Side Dishes,  Snacks & Appetizers

Quick and Easy Basil Pesto

This is the BEST homemade pesto recipe and it is quick and easy as well. Ready in under 5 minutes, this healthy pesto is made with fresh basil, spinach, and pine nuts. It can also be made without pine nuts and with walnuts instead. If you are wondering what to do with fresh basil, try making this easy pesto recipe. It's also vegetarian and gluten free. #basil #basilpesto #pesto #pestorecipe #easypesto #appetizer #healthyrecipe
This is the BEST homemade pesto recipe and it is quick and easy as well. Ready in under 5 minutes, this healthy pesto is made with fresh basil, spinach, and pine nuts. It can also be made without pine nuts and with walnuts instead. If you are wondering what to do with fresh basil, try making this easy pesto recipe. It's also vegetarian and gluten free. #basil #basilpesto #pesto #pestorecipe #easypesto #appetizer #healthyrecipe
This is the BEST homemade pesto recipe and it is quick and easy as well. Ready in under 5 minutes, this healthy pesto is made with fresh basil, spinach, and pine nuts. It can also be made without pine nuts and with walnuts instead. If you are wondering what to do with fresh basil, try making this easy pesto recipe. It's also vegetarian and gluten free. #basil #basilpesto #pesto #pestorecipe #easypesto #appetizer #healthyrecipe
This is the BEST homemade pesto recipe and it is quick and easy as well. Ready in under 5 minutes, this healthy pesto is made with fresh basil, spinach, and pine nuts. It can also be made without pine nuts and with walnuts instead. If you are wondering what to do with fresh basil, try making this easy pesto recipe. It's also vegetarian and gluten free. #basil #basilpesto #pesto #pestorecipe #easypesto #appetizer #healthyrecipe
This is the BEST homemade pesto recipe and it is quick and easy as well. Ready in under 5 minutes, this healthy pesto is made with fresh basil, spinach, and pine nuts. It can also be made without pine nuts and with walnuts instead. If you are wondering what to do with fresh basil, try making this easy pesto recipe. It's also vegetarian and gluten free. #basil #basilpesto #pesto #pestorecipe #easypesto #appetizer #healthyrecipe
This is the BEST homemade pesto recipe and it is quick and easy as well. Ready in under 5 minutes, this healthy pesto is made with fresh basil, spinach, and pine nuts. It can also be made without pine nuts and with walnuts instead. If you are wondering what to do with fresh basil, try making this easy pesto recipe. It's also vegetarian and gluten free. #basil #basilpesto #pesto #pestorecipe #easypesto #appetizer #healthyrecipe
This is the BEST homemade pesto recipe and it is quick and easy as well. Ready in under 5 minutes, this healthy pesto is made with fresh basil, spinach, and pine nuts. It can also be made without pine nuts and with walnuts instead. If you are wondering what to do with fresh basil, try making this easy pesto recipe. It's also vegetarian and gluten free. #basil #basilpesto #pesto #pestorecipe #easypesto #appetizer #healthyrecipe
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homemade pesto

This quick and easy basil pesto recipe is the best! It is fast and easy and made with fresh basil, spinach and toasted pine nuts. It is versatile, delicious and healthy. Eat it on toasted bread, with veggies or in pasta.

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It’s summertime, that means I have a very large basil plant in my yard. If you are wondering how to use fresh basil, or what to do with basil, try making this quick and easy basil pesto recipe!

It is so delish and fresh. Fresh basil at the store can be expensive, so I recommend growing your own plant. They can be planted in a pot and kept on the porch or in a window that gets sun, or it can be planted in your yard or garden.

Basil smells AMAZING and I love having it right outside my front door, in fact 3 of my kids will just eat the leaves straight off of the plant (I promise, they are well fed).

YUM! Look at that delicious pesto!

Traditional Pesto vs. Pesto with a twist

A few notes on petso: traditional pesto is made with basil leaves, however I mix in fresh spinach as well. I find that pesto made with only basil can be very strong. If you like it strong then, by all means, use all basil. The mixture of fresh spinach with the basil is where it’s at for me.

Wash the basil and spinach and spin it in a salad spinner to remove the excess water. I use this one, it works great and it’s fun to use.



Get out your food processor. You really need a good quality, larger food processor for this. A blender will not do the trick. Hamilton Beach has a great 10 cup food processor. Click here to view.

Here are some other top rated food processors:


Add the fresh basil and spinach, also put in the peeled garlic cloves, parmasan cheese, salt, freshly cracked black peppers, lemon and toasted pine nuts.

pesto with pine nuts, basil and spinach

What kind of nuts to use in pesto?

A note on pine nuts, they are rather pricey, but they are amazing. If you are not willing to pay the price you can always substitute walnuts into this recipe. I use walnuts regularly and really can’t tell much of a difference in the outcome of the pesto whatsoever. If you do use pine nuts they MUST be toasted! They are bitter if not toasted, but toasting them gives them a rich flavor that is not bitter. Click here to see how to toast them.

toasted pine nuts

Turn on the food processor and drizzle the olive oil in while it is processing. Process the pesto until it reaches your desired consistency. I like mine spreadable but not runny.

Homemade basil pesto on toasted bread

Store it in an airtight container for up to 7 days in the fridge. This recipe also freezes very well! Put it in an ice cube tray to freeze, once frozen transfer the cubes into a freezer bag.

Serve it on toasted bread, with veggies, on a sandwich or in pasta. This is Perfect with this Grilled Chicken Pesto Pasta!!

Grilled Chicken Pesto Pasta


Check out more popular recipes from A Pinch Of Adventure!

What is Lebanese food? Find out what are popular Lebanese foods and what they are in this article. Is Lebanese cuisine compatible with the Mediterranean Diet? Everything you need to know about Lebanese food as a part of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food is found in this article! Recipes and information inside. A guide to traditional Lebanese food and the top 9 most popular Lebanese dishes! What is Lebanese Cuisine?


Pesto

Quick and Easy Homemade Pesto

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 2 cups fresh spinach or spinach and arugula mix
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts
  • cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¾ teas salt
  • ½ teas freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • cup olive oil extra virgin

Instructions
 

  • wash an spin the fresh basil and spinach in a salad spinner to drain excess water
  • add the basil and spinach to the food processor
  • add the rest of the ingredients except the olive oil
  • turn on the food processor and slowly drizzle the olive oil in while it's processing until it reaches your desired consistency. I like it spreadable but not runny (see video)
  • serve with toasted bread, in pasta, with veggies or on sandwiches
  • store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 7 days
  • pesto freezes well, put it in an ice cube tray in the freezer until frozen, remove from the ice cube tray and transfer into a freezer bag.

Video

14 Comments

  • Beth Shields

    This looks easy and great. I love that you add other greens like spinach. I have also used pecans or walnuts if I didn’t have pinenuts. Love pesto. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  • Suz

    Hi Emily! I’m guessing that you are at least part Lebanese (I’m ½ Lebanese). I guessed when I saw your hummus, safeehas, mujaddara, and tabbouleh recipes listed on the sidebar. Then, I saw your photo.

    Basis pesto was always in my garden (when I gardened on the farm), and I grew it under the complete shade of a pecan tree (I live in New Mexico, so full shade here is sorta like full sun elsewhere!). The leaves would grow as big as my hand! So, I made tons of pesto, to preserve it.
    The way I did it was to pretty much make pesto, but not put much oil into it. Then, as you say, I’d freeze it in ice cube trays and bag it up. When I’d take one out, I’d then add more oil to reprocess it.
    I sure miss pesto!!
    I always used fresh pine nuts, not toasted, and they were fine. But then again, we could gather them from the pinon trees out here.
    Thanks for the recipe–I’m going to peruse all your Lebanese dishes next. Got kibbe?

    • Emily A

      OMGSH! I’m 1/2 Lebanese as well!! And YES I will be posting kibbe for sure :). I don’t have it up yet, but it’s on my list. How fun. We actually have a decent sized Lebanese population where I ma located in the Midwest. I have never had fresh pine nuts from the pinons since we don’t really have them here. They are expensive!

  • Angela

    I have so much fresh basil in my yard that it is time to make homemade pesto. I have never added spinach before but I will try a batch with it and do a taste test.

  • judean

    I LOVE pine nuts! I may need to try this – but pine nuts are so expensive! It just doesn’t taste the same without them!

  • Myrka

    5 stars
    I love Pesto! I actually haven’t thought about adding it to a bagel. Great idea! I make zoodles (zucchini pasta) and have added the pesto sauce to it. Our food processor actually just stopped working recently so I am going to look into the Hamilton you suggested. Thanks!

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