The Best Basil Pesto

2 cups approx
10 min

I have made a lot of different pestos over the years. Some arugula pesto for a peppery punch, or a smooth and creamy spinach pesto, but this traditional basil pesto takes the cake.

If you are an herb fan and you find yourself with a over abundance of basil and want to do something with it before it all starts to turn yellow on you as the seasons begins to change, then look no further than this recipe. You can make a few batches (depending on how much basil you have and you can freeze it in small containers to use during the Fall and Winter months.

The game changer in this recipe is the toasting of the pine nuts. So sure you don't skip this step!

Recipe details

  • 2  cups approx
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 0 Minutes Total time: 10 min
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  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 3/4 cup pecorino Romano 
  • 2 large garlic cloves 
  • 6 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tsp kosher salt 


In a dry pan, over medium heat, toast pine nuts, stirring constantly to avoid burning, about 4 minutes.
Place toasted pine nuts, garlic cloves, pecorino Romano cheese and kosher salt in a food processor and blend until mixture resembles wet breadcrumbs.
Add in the basil leaves and return the top on with the middle section removed. Put the food processor on and slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil until emulsified.
Toss together with your favorite pasta and enjoy!


  • MAKE AHEAD TIP: If you are choosing to do this as a make ahead or freezer option, add a layer of olive oil over the finished pesto to avoid browning.

Caper and Olive
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