Basic Basil Pesto

This is a short and sweet recipe to get you through this hump day. And this recipe will bring you one step closer to my new favorite gluten-free (but doesn’t taste like cardboard) pasta salad, where this sauce is the star. This Basic Basil Pesto is a very simple, five-ingredient recipe that anyone with a food processor (or a good blender) can easily whip up and transform a dish into a fresh and flavorful masterpiece.

We did not grow up eating pesto. In fact, I don’t think I had pesto until maybe last year for the first time. My brother has a severe tree nut allergy, so we stuck to good ol’ Ragu marinara sauce growing up. When I got diagnosed this winter with a number of ulcers, I was told to avoid any highly acidic foods like citrus, and tomatoes (which I’m still not convinced is a fruit). So that led me to experimenting with new homemade sauces, which led to the discovery of delicious, delicious pesto.

When I’m feeling lazy, I do like to get the fresh pesto from Whole Foods, but when I actually have the time and find myself with a giant bag of fresh basil, I’ve gotta make my own. This recipe also freezes really well so I can stock up for the winter. I also like that this recipe doesn’t have to be followed to a T. You can add more/less of any of the ingredients to satisfy your taste and texture preferences. I tend to drizzle in a little more olive oil so that it’s thinner, and because I often put this over gluten free pasta, it helps the pasta not stick together as much when I chill it.

You can also easily double or triple this recipe to make a bigger batch. Since I’m typically a party-of-one, I like this smaller batch to get me through a week of recipes. I also recommend using fresh parmesan cheese – none of that green Kraft container stuff. You get out what you put in so quality ingredients like fresh basil and fresh cheese are important for this recipe.

So that’s it for this quick little sauce recipe. Be on the lookout for my newly created amazingly delicious gluten free basil pasta salad recipe coming soon!

Basic Basil Pesto

Yield: 1 1/2 to 2 cups

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 10 Minutes

A super simple, 5-ingredient sauce that goes perfect over grilled chicken or freshly cooked pasta.


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (throw away the stems)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese or parmesan reggiano


  1. In a food processor, combine the basil leaves, pine nuts and garlic and pulse a few times and then process until finely minced.
  2. With the machine slowly running, drizzle in the olive oil until the sauce is smooth.
  3. Add the parmesan cheese and pulse just a few times until incorporated. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy!