Basic pesto, made with basil, olive oil, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. This recipe differs from the classic preparation by the addition of parsley. You can add a little extra Parmesan to the mixture if you like.

Advertisement

Ingredients

16
Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Combine basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and nuts in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend to a smooth paste. Add parsley if desired.

    Advertisement

Partner Tip

Reynolds® parchment can be used for easier cleanup/removal from the pan.

Nutrition Facts

91 calories; 9 g total fat; 3 mg cholesterol; 59 mg sodium. 1 g carbohydrates; 2.3 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (693)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
08/26/2006
Perfect pesto! Don't forget to toast the pine nuts, it makes all the difference...just put them in a small frying pan on the stove and toss them around until they start to turn brown. Don't worry about toasting all sides, just wing it! Read More
(1092)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
07/24/2008
A little heavy on the garlic and Parmesan, so I reduced the amounts of both by half. Both have very strong flavors of their own, and too much of either will detract from the intensity of flavor you want from the basil. I toasted the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat for 5 or 6 minutes, added a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper and did not use the optional parsley--it is neither traditional nor necessary. The only reason to add this would be to help the pesto retain it's bright green color, since fresh basil has a curious tendency, unlike other herbs, to turn brown when cut. Read More
(167)
959 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 725
  • 4 star values: 194
  • 3 star values: 26
  • 2 star values: 7
  • 1 star values: 7
Rating: 5 stars
08/25/2006
Perfect pesto! Don't forget to toast the pine nuts, it makes all the difference...just put them in a small frying pan on the stove and toss them around until they start to turn brown. Don't worry about toasting all sides, just wing it! Read More
(1092)
Rating: 5 stars
06/11/2005
VERY GOOD, and easy. A full flavor Pesto for sure. I added a smidge of coarse salt, and froze it in ice cube trays. After frozen I popped it out (with the help of a fork), and keep the cubes in the freezer. Talk about a FAST side dish. Pasta, a cube of defrosted Pesto, a diced fresh tomato, and it's a meal!! Thanks for a GREAT basic recipe! Read More
(811)
Rating: 5 stars
09/16/2006
This is it! Real, authentic pesto. I made several batches this morning with our fresh garden basil and my son was in pesto heaven! If you are making and freezing one-cup batches as I am, then cover the top of each container with a thin layer of olive oil. Basil tends to turn brown when exposed to air. When you thaw the container, the basil won't turn color. Use the best Extra Virgin Olive Oil you can afford! Thanks for the great recipe! Read More
(630)
Advertisement
Rating: 4 stars
09/02/2004
This is a good recipe. The only suggestion I have is to add some lemon juice to the pesto or store it in the refrigerator with a thin layer of olive oil on the top. Otherwise, the top of the pesto turns black. Read More
(267)
Rating: 5 stars
12/30/2004
Delicious and beautiful! If the basil is added to the blender in a couple of separate batches, it helps to avoid "air lock". I also chucked in a smidgen of salt, which perked up the flavor even more. Finally, I'm a notorious garlic lover, but even I found that two good sized cloves were enough to perfume the pesto. Four cloves could easily overwhelm it, so beware. Thanks for a great recipe! Read More
(243)
Rating: 4 stars
02/11/2004
Exquisite in its simplicity, the only thing I added was a pinch of kosher salt. A great recipe. A hint for keeping the pesto mix creamy~ save some of the cooking water from the pasta. Add it slowly to the drained pasta & pesto paste. Mix well. It will make a creamy, hot sauce that will coat the pasta smoothly. Thanks, Valerie. Read More
(212)
Advertisement
Rating: 3 stars
07/24/2008
A little heavy on the garlic and Parmesan, so I reduced the amounts of both by half. Both have very strong flavors of their own, and too much of either will detract from the intensity of flavor you want from the basil. I toasted the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat for 5 or 6 minutes, added a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper and did not use the optional parsley--it is neither traditional nor necessary. The only reason to add this would be to help the pesto retain it's bright green color, since fresh basil has a curious tendency, unlike other herbs, to turn brown when cut. Read More
(167)
Rating: 5 stars
08/20/2011
I love this pesto - I've made it several times. When I make a large batch, I used a melon baller or spoon to divide the pesto into separate little mounds on a cookie sheet. I put the cookie sheet in the freezer and when the little balls are frozen, I can easily put them together in a freezer bag and only pull out as many as I need for a meal. Read More
(140)
Rating: 5 stars
10/28/2005
OMG!! I just finished preparing this recipe... and there is no way I have 2C left! I tasted it for seasoning and went back for more! I thought I hated pesto but I had so much fresh basil ready to expire in the cold that I thought I'd make some and give it away to friends. No one's getting this stuff but me (OK and maybe my husband). Like others I used less garlic. Yumm! Read More
(108)