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pesto in food processor bowl
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5 from 6 votes

Easy Basil Pesto

Use this easy basil pesto with walnuts in appetizers, toppings and many of our recipes incorporating pesto. A perfect way to use up your summer garden basil in 5 minutes. (makes 1/2 cup)
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: sauces and spreads
Cuisine: Italian
Servings (change as needed): 8 tablespoons
Author: Cheryl


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or pinenuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, Note 1
  • 2 small cloves (or teaspoons) garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  • MAKE THE PESTO: Grind walnuts and garlic in a food processor for 30-60 seconds. Add basil leaves and process for another minute. Slowly add in oil from the feeder tube until combined. Add Parmesan cheese and process a few more seconds. Freezes well.


  1. Parmesan - leave this out if you like. 
  2. Make ahead:
    • Pesto lasts 5-7 days in the fridge.
    • I freeze it in ziploc bags in 1/4 cup portions to use whenever I need pesto.
    • Lasts 3-4 months in the freezer.
Nutrition values are estimates using walnuts. 
Calories: 172kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 110mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 371IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 1mg