I like to freeze single serving cubes of pesto for future use when I harvest my basil plants. I roast the garlic, blanch the basil, and leave out the cheese because I think it's more stable for storage that way. I use walnuts because they are cheap in comparison to pine nuts.


Recipe Summary

15 mins
40 mins
8 hrs
8 hrs 55 mins
12 servings


Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

  • Break garlic cloves off the bulb, but leaving in the peels. Place cloves in a square of foil. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon olive oil over cloves; season with salt and black pepper. Fold foil into a packet with the seams facing up to avoid leakage.

  • Bake in the preheated oven, checking every 10 to 15 minutes, until garlic is soft, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool.

  • Heat walnuts in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir constantly until fragrant and toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Pour ice water in a large bowl and set aside. Drop a handful of basil into the boiling water for 2 seconds; remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the ice water. Repeat with remaining basil. Drain basil from the ice water and squeeze out as much moisture as possible.

  • Squeeze garlic to release from the peels and place in a food processor. Add toasted walnuts, basil, and 1 cup olive oil; season with salt and black pepper. Blend in the food processor, scraping sides a few times, until smooth.

  • Pour pesto into 1 to 2 ice cube trays; freeze until completely solid, 8 hours or overnight. Pry pesto cubes from the ice cube tray and store in a freezer bag.

Cook's Note:

Your ice cube tray will smell like pesto, so run through dishwasher.

When serving pesto, add freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and a squeeze of lemon.

Nutrition Facts

264 calories; protein 3g; carbohydrates 5.2g; fat 26.5g; sodium 7.6mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (4)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
Yummy.. roasted garlic and toasted walnuts really nice touches Read More
4 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 4
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Yummy.. roasted garlic and toasted walnuts really nice touches Read More
Rating: 5 stars
The frozen cubes are very handy for later use. At first I though the amount of oil would be excessive but after considering there was no cheese in the recipe it made sense. I added plenty of salt to taste again to compensate for the missing cheese. A great vegan pesto! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
The roasted garlic and I used toasted peanuts made a fine touch. Blanching is good too for preserving the color. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was easy to make and I have had rave reviews when using it in pasta and other delicious recipes. Read More