How to Easily Make Pesto from Fresh Basil

READY IN: 5mins
YIELD: 1 cup


  • 2
    cups basil (fresh leaves, stuff them into a measure cup and press them down with your hand, it's not a precise m)
  • 14
    cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 14
    cup pine nuts (if you don't have pine nuts, you can use walnuts or hazelnuts)
  • 3
    garlic cloves, finely minced (or 1 tablespoon of prepared minced garlic)
  • 1
    tablespoon lemon juice (helps prevent the pesto from turning brown upon exposure to the air)
  • 1
    teaspoon sugar


  • Pick the leaves off of the stems. Discard any flower buds, stems or leaves that aren't in good shape. All we want are leaves; small, medium or large; as long as they are a healthy green, not brown or molding!
  • Wash the basil. Just wash them in a large bowl under cold water, no soap!
  • Chop the pine nuts and garlic in the food processor. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a blender.
  • Add the basil leaves, lemon, and olive oil and chop. Stuff the basil leaves (in small batches) into the food processor and chop them into the garlic, olive oil and pine nuts.
  • Chop the mix until it forms a thick, smooth paste.
  • Add the grated Parmesan cheese to the food processor and blend! IMPORTANT NOTE: if you intend to freeze the pesto, leave the cheese OUT and add it when you thaw and use the pesto.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of sugar or Splenda to the batch to bring the flavor alive. (Optional).
  • The pesto will keep in refrigerator for about a week, or you can freeze it and it will last for 3 to 6 months.
  • Serving? Most people serve it over pasta or use it to season fish and chicken dishes.