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Simple, delicious basil pesto recipe

With summertime in full swing, you probably have a vegetable garden that’s popping with fresh tomatoes, zucchini, basil, pea, green beans and more. While our garden was delayed over here this season, it is finally up and running.

I’m thrilled (THRILLED!) to report that we made a lot of progress over the last month that I’ve been sharing on my Instagram stories @sugarmaplefarmhouse. We were able to get in everything I wanted and I’m getting ready now to do another planting of lettuce since it has such a short growth cycle.

Simple and delicious Basil Pesto recipe

I appreciate that we’ve been able to squeeze some green goodness out of the garden this season since we’ve had an abridged season. One of my favorite items to grow has been basil. I love delicious, simple, fresh, home-grown basil. It always has so much more flavor than the store. In fact, if you have garden basil and store-bought basil next to one another, you can smell the difference. You can taste it too.

Simple and delicious Basil Pesto recipe Simple and delicious Basil Pesto recipe Simple and delicious Basil Pesto recipe

Simple and delicious Basil Pesto recipe

Since I’m Italian, I like to use basil in pretty much everything. From salads to sandwiches to pizza and pasta to Thai dishes and more, it’s one of those herbs that just works with a variety of cuisines and flavors.

In the spirit of keeping it simple, I wanted to share my recipe for fresh basil pesto. It’s easy, it’s delicious and it’s the perfect way to add full flavor to multiple dishes.

And…it was the first recipe we use to launch our YouTube channel! Check out the video below and subscribe for weekly recipes.

Get the full recipe below and see a few of the ways we use this in simple meals.


  • It’s very important that you use Extra Virgin Olive Oil for this recipe versus just olive oil. I know it’s a premium ingredient but it adds a better flavor to the pesto.
  • For the basil, I often use the leaves and the stems. The stems can be just as flavorful as the leaves if you’re picking this fresh from your garden or getting it from a farmer’s market. I like to remove the large ones, but I’m not overly fussy about having them attached when I toss them into the food processor.
  • You can store this for about a week or two in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it. Freeze it in ice cube trays to instantly melt into any dish.

Simple and delicious Basil Pesto recipe Simple and delicious Basil Pesto recipe


Basil Pesto Recipe

Our basil pesto is a summer favorite around here and it's the perfect way to make any dish taste incredible. 
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: basil pesto, basil pesto recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Author: Rachel Quenzer


Basil Pesto Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


Basil Pesto Instructions

  • Chop garlic to make it a little easier to process. Then add it to the blender. 
  • Add your basil to you blender or food processor. You can add the stems and all if you like. 
  • Add pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper, parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil. Blend. 
  • Once blended, use a spoon to scrape the side of the blender or food processor. Make sure to push everything down and then blend again until well combined. It should have a thick consistency but be well blended together. 
  • Serve with bread, on pasta, as part of bruschetta, over zucchini noodles and  in so many more ways! 

Simple and delicious Basil Pesto recipe Simple and delicious Basil Pesto recipe Simple and delicious Basil Pesto recipe

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  1. Amber Myers

    I would LOVE to make this one day! It looks so amazing. We love pasta, so this would be perfect.

  2. Liz Mays

    Oh I know I’d love this with some pasta. I’ll have to try it out with a few apps and dinners.

  3. Stacie

    I have to make this. Pesto is one of my favorite foods of all time. Great recipe!

  4. Jamie H

    Is there anything better than produce straight from the garden? Homemade pesto is one of my favorites! In fact, I just realized that I somehow overlooked planting basil, so I’m so sad! That pasta with the pesto in it looks amazing!

  5. Melissa Chapman

    I have never made pesto but it always looks so good. I will try and find some fresh basil and try this recipe.

  6. Tami

    I love it when I can combine simple and delicious. I’ve never prepared pesto at home, so this will be a new experience for the whole family.

  7. Brianne Tursi Manz

    Oh my! I love fresh pesto! When I buy it, I buy 2-3 jars, because I’ll use almost one jar by myself on pasta! I’ve been wanting to make my own.

  8. Heather

    I actually made pesto for the first time a few weeks ago and I was floored by how easy it was. I make it all the time now. So easy and so delicious!

  9. Jeanine

    Yum I could use something different for a meal this weekend I’d love to make this. I think it would be a BIG hit!

  10. Amy

    I love fresh basil too! I have a thick little brush of it in my window box and need to also turn it into some yummy basil!

  11. krystal

    I love fresh pesto. So easy to make and delicious!

  12. Terri Steffes

    I have so much pesto right now! My basil did very well! I have discovered that I love it on scrambled eggs.

  13. katrina Kroeplin

    i love pesto! i have made it a few times but i will try this for sure as i’m loving the look of this recipe.

  14. Denay DeGuzman

    Pesto is an essential ingredient in our house! My husband loves to spread it on sandwiches, add it to pasta, and use it on pizzas. It’s so incredibly versatile. Thank you for sharing your special recipe for this family favorite!

  15. Toni

    This might be my new favorite pesto recipe!

  16. Jenn @ EngineerMommy

    Yum, basil pesto is one of my favorite dips ever. I love that your recipe is simple and looks delicious. Gotta try this!

  17. Ruth I

    I like this pesto spread a lot. I know this can be plenty of use. I am a huge fan.

  18. Kelly

    This recipe sounds so light and refreshing! I can’t get enough of pesto during summer.

  19. Rena

    This looks amazing! I have to give this a try. I’ve never tried to make pesto before, but I definitely like to eat it.

  20. Annemarie LeBlanc

    I haven’t made my own pesto in a while and I guess it is time I did. I will use your recipe. It looks delicious and so easy to make!

  21. Cathy Mini

    Pesto is one of my favorite. I am looking forward to trying this recipe for sure my husband would like it so much.

  22. Lynndee

    I bought a jar of pesto before and really enjoyed it. I haven’t tried preparing pesto here at home, but I will now after knowing it’s so easy to make. Thanks for the recipe!

  23. Amanda

    I swear during summer I put pesto on EVERYTHING. Your recipe looks great.

  24. chubskulit rose

    I love pesto but unfortunately my kids and hubby aren’t so I only get to enjoy it once in a while. I will try this recipe.

  25. Shayla Marie

    Pesto is one of our favorite summertime treats! I love making a bunch and freezing small portions in ice cube trays for winter.

  26. Shannon Gurnee

    I’ve never made Pesto sauce before, but I love to eat it! I would love to try making this sometime.

  27. I love homemade pesto rather than store bought! This is a great pesto recipe.

  28. Julie Hoag

    This looks and sounds delicious. I adore pesto sauce over pasta and on breads.

  29. mya kroeplin

    I love pesto. add with some zucchini noodles and it’s delish!

  30. I’m not Italian, but I also like to use basil in pretty much everything like you! This pesto basil recipe sounds perfect to top or spread on salads, sandwiches and pasta.

  31. rika

    Looks so good. I think homemade pesto is better, always fresh and cheaper to make.

  32. Marysa

    Fresh pesto is the best! I haven’t made it in ages, and it would be nice to have some fresh pesto for recipes. I love ciabatta bread with tomato, mozzarella, and pesto on it.

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