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Basil Pesto

Simple and fast, this fresh basil pesto recipe is ready in just minutes! Full of bright and fresh flavors, this pesto is a regular in the menu rotation. #pesto #Italian
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: 30 Min or Less, Gluten Free, Keto/Low Carb, Pasta, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 767kcal


  • 1 pound dried pasta of choice
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 cup fresh parsley chopped (or kale)
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts toasted
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • Toast pine nuts in a saute pan over medium low heat until they start to turn a light brown. Stir occasionally for even toasting.
  • Start cooking pasta as per package directions.
  • If you are including any sauteed vegetables, start sauteing them now.
  • Meanwhile, add all other ingredients to food processor.
  • When nuts are toasted, add nuts to food processor. Turn on and blend until all ingredients are incorporated, approximately 20 seconds.
  • When pasta is done, drain and add back to pot. Add pesto sauce and any vegetables or add-ins. Stir to combine until evenly coated.


Serve this alongside homemade garlic bread!
The sauce will give you approximately 1 3/4 cups of pesto.
To make a cream sauce: add 1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half to food processor after blending.  Briefly blend to incorporate.
Optional add-ins to pasta:
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Sauteed red onion
  • Asparagus, 1" pieces
  • Sauteed zucchini
  • Corn
  • Sun dried tomatoes, chopped
Use vegetarian cheese for vegetarian version.


Calories: 767kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 792mg | Potassium: 534mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2042IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 218mg | Iron: 4mg