Pesto Sauce

Cuisine: Italian

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 16

Change up from a boring red sauce with some truly delicious Pesto Sauce. Light basil paired with some rich cheese; that's the recipe for a perfect, balanced sauce! While most prefer to toss this sauce in with some pasta, pesto sauce also doubles as a delicious spread for your morning toast. 

  • Fresh basil leaves: 3 cups
  • Olive oil: 1 cup
  • Chopped walnuts/ pine nuts/ cashew: 1 ½ cups
  • Parmesan cheese: ¼ cup, grated
  • Garlic: 1 ½ cups and peeled
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Homemade pesto sauce for all pesto lovers!

  1. Blend the basil leaves, garlic, cheese, and nuts. Traditional pesto is made from pine nuts. These are usually a bit on the expensive side. You can easily swap them out for walnuts or cashew without compromising the taste. 
  2. As you blend, add oil slowly until it all comes together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Chef Tip: You can add just a dash of lemon juice for some extra zing!

Pesto pasta is a delicious and balanced set of flavors, but pesto sauce can be used in multiple dishes. You can spread it over some toast, throw a fried egg and some oregano on it and make a yummy breakfast toast. You could also replace the red sauce in a pizza with pesto for some delicious Italian Pesto Pizza as well! 

There are many more recipes that you can work pesto into; you just have to figure out what combinations work best for you. So get creative and get cooking with this delicious pesto sauce recipe!

Quick Bites

Fun Fact
  • A Pesto World Championship is held every two years in Genoa, Italy.
  • Competitors from all over the world come together to prepare pesto sauce using marble mortars and pestles for the title of World Champion.
Historical Fact
  • Pesto sauce originated in Genoa, a city in the Northern part of Italy. It was invented in the 16th century and its authentic recipe consists of basil, garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese.
  • The word pesto was derived from the Genoese word 'pesta', which means ‘to pound’ in reference to the original method of preparing this sauce which is to ground the ingredients in a marble mortar in a circular motion of a wooden pestle. 
Nutrition Fact
  • One cup of pesto sauce contains 1292 calories of which 1144 are from fat.
  • Basil has phytochemicals like orientin and vicenin that act as antioxidants and decrease the risk of cancer.