Easy Pesto Sauce

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Easy Pesto Sauce really is easy.  Really.

And on top of that, it is SO incredibly fresh and delicious. Learn more about the humble origins of this iconic Italian sauce here..

It is perfect on pasta or as a spread on your favorite sandwich.  Its uses are practically endless!

A small white bowl with fresh pesto sauce in it.

How To Make Easy Pesto Sauce

All you need is a small-to-medium food processor, or a blender, to make this delicious pesto sauce at home.

The ingredients are simple and straightforward. And the taste is so incredible.


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The Ingredients You Will Need

In addition to salt, there are only 5 ingredients to make pesto sauce in your food processor, or blender:

  • Fresh basil
  • Garlic
  • Pine nuts
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil

Basil, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor for pesto sauce.

How To Store

Be sure to use fresh basil when making this sauce.

Keep the fresh pesto sauce in an air-tight container in your refrigerator for up to 1 week.

You can also double, or triple, the pesto sauce and freeze for future use.

Recipes To Try with Homemade Pesto

We honestly use this sauce in, or on, so many dishes.

One of our favorite sandwiches in the world is our Italian-Style Paninis…within homemade Easy Pesto Sauce.

Crazy delicious!

Italian-style panini is best served on a cutting board with a cold beer nearby.

And, of course, fresh pesto is amazing when paired with pasta.

It’s wonderful warm or room temperature.

Blanching the Basil Gives a Milder Taste

When I’m making pesto to be served with pasta, such as our Spaghetti with Pasta, I blanch the basil first by simmering the fresh leaves for about 1 minute in boiling water, then transfer them to an ice batch. For the warm pasta dish, the blanching gives the pesto a milder basil flavor, which we feel works best for the dish.

But, for a sandwich spread, the food processor/blender version is perfect.

Pesto spaghetti served in a large white pasta bowl with shredded parmesan on top.

Another way we love it is on a pizza!

Use pesto sauce in place of a traditional tomato sauce, and you will just love the taste.

You will flip for our BLT Pizza (with pancetta, pesto, tomatoes and arugula). So good!

Pizza with Pancetta, Tomatoes and Arugula

Now, it’s time to make this at home and have FUN in the kitchen!

Go for it!

Mmmmm…Fresh Pesto!

Easy Pesto Sauce in a food processor.

Food processor pesto sauce in a small white bowl.

Easy Pesto Sauce

Easy Pesto Sauce really is easy. Perfect for pasta or sandwiches, or on a pizza! So packed with flavor and so easy!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Basil, how to make pesto sauce, pesto
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 143kcal


  • Food processor, or blender


  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 5 tsp pine nuts toasted
  • 3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice from one medium lemon
  • cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil


  • In a food processor (or blender) add the basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Process until thoroughly chopped. Remove the lid and scrape the sides of the mixture back down into the base of the processor, or blender.
    2 cups fresh basil, 5 tsp pine nuts, 3 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese, Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Place the lid back on, and with the motor running, slowly add the olive oil through the feed tube. Process until smooth, about 1 minute. Turn off the motor.
    ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Keep in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.


See the video near the top of the blog post for visual guidance. If you liked the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel.


Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 90mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 466IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 0.5mg
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  • 5 stars
    Just finished making pesto with your recipe….Just delish! Made enough for fall and winter!
    I freeze in half cup amounts, in small freezer bags, they lay flat to freeze and take up little room in my freezer.

    Stay cool and keep cook’s!

    • Hi Laura! You are on fire! LOVE that you made a big batch of the fresh pesto! This chilly winter, you will be soooo happy you have it! Thanks for sharing and thanks again for the GREAT review! That means everything to us! xoxo

  • 5 stars
    Thank you. I pin so many of your recipes! They are all so easy to follow and so delicious.
    After visiting Italy last year (before Covid) , I’m looking forward to making the potato, string bean, pesto recipe now that I will have fresh basil coming up in garden.
    I need the wonderful memories of Italy paired with a comfort dish I so remembered.
    Thank you, love you guys.
    —Mary McK

    • Hi Mary!!! Sorry for the delayed response! That is so wonderful to hear! Ah…memories of Italy…that is something we could all use during these difficult times. We think you’ll enjoy the potato, string bean, and pesto salad. It’s so summery and so good! Thank you so much and we send lots and lots of love back to you!! xoxoxo Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    Perfect Kris & Wesley! My fav! Sometimes I’ll add a little butter and mascarpone for a creamy sauce.

    • Thanks, Marilyn!!! A little butter and mascarpone!! YES!! Now you are talking’!!!! Miss you guys but looks like everything is going GREAT!!!! xoxox

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