How to Freeze Fresh Pesto

How to Freeze Fresh Pesto

By Polly Conner
August 8, 2020

How to freeze pesto

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Thriving Home loves pesto.

Rachel and I laugh because as we were developing healthy, freezable recipes for our cookbook called From Freezer to Table, we constantly gravitated towards anything with pesto in it. Probably because of its big, fresh flavor that freezes well. The fresher the better too! I’m convinced that in a taste test, ten times out of ten I could identify fresh pesto from store bought pesto.

Since I can kind of be a pesto snob, I am doing my best to make my own pesto, stock up and freeze portions for months to come.

Pssst…. If you already have your pesto on hand and just want to know how to freeze it, scroll on down a bit.

Make Fresh Pesto

The process starts with fresh basil. Pick about 4 loosely packed cups of it.

Fresh pesto

In a food processor, process 4-5 cloves of garlic.

Garlic cloves in a food processor

Now add in your basil, pine nuts (or you can sub walnuts) Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Ingredients for fresh pesto

Blend it up real nice.

Blended up pesto ingredients

Now, while the food processor is running, slowly drizzle a cup of olive oil through the opening at the top. Once it’s all combined you’re done!

Fresh pesto ready for the freezer.

How to Freeze Pesto

There are many containers that will work great for freezing pesto. You can use:

To freeze your pesto, divide it into small portions. That way you don’t have to thaw out the entire batch when you want to use it!

How to freeze fresh basil pesto. Use this trick to have freshly made pesto for your recipes all year long!

Once you’ve portioned out your pesto, drizzle a bit of oil over it to just cover the top. This will keep the pesto from becoming discolored.

How to freeze fresh basil pesto. Use this trick to have freshly made pesto for your recipes all year long!

Freeze it uncovered for about an hour or so, until solid, pop out of the container, and place the portions in an air-tight freezer bag or container. (Here are our favorite freezer containers.) You’re done!


How to Make and Freeze Fresh Pesto

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Processor
  • Cuisine: American


Is there anything better than fresh pesto? Now you can freeze it and savor the flavor.


  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¼ cup pine nuts (sub: walnuts)
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  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.

Now use your yummy fresh pesto to make some of these recipes:

Cheesy Pesto Bread

Chicken Pesto Pasta

Chicken Pesto Pasta

Turkey Pesto Panini

Pesto Burgers

You’ll find many more pesto-infused and well-tested freezer recipes in our cookbook.  All of the 75+ recipes in From Freezer to Table are delicious, made from whole foods, are easy to prepare, and can be made fresh or frozen for later. Order your copy today and get started cooking ahead, so you can enjoy stress-free (and pesto-laden!) meals with your loved ones around the table later.

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2 replies
  1. Kami Mauldin says:

    Is it best to thaw the frozen pesto in the fridge overnight, or can you cook with it frozen? I’m sure it might depend on the recipe. Thanks!

    • Rachel says:

      It’s definitely best to defrost pesto slowly in the refrigerator. I’ve tried defrosting in the microwave and the consistency gets weird. Hope that helps!