s made with 4 ingredients, fresh basil, garlic, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and it’s blended with extra virgin olive oil. And you can make it in less than 10 minutes!
Our mom usually makes her pesto sauce with “pignoli,” which are pine nuts. I really don’t care for the taste of pine nuts, so I have been using walnuts instead of the pine nuts in my pesto sauce. No one seems to mind, they love it the same!
But nowadays, with nut allergies in our family, we have become a NUT-FREE home, eliminating all the nuts altogether, and you still get a great tasting pesto sauce. For sure!
Why we love fresh basil pesto sauce:
it’s super versatile as a sauce
you can easily drizzle on most salads
drizzle on grilled shrimp, or chicken
use it on fresh garden tomatoes and mozzarella
you can even add some pesto to soups for extra flavoring
I make it all year long and use it with so many recipes. In my family, everyone’s favorite dish is spaghetti with fresh basil pesto sauce – hands down!!
Also, you may want to try our Chicken Rollatini with Pesto and Mozzarella, and our favorite Flounder Filet Rollatini.
And our Seared Sea Scallops Over Pesto Sauce and our Cod Fillet Over Pesto Risotto, these are absolutely totally delicious!
While fresh basil pesto sauce tastes so much better than store-bought, you can actually taste the difference! And it’s so much better for you.
When you make it homemade you know you are getting quality ingredients and not garbage ones like fillers or corn syrup.
Take our word for it! It’s worth making it yourself! Fresh is always BEST!
Keep in mind, if you have family members that have nut allergies? Omit the nuts completely! The taste will still be delicious!!
Here’s a Tip:
Keep fresh basil 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 keeps fresh up to 4 months. I will be using this fresh basil pesto sauce in various recipes, so stay tuned!
And for an alternative delicious pesto?
Try our Easy Kale and Spinach Pesto Sauce! Fresh tasting and delicious over pasta! It too won’t disappoint!!
If you make our fresh basil pesto sauce, let us know and leave a comment with a star rating! We’d love to hear from you. Sharing your insights and experiences helps everyone who reads them, and helps us too! Snap a photo and share it on social media, be sure to tag us @2sistersrecipes or hashtag #2sistersrecipes.
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Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!
Happy Cooking! 🙂
xo Anna and Liz
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
- 1 bunch of basil - about 3 cups or more - packed
- 1/2 cup (plus extra as needed) extra virgin olive oil
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves
- 1/8 tsp. of salt
- dash of cayenne pepper
- fresh cracked pepper to taste
- optional: 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- First, remove only the leaves of basil, discard all the stems. Using a salad spinner to rinse fresh basil under cold water, then spin out excess water.
- Using a blender, or a food processor, pour in only 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, and toss in the basil leaves, garlic cloves, cayenne pepper, and salt.
- Blend on high speed to puree all ingredients ( except for the grated Parmesan cheese). Then, check the mixture and use a spatula to push down on the sides. 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.
- Then add in the grated cheese and blend until well combined. If you need to add more olive oil, you may do so.
- Taste the pesto, and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Store in an air-tight jar or container. Keep refrigerated up to 4 months.
- Yields: about 2 cups