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the Best Homemade Basil Pesto

How to make the best homemade basil pesto! Nothing tastes better than this recipe full of fresh basil, garlic, olive oil and my own favorite cheese. 

Homemade basil pesto is one of summers greatest gifts.  Basil is easy to grow and turning it into this delicious pesto couldn’t be easier.  I like to make enough to freeze so I have a taste of summer during the cold winter months. 

collage with basil leaves and pesto mounds on cookie sheet with text overlay, homemade basil pesto, Flower Patch Farmhouse

Have you ever grown basil?  Nothing smells more like summer and it is a great herb for so many dishes. 

Basil in red bowl ready to make homemade basil pesto

But what do you do when a wonderful friend gives you a trash bag full of garden fresh basil straight from her garden? 

My first thought is pesto.  And lots of it!

trash bag filled with fresh basil for homemade basil pesto


When my friend handed me this bag it was full.  This is after I had already processed a good portion of it. 

Make sure you wash it well in case any garden bugs tagged along when the basil is picked. 


It takes some time to strip the leaves from the stalks if you have a lot to make but in the long run you will be happy you did it. 

If making a smaller batch it will be no sweat. 

I toast the pine nuts to a golden hue, it enhances the flavor. Just be careful not to burn them.  

Yield: approx 1.5 cups

the Best Homemade Basil Pesto

Home made pesto placed on cookie sheet to freeze

The best homemade basil pesto. A different take on a classic recipe. Delicious on pasta, sliced baguettes or as a pizza sauce.


  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Asiago cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts lightly toasted
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil


  1. Lightly toast pine nuts in a dry frying pan over medium low heat. Stir gently as they toast to a golden brown. Be careful not to burn.
  2. Add first four ingredients to food processor or blender. Blend until finely minced. While the processor is turning pour in olive oil. Continue until pesto is smooth.
  3. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper, drop heaping spoonfuls onto sheet.
  4. freeze, remove from freezer and place individual mounds of frozen pesto into a freezer bag.


Many like parmesan instead of asiago. We love the flavor of the asiago better that is why we use it. Also walnuts are a good replacement for the pine nuts for a more budget friendly option.

 basil patties on cookie sheet ready to freeze

My food processor makes quick work of blending all the ingredients into a glorious green paste.  Other ways I love to serve pesto is over a block of cream cheese for crackers or stir them into sauteed vegetables. 

I hope you enjoy this fabulous summer treat!

More you will enjoy:
Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
Greek Pasta Salad
Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce
Classic Pesto






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Sunday 16th of June 2019

i have been making pesto out of just about any veggie one might like. red bell pepper, asparagus, spinach, and the list goes on. the instructions are just as basic as yours, but not necessarily does one have to use pine nuts. any type of nut does just fine. in Italy you will find many ways with pesto. even a spread for a sandie or something one would not even think of. anyway, for all out there I recommend to experiment, you will find anything makes a good pesto. love the asiago, a very nice parm from Italy is delicious as well. try it on pasta salad as the dressing. so exceptional.

Ana Lopes

Friday 16th of August 2013

I love pesto and this is a very easy way to make it! Thanks so much for sharing the great recipe! Have a fabulous weekend! Hugs from Portugal,

Ana Love Craft


Thursday 15th of August 2013

Love the recipe and am adding it to my re-do "yummy" list. Had to cut back on the garlic, since it doesn't like me so well. But added 1/2 teaspoon of fresh squeezed lime juice to substitute. It is yummy, yummy.


Thursday 15th of August 2013

I will have to try the lime juice trick, I know it is a great flavor enhancer in other dishes so why not pesto!

Robynne Catheron

Wednesday 14th of August 2013

These are probably the most simple instructions and recipe for bulk pesto I've ever seen. I always thought pesto was a pain to make. I can't wait to try it with my new all-natural olive oil from Chile (evoo of the month club). I'm hoping it will work in my NutriBullet if I just dump everything in at once. Thank you for this!


Thursday 15th of August 2013

It is fairly simple, the hardest part is pulling or cutting all the basil leaves off the stem. The rest is a cake walk.

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