Perfect Pesto

My mother is without a doubt our family’s queen gardener and when her basil plants went crazy this year it seemed like pesto was simply meant to be. And so it was.

Homemade pesto is one of my husband’s favorite things in the world to eat so you can imagine the joy on his face when my mom stopped by with several huge stalks. We like our pesto garlicy, cheesey, a little spicy and thick enough to really coat any pasta we pair it with. A squeeze of lemon at the end really brightens things up and freshly grated cheese makes it something special, but the truth is pesto is one of those things you totally can play around with to your exact tastes so don’t hesitate to get creative and make adjustments as need be. This recipe is very forgiving, easy to throw together and puts any store-bought brand to shame. What are you waiting for?

Perfect Pesto

This classic pesto is creamy, cheesey, garlicky and full of amazing flavor! The perfect way to use up your end of summer basil harvest it comes together quickly and elevates any dish into something special.
Prep Time 5 mins
Course Condiment, Dip
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12 oz


  • Food processor


  • 3-4 cloves garlic Depends on personal preference, if you prefer less spicy/garlicy go with 1-2 cloves
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted I toast mine at 350 for around 5 minutes until just lightly browned. Make sure to cool competely before adding.
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • juice of 1 small/medium lemon


  • Pulse garlic and pine nuts in a food processor until fully chopped and combined.
  • Add basil, red pepper, salt and black pepper. Process for 5 to 10 seconds. You may need to use a spoon to press the basil down.
  • Add in 1/2 cup of olive oil and parmesan cheese. Process for around 15 seconds until combined and mixed through.
  • Add the juice of 1 lemon and pulse a few times to combine.
  • Pour into a air tight container and store in the fridge up to 5 days or freeze up to 3 months. Enjoy!
Keyword Gluten Free, Pesto

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