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5 Ingredient Homemade Pesto

Try your hand at homemade pesto with just a few ingredients. The robust flavor will wow your most-favorite dishes!

Yield: 1 cup 1x
Prep: 5 minutesTotal: 5 minutes


  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (sub: walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

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  1. In a food processor, combine the basil, garlic, pine nuts, and cheese and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  2. Add ½ cup of olive oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Freezer Meal Instructions:

To Freeze:
Blend the pesto sauce as directed. Once fully incorporated, you can add small amounts of pesto to ice cube trays. Put in freezer until solid. Then dump ice cubes out in to freezer-safe ziplock bags. Store in freezer for up to 6 months. You can also store larger quantities of pesto in glass jars.

To Prepare:
Remove desired amount of pesto from freezer. Let thaw in refrigerator overnight or on the countertop. Use as needed.


  • Prep Time Note: The prep time in this recipe doesn’t include the time it takes to harvest, rinse, and dry the basil, if you’re harvesting your own. When you buy it from the store, this is already done for you. 
  • Harvesting Basil: Be sure to harvest basil leaves before the plant begins to flower. Once they get to this stage, the basil gets bitter. It’s best to cut back your plant regularly (and make pesto regularly!).
  • Reader Tip: One reader mentioned that she toasts her pine nuts and roasts the garlic to add more flavor.
© Author: Thriving Home
Cuisine: American Method: Blend